Top 5 Motivation Factors for Travel Nurses in 2023

5 Motivation Factors Behind Travel Nurse Job Satisfaction

Burnout and high turnover have been taking a toll on nurse clinicians, resulting in a staffing deficit that will only worsen. Therefore, It is important to understand the motivation factors for nurses According to McKinsey & Company, the U.S. will be short 200,000 to 450,000 registered nurses for direct patient care by 2025. Research from NCSBN further reports almost 900,000 RNs intend to leave the workforce by 2027.

The NCSBN study further noted that more than 60% of nurses experienced workload increases during the pandemic. This left many feeling exhausted, emotionally drained, and disillusioned. With healthcare workforce shortages showing no signs of stopping and every indication they will continue to climb, the nursing profession must focus on rebuilding, or tragic consequences may follow.

We wanted to examine what could be done to mitigate this growing crisis, one already impacting nearly every healthcare facility daily. So, we decided to find out what motivates and keeps them in the industry. Analysis revealed the benefits that matter, what nurses appreciate in a facility, and perhaps more importantly, why they continue taking travel assignments and remain in the profession.

Money: Earning Enough to Meet Financial Goals

Let us be honest, money matters. One of the primary motivation factors for many travel nurses is the potential for higher earnings. Travel nurses often receive competitive salaries and additional financial incentives, such as sign-on bonuses and housing allowances. This financial aspect allows them to not only meet their immediate financial needs but also save for the future or pay off student loans. For many, the ability to earn well while doing what they love is a significant draw.

Freedom and Flexibility

Travel nursing offers a level of freedom and flexibility that few other healthcare professions can match. Travel nurses like to choose where they want to work, the duration of their assignments, and even the type of healthcare facility they prefer. This flexibility allows them to explore different parts of the country or even go international.

Additionally, travel nurses can take extended breaks between assignments to travel, spend time with family, or pursue other personal interests, offering them a unique work-life balance. Thus, it is one of the essential motivation factors to continue this profession.

Sense of Adventure

Travel nursing provides a sense of adventure that is hard to find in a typical healthcare job. These nurses can immerse themselves in new cultures, explore new cities, and meet people from diverse backgrounds. Whether it is working in bustling urban hospitals, rural clinics, or faraway locations, travel nurses can feed their sense of adventure while providing valuable healthcare services. This combination of professional growth and personal enrichment can be an incredibly riveting motivation factor.

Find Key Statistics in the Job Satisfaction Index here

Work-Life Balance

Travel nurses often enjoy an enhanced work-life balance due to the flexibility of their assignments. While their work can be demanding, they have more control over their schedules and can plan extended breaks between assignments to recharge and rejuvenate. This improved work-life balance allows them to maintain a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally, which is a crucial motivator for many.

Ability to Focus on Patient Care

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a travel nurse is the ability to concentrate on patient care without the burden of office politics and administrative tasks. Travel nurses can focus on what they are most passionate about – delivering high-quality patient care. With the support of the healthcare facilities where they work, they can concentrate on their nursing duties, making a real impact on the lives of patients. This sense of purpose and fulfilment is a powerful motivation for travel nurses.


Travel nursing offers a unique blend of financial stability, freedom, adventure, work-life balance, and a focus on patient care. These motivation factors make it an attractive career option for many nurses. The ability to earn well while enjoying a flexible lifestyle and experiencing new places and cultures is an enticing prospect. If you are a nurse looking for a career that combines these elements, travel nursing may be the perfect fit for you. Whether you are just starting your nursing career or are an experienced healthcare professional, the world of travel nursing offers an exciting and rewarding path to explore.

If you are looking for nursing job opportunities, try SkillGigs. SkillGigs is an AI-based talent marketplace that helps connect employers with the right candidates.

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