Nursing careers can span a wide array of positions in varying environments. One particularly interesting subset is that of traveling nurses. Given the growth within the medical industry combined with increased nursing specialization, traveling nurses are more in demand than ever. But taking your career on the road is not for everyone. Along with the benefits a traveling job can offer, there are also many difficulties that must be considered. Compensation Traveling nurses earn premium compensation in return for filling vacancies and short-term staffing shortages throughout the country. In addition, relocation expenses are often covered in part, if not entirely, by the hiring institution. Cost of living is an obvious variable, depending on where you relocate to, that must also be taken into consideration. Location The demand for traveling nurses tends to follow the increasing need for medical services around the country with elderly care driving both. As you might expect, locations such as Arizona, California, Florida and many other coastal areas are highly popular retirement destinations and, accordingly, have ample supply of nursing jobs for those willing to relocate. Nursing in these areas come with the benefit of living in some of the most desirable locations in the country. And if you are looking to get away from it all nursing jobs are available in more remote locations like Alaska. Workplace Culture Traveling nurses routinely encounter varying workplace cultures as they change locations. Some are harsher than others and being the new hire provides challenges of its own. Being viewed as a bit of a hired gun, you'll undoubtedly face jealousy and insecurities, both personally and professionally. Be prepared to deal with all the usual politics in addition to the potential for pettiness. Challenging Assignments Nursing in any environment comes with its share of challenges. Traveling nurses face an increased level of difficult tasks as they tend to draw the toughest assignments in the same way any new employee would. Expect to confront the most challenging regimen on a regular basis. High expectations Increased expectations are tied closely to the compensation traveling nurses receive. Coworkers and supervisors will be aware of your enhanced earnings and expect more of you as a result. Confidence is key as you'll be expected to adapt quickly, work independently and perform at top levels with the utmost professionalism. Professional Opportunities Opportunities abound for anyone interested in a nursing career tied to travel. Two main factors stand out. First, you will have the opportunity to work in virtually any type of environment you wish. Teaching hospitals, specialized practices and any number of other possibilities are possible as you choose your next location to expand your resume. Additionally, networking opportunities are plentiful. Every supervisor and colleague you work with in your various stops is a potential referral or reference for that dream job you're building up to. Skill Development One distinct advantage for traveling nurses is the opportunity to develop their existing skills and learn new ones while visit numerous locations. Hospitals and other medical facilities are always looking to master new technologies and practices and you will have a chance to learn those during your time in those nursing jobs. Life on the Road While traveling nurses may not be considered road warriors they do spend a limited time in each position, averaging around 13 weeks in each nursing job prior to moving on. The nature of the job limits, to an extent, the personal growth you can enjoy as getting settled in isn't exactly an option. You'll visit a lot of exciting places but won't get much time to take them in. But there are options available for traveling nurses that don't find the notion of bouncing around the globe appealing. Taking numerous nursing positions in the same region, like Southern California, gains you the benefits of a traveling nursing career while allowing for a more normal personal life. A traveling nurse career offers many opportunities not found in traditional nursing jobs. It is, however, important to understand what life as a traveling nurse will be like prior to jumping in with both feet. While the benefits are plentiful and very appealing the challenges can be equally difficult.