Discover the benefits of becoming an SNF Travel Nurse


Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are one of the most crucial settings in delivering care to patients who require assistance with daily activities, rehabilitation, and nursing care. SNFs typically are classified based on their level of care, with post-acute facilities providing rehabilitation and recovery care to patients after hospitalization. In these facilities, SNF travel nurses play a vital role in providing care to patients in various locations across the US. This article will explore the role of SNF travel nurses, the skills required, career opportunities, and challenges associated with working in this field.

Role of SNF Travel Nurses

SNF Travel Nurses provide temporary nursing services to SNFs across the country, filling in for regular staff in the event of a vacancy, leave of absence or sudden surge in patient volume. The primary responsibility of SNF Travel Nurses is to deliver high-quality care to patients in various settings. They typically work as part of a multi-disciplinary team, including physicians, therapists, and nursing assistants. Specific roles of SNF travel nurses include:

1. Patient Care – SNF Travel Nurses manage patient care, ensuring they receive optimal treatment and support to achieve their goals. This includes conducting assessments, administering medications, monitoring vital signs, and providing wound care.

2. Documentation – Accurate and complete documentation is vital to the patient’s care process. SNF Travel Nurses must maintain up-to-date and accurate patient records, ensuring they are familiar with the patient’s medical history, treatment goals, and progress.

3. Collaborate with the Care Team – SNF Travel Nurses work with physicians, therapists, and other team members to create and maintain a care plan for each patient. It is essential to communicate and collaborate effectively with the care team to ensure optimal patient outcomes.

4. Patient Education – Patient education is essential to encourage compliance and prevent repeat hospitalizations. SNF Travel Nurses provide education on disease management, post-surgical care, and the use of assistive devices.

Skills Required

SNF Travel Nursing requires a unique set of skills that match the requirements of SNF facilities. An SNF Travel Nurse must have a combination of clinical knowledge, communication skills, and emotional intelligence to provide care that is beyond the ordinary.

1. Clinical Knowledge

SNF Travel Nurses require clinical knowledge beyond the basic nursing education. They must have specialized experience in geriatric care, which includes proper medication administration, wound care, and fall prevention.

2. Communication Skills

SNF Travel Nurses must have excellent communication skills to promote cooperation and collaboration with the care team, patients, and their families. They must have the ability to explain complex medical situations in layman’s terms to enhance care plan adherence and treatment success.

3. Emotional Intelligence

SNF Travel Nurses must possess a high degree of emotional intelligence when working in multifaceted and potentially high-stress work environments. They must be empathetic, understanding, and flexible when caring for patients, especially when addressing their mental and emotional needs.

Career Opportunities

SNF Travel Nursing jobs are becoming increasingly popular, given the skilled nursing facility personnel shortage and the rise in aging populations. Career opportunities are wide-ranging, and traveling nurses typically receive higher hourly pay rates than regularly employed nurses.

1. Short-term Contract Assignments

Short-term contract assignments require the travel nurse to work in a specific SNF facility for a pre-determined time. The contract period can range from four to fifty-two weeks. SNF facilities utilize travel nurses to fill in gaps in staffing, covering positions during vacations, maternity leave, and seasonal fluctuations.

2. Per Diem Assignments

Per Diem assignments are suitable for nurses who prefer to work on an as-needed basis. Travel nurses working on a per diem basis can choose how much they want to work and when. They can accept or reject facility work according to their schedules, making per diem assignments a popular option for nurses seeking flexibility in their work-life balance.

3. Staffing Agencies

SNF Travel Nurses can seek employment through travel nurse staffing agencies. Staffing agencies act as intermediaries between facilities and travel nurses. They provide nurses with short and long-term job opportunities, including healthcare benefits and travel expenses.

Challenges of SNF Travel Nursing

Travel nursing can be challenging, and SNF travel nursing is no exception. The following are some of the challenges that SNF Travel Nurses can face:

1. Adapting to New Environments

Travel nurses work in unfamiliar environments and may need time to acclimate to new equipment, policies, and practices. They must be able to learn quickly and transition into different care settings easily.

2. Building Rapport with Patients

Building rapport with patients takes time and demands emotional intelligence. SNF Travel Nurses must establish trust quickly and develop trusting relationships with patients while dealing with mental and physical challenges.

3. Balancing Work-Life With Travel

SNF Travel Nurses must deal with frequent travel, which can impact their work-life balance. They must manage to maintain relationships and routine commitments while living out of suitcases and working in different time zones.

4. Possible Isolation

Traveling away from family, friends, and community can be isolating, leading to homesickness, anxiety, and depression. SNF Travel Nurses must maintain healthy mental health to remain effective and cope with the challenges of travel nursing.


Skilled nursing facilities are a vital component of the healthcare system, catering to the needs of the elderly, chronically ill, and rehabilitating patients. SNF Travel Nursing plays a vital role in staffing these facilities in times of personnel shortages, vacations, and seasonal fluctuations. SNF Travel Nurses must have clinical knowledge, interpersonal skills, and emotional intelligence to succeed in their roles. Travel nursing is challenging, but SNF travel nursing offers multiple career opportunities, suitable for nurses seeking flexibility and higher-paying positions. The healthcare industry is in high demand for travel nurses, making SNF Travel Nursing an excellent choice for nurses seeking personal and professional growth opportunities.