PRN Healthcare provided this article.
Travel nursing is a great way to live out your passion in your nursing career as well as your lifestyle! Nursing isn’t an easy career and adding travel doesn’t always make it any easier. However, when taking the right approach, becoming a travel nurse can prove to be one of the best decisions you have ever made. Let’s dive into some ways to succeed as a travel nurse!
Do Your Research
The first step to succeeding as a travel nurse is understanding where you want to travel. Is it time for a change? Researching possible areas to work is extremely important and can only be determined by you. Some tips to choosing the right location are to pick an area you want to visit, a place where you have family or friends nearby, or a location you feel you can make the most difference. One of the best ways to get excited about a new contract is work in an area you can’t wait to go!
In addition to location, you have to research other factors such as cost of living, and potential hospitals that interest you. Cost of living may be a major factor in deciding your location. Although you may get a higher rate, it may not counteract how much you will spend on day-to-day purchases. During your research you may find a hospital that peaks your interest. Finding the right hospital may be enough to outweigh the choice of location. It’s all about what you want to get out of your travel contracts!
What Matters Most to You
Understanding what you want to get out of your career is an essential way to succeed as a travel nurse. There may even be multiple factors that play into your desired position. Do you care more about how much you make, or is location the most important factor? If you care more about income, look into the states with higher average salaries for nurses. If location is what drives you, pick places you are passionate about.
There is no wrong answer, it depends on what drives you to succeed in your career. Whether it be pay, location, or something else, knowing what you desire is a great way to succeed as a travel nurse.
So, you made your decision on what contracts you want to apply for. Now you have to look into everything that is required of those positions. Do you need to gain a license for a position in a new state? If you have to relocate for your position, do you need new temporary housing? When choosing a contract, getting the proper license before would be beneficial and save some time in the compliance and placement process.
When you get to the point of finally moving to the area where your new assignment is, you have to decide what to bring with you. Remember, most travel nursing contracts are 13 weeks. Time goes by faster than you think so it’s not necessary to take everything you own with you. The best way to decide what to pack is to research the climate of the area you’re going to work in and start with the essentials. What clothes you need, and what items are necessary to bring with you.
Prior to your first shift it’s important to research the facility you will be working at. Try to look into the culture of the workplace. Reaching out to nurses already staffed at your facility is a great start, and be prepared to learn the culture as you continue your shifts.
Flexibility is Key
Flexibility is a very important trait employers and recruiters look for when hiring a travel nurse. Although your recruiter is working on finding the best possible contract to fit your needs, this position doesn’t always exist. The willingness to accept contracts that fill most, but not all, of what you want is great way to show your recruiter you want to keep a long-term relationship. You have to remember you are filling a gap in staffing so showing some flexibility is a really great way to succeed as a travel nurse. This being said, you still have the power in the positions you take. Remember what matters most to you and be flexible in the areas you can.
Bring an Eager to Learn Attitude
As a nurse, learning is something you will never stop doing! We’re not just talking about how to do your job or how to treat patients, but also how a facility runs. As a travel nurse you will be placed in your position for shorter periods. This means you will consistently have to adapt and readjust to a new environment. For example, different facilities handle patient situations differently. If you receive feedback from a patient or family member, listen to them and stay professional. You may only be a temporary employee of the facility, but you are still representing them. The best way to handle these situations is to talk to your supervisor and ask for feedback from them before responding to the patient.
Travel nursing is an exciting career path. Taking steps of doing research, preparing for contracts, being flexible, and continuing to learn will be important in your success. Don’t shy away from reaching out with any and all questions to your recruiter and account manager. After all, we are here to make sure your contract goes as smoothly as possible!
We hope these 5 tips to help you succeed as a travel nurse help you along your way. If you have any tips to share please comment them below.