A friend asked me today “How does one become a travel nurse?” I have given it some consideration and come to the following step-by-step instructions:
- Divorce your husband. If you choose not to divorce him, realize that he will probably divorce you before your finished with Nursing School.
- Give custody of your children to your parents or another responsible adult. If you think you’ll have time for Nursing School and KIDS….think again.
- Acclimate yourself to sleeping only 2-4 hours a day. Between the reading assignments, the studying for exams, clinical, and two to three part-time jobs…this is all the sleep you’re going to get. If you did not follow steps 1 and 2 then plan on 1-3 hours of sleep.
- Take a seminar on self-esteem. If anything can break a persons self-esteem its nursing instructors.
- Prepare for failure.
- Get two SOLID years of experience in your specialty before you even consider travel nursing. Your going to be thrown to the wolves when you arrive in a new hospital because “your making the big bucks” so everyone thinks you should work harder to “earn your pay”.
- Work as a car salesman for at least a year to get your haggling/negotiating skills in check; you’re going to need them when dealing with all the recruiters and different companies out there.
- Buy a good pair of shoes. This isn’t just for Travel Nurses, but nurses everywhere.
- Gather a good amount of emergency cash in your savings account. There WILL be issues with pay or banking or cancelled contracts.
- Go with an open mind and an adventurous spirit and enjoy your surroundings.
- Put your fears aside and take the leap.
- When things get hard, remember: IT’s only 13 Weeks!!
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