Nursing Goals 101: A Travel Nurse's Guide to Success - The Gypsy Nurse

By Healthtrust Workforce Solutions

May 17, 2019

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Nursing Goals 101: A Travel Nurse’s Guide to Success

This article provided by: HealthTrust Workforce Solutions

nursing goals
Photo by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash

So you have embarked on the fascinating life of a travel nurse—how fantastic!

It’s an exciting way to see the country, even the world. As the captain of your career, navigating the path can no doubt feel a bit curvy and indirect at times. When moving from city to city, state to state, assignment to assignment, it’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of day-to-day living and exploring new places that you might even forget where you were originally headed. With so much change and activity it can be challenging to keep focused on nursing goals that will help ensure your continued success. It’s important for travel nurses to take the initiative and create a plan that helps them stay competitive in the marketplace so they can keep landing those dream jobs.

Here’s the good news: Travel nursing goals can come in any size. You can set your goals to include very simple, practical and necessary milestones, as well as those that have you reaching for the stars.

Here are 10 ideas for setting Nursing Goals that can help keep your career on track:

Develop new skills

Travel nurses are certainly encouraged to advance their skills in the medical field whenever possible to not only improve patient care, but to further their career. However, you may also consider focusing on a less traditional area like leadership development. Good leadership skills can be a great differentiator for you in the workplace, including the ability to motivate and organize team members.

Work at top hospitals

Don’t be afraid to seek out the best institutions and look for assignments. Facilities with impressive reputations get there by having solid staff members, attractive patient outcomes, and the most advanced equipment to service both staff and patients. 

Save for retirement

Check to see if your package includes an option for a retirement savings plan. Either way, you should sharpen your pencil and sit with you calculator to determine how you can put at least a small amount away on a regular basis. You will be surprised how fast it grows.

Join a national organization

National nursing organizations not only enhance your resume, but they can expand your network and help keep you up-to-date on news and development. As part of a collective group, they also give nurses a louder, more unified voice on important topics.

Focus on personal development

It’s important to remember that not every minute of your day should be about work. While it’s admirable to be concerned about your patients, you need to ensure you have other avenues for personal enrichment. Don’t lose sight of your interests, hobbies, or newer areas that you’d like to learn about. Take time for you and the benefits will surely spill over to your professional performance.

Live a healthy lifestyle

Keeping long hours in a stressful job and dealing with a lot of change as you transition assignments can take its toll on your well-being. Be sure you get enough rest, eat a healthy diet, and care for your body both physically and mentally. This may be a simple as getting a massage, taking yoga, or meditating each day for a few minutes at home.

Target your favorite places

As a travel nurse, you have the flexibility to work almost anywhere you choose. While it’s also necessary to go where the work is, take a minute to make a plan for the places you’d most like to live and work. Keep it visible and look for every opportunity to start checking off those destinations.

Become a mentor

Forget the myth that suggests you need 10+ years experience to be a good mentor. A mentor can be anyone at any stage of his or her career that has knowledge to share above and beyond the mentee. If you are particularly savvy in one area, consider sharing those skills with someone willing to learn.

Polish your organizational skills

Keeping track of your schedule can pose a cumbersome task for many. Try some of the new apps to pull it all together; many do a great job of blending personal and professional appointments. This is also a key area for licenses and certifications to ensure renewals and applications are filed on time.

Increase your network

It’s always nice to be surrounded by people who are supportive of your career—whether they do similar work or not. Your network should be a good balance of professional colleagues and personal friends who you can look to for guidance. With the availability of social media, networking online can be a convenient way to bring more people into your circle.

One of the best ways to stay on track toward any goal is to share your ambition with others. The more people you tell about your nursing goals, the better chance they will help keep you accountable for staying the course. Family can play an important role here to provide encouragement and unconditional support. Another great tip is to find a friend who is looking to achieve similar results and partner together for some of your efforts. This could include taking a class together, setting regular study time, even enrolling in a yoga class.

Anything that is important to you professionally or personally can be a legitimate goal. To keep your nursing career moving in the right direction, consider adding a few items from our top 10 list to your goal sheet and get started!

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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