Travel PCU Nurse Jobs

Make a Difference as a PCU Travel Nurse

It's no surprise you have a knack for helping those around you. It's likely why you got into nursing in the first place! You’re all about listening to your patients and supporting their well being, but are you ready to listen to that inner voice telling you to travel? Travel nursing has its benefits. You get to do a job you love, feel fulfilled at each day's end, explore new cities and spaces, and of course, make some pretty great cash.

Travel nursing is a job for the kind-hearted, adventure seekers out there who live to care for others around the clock because people do not fall ill on a schedule, as much as that would make things easier.

Interested in traveling as a stepdown nurse? Browse travel PCU nurse jobs at outstanding facilities across the country and find your fit.

What is a PCU Travel Nurse?

A Progressive Care Unit (PCU) nurse, also known as a stepdown nurse, is a healthcare professional specialized in providing care for patients who are too unstable for a general med surg unit, yet do not require the level of care provided in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). These RNs are trained to care for patients who require close monitoring and a higher level of support than what is offered by general nursing staff. As a PCU stepdown unit travel nurse, you may offer care to critically ill patients who may be suffering from a range of ailments, including heart attacks, strokes, and other complex health conditions, or patients who are recovering from surgeries.

Typical Progressive Care Unit RN Responsibilities:

  • Assess, plan, coordinate, and evaluate patient care
  • Administer medications and treatments
  • Monitor vital signs and patient conditions
  • Educate patients and families on health maintenance and disease prevention
  • Utilize critical thinking skills to make sound clinical judgments
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare team to provide exceptional care for patients
  • Use evidence-based practice to deliver quality patient care
  • Recognize and respond to changes in patient conditions

Choose where you go

With opportunities for travelers all over the country, we’ve selected areas with the most popular medical traveling jobs to help you find your best fit.

Advantages & Perks for Travel Nursing Jobs

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Competitive pay
Travel nurses are the backbone of medical traveling. Pay transparency means you can see what you'll actually get paid before you even apply.
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Per diem
Travel nurses qualify for a weekly, tax-free per diem that can help you cover the cost of moving, like your transportation, meals, and other expenses.
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Level-up, nurse. Get your state licenses and travel nurse requirements reimbursed.
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Travel life
See new spaces. See new faces. Grow and learn in your nursing career as you grow and learn in various cities all over the country.

Travel Nursing Compliance & Licensure

Being a travel registered nurse is a great way to grow your experience and learn on the job. What if your dream travel assignment is asking for certifications you don’t have? Don’t sweat. You’ll get training in nursing and financial assistance for the cost of licensing and certifications!

Degrees and Certifications

Keeping up with the world of licensing and certification can be intimidating. Degrees and certifications depend on your modality and specialty but getting compliant for your home state and others you want to travel to are easier as a medical professional. Compliance experts work with your recruiter and the facility to ensure that you have all the relevant credentials required for any and all travel jobs.

Compliance Requirements

Some of your compliance requirements are the same across the board, but there are others that will depend on your specialty in nursing.

The three parts of compliance

  • Occupational health records: Required immunizations and health examinations
  • Documentation: Tax forms, insurance paperwork, and licenses
  • Testing: Certifications, online training, and workplace safety exams


Who can become a travel PCU nurse?

Following completion of an accredited nursing program and successfully passing the NCLEX, experienced progressive care unit nurses with two years of hospital-based RN experience in their field can apply for PCU travel nurse jobs. Depending on the specialty or the specific requirements of the facility, the required job experience could be longer.

What is the average annual salary of a PCU nurse?

The salary of a progressive care unit nurse can vary significantly depending on the experience of the nurse as well as the experience, certifications, facility budgets, and location they are working. The average annual salary for a registered nurse was $ 80,010 per year or $36.22 per hour in 2020 with most earning between $61,630 and $93,590 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Entry-level registered nurse jobs or those with the lowest 10% salary earned around $53,410, while the highest 10% earned more than $116,230. Typically, a PCU travel nurse job will provide higher hourly average rates and weekly pay than permanent positions in the same location, especially for progressive care units like medical-surgical units.

Where do PCU nurses work?

PCU travel nursing jobs and employment opportunities are available primarily in hospitals, providing services and treatment to critical care patients. They may also be responsible for providing critical care in other settings, such as long-term care facilities, home health care, or ambulatory care centers.

Are there any common progressive care unit nursing certifications I should consider?

Yes! As a PCU travel nurse, you may choose to pursue certifications to enhance your knowledge and professional development. The most commonly required certifications are Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC), and Basic Life Support (BLS). While not usually required for step-down nursing positions, registered nurses can pursue additional certifications such as Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse (CPEN), Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN), Certified Transport Registered Nurse (CTRN), and Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) if you want to help with cardiovascular surgery.

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