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Alabama travel nurse talks job during pandemic

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Travel nurses have a unique perspective on the nursing profession, going from hospital to hospital to serve patients and enhance staffing for just months at a time.

We spoke to an Alabama travel nurse currently working in North Carolina.

Tyler Hughes has spent the past several years travel nursing and says it’s been a wonderful, but challenging experience.

The Dothan native says he loved his home hospital, but he set his sights abroad.

Hughes said, “Just traveling, the opportunities to learn more, broaden my scope of practice in nursing and the way I look at nursing I think has been the most rewarding thing.”

He’s been all over the country. “My first assignment was St. Louis, we’ve been there, New Mexico, California, Louisiana and now we’re here in North Carolina.”

Travel nurses often make double the salary of a stationary nurse.

“You can go out west, up north, to the east coast, and make a lot more outcome than you can in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi,” he said.

Travel nurses get additional perks beyond an often larger base salary, making their income sometimes double a staff nurse.

“A lot of the pay for staff and travel nurses is the same, but what helps the travel nurse and helps us is the tax free stipend for living, and food and things,” said Hughes.

He says the experience helping people is priceless, but Alabama will continue losing nurses if base salaries remain stagnant.

Travel nurses take contracts in 13-week increments.

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