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Most Travel Nurses Find Satisfaction With Their Jobs

Analysis  |  By Carol Davis  
   July 25, 2023

Money, freedom, and flexibility rank high in their motivation for traveling.

Traveling, with its freedom, flexibility, and sense of adventure, can help nurses find satisfaction with their job and avoid burnout, a new survey reveals.

More than three-fourths (76%) of travel nurses surveyed June 21-29, 2023, for Nomad Health’s Job Satisfaction Index report being satisfied with their most recent travel job, compared to only half (51%) who report being satisfied with their last staff position.

Traveling helps nurses avoid the elements that contribute to burnout, such as long shifts, challenging patient-to-staff ratios, and hospital politics, according to Nomad Health, a digital marketplace for healthcare staffing.

Instead, nurses who repeatedly seek travel positions are motivated by:

  • Money, earning enough to meet financial goals: 76% 
  • Freedom and flexibility: 67% 
  • Sense of adventure: 32% 
  • Work-life balance: 32% 
  • Ability to focus on patient, not the politics: 26% 

With the freedom and flexibility afforded by traveling, 41% of nurses surveyed stated they would never go back to a staff position. Others, however, choose to return to staff positions because they crave stability or have family responsibilities.

When Nomad Health queried travel nurses on travel assignment factors, pay rate was the top factor (26%), followed by location (20%), shift structure (11%), facility (11%), and contract length (10%).

Texas led the list for top states for travel nurse jobs, with 7% of jobs, according to a Nomad Health survey conducted earlier this year.

That, most likely, is because Texas is a large, rapidly growing state, but it also is a "compact state," which allows travel nurses to obtain a multi-state license, speeding up the credentialing and employment process for travel nurses.

Nomad’s previous survey also looked at where travel nurses most wanted to work, based on states that they searched most.

California and Florida were the most popular, both with 6% of queries, followed by Texas with 5%; New York, North Carolina, and Georgia each received 4%; and Arizona, Colorado, Virginia, and Massachusetts each received 3%.

When it came to ranking facility assignment factors, flexible scheduling ranked first (14%), followed by support staff ratio (13%), and facility reputation (9%), according to Nomad.

Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.


76% of travel nurses surveyed were satisfied with their most recent job.

Nurses who repeatedly seek travel positions are primarily motivated by money.

Freedom and flexibility place a close second in travel nurses' motivation. 

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