Taking a travel nursing assignment: 5 Things to Consider Before Signing

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By Gifted Healthcare

October 14, 2021



5 Things to Consider Before Taking a Travel Nursing Assignment

This article was provided by Gifted Healthcare.

Travel nursing is full of possibilities. It offers great pay rates, schedule flexibility, and the opportunity for adventure. Some travel nurses prefer to work close to home, and others like to venture far and wide. The options are endless, so it helps to know what you want out of a travel nursing assignment before committing to a particular contract.

To help you with this process, we’ve created a list of things to consider before taking a travel nursing assignment.

Read on to learn more!

What Are Your Goals and Expectations?

The first thing to ask yourself is if travel nursing is the right fit for your schedule, professional expectations, and personality. While travel nursing contracts vary widely, there are a couple of things you can expect, no matter what your assignment may be.

Travel nurses often move from contract to contract, meaning that once your 8, 13, or 26-week contract is up, it’s time for you to move on. For most travel nurses, this is an exciting proposition. It provides a variety of experiences, clinical settings, and destinations in a fast-moving industry.

In addition, travel nurses are often hired due to staffing shortages, seasonal fluctuations, or spikes in inpatient census. In this scenario, you’ll be expected to provide fill-in quickly, provide support and remain adaptable on the floor. Again, this is often a source of excitement for travel nurses. They can gain valuable clinical experience and find a sense of purpose in caring for patients in these situations.

Are You Willing To Float?

“Floating” means moving from one unit to another. Sometimes, facilities require nurses who are permanently assigned to a specific unit to float to another unit.

Because travel nurses are filling in for staff, they are often the ones required to float when there is a need for it. A travel nurse that is willing to float is seen as an important resource. Floating will provide you with invaluable experience, make you adaptable, and give you a more comprehensive understanding of your clinical environment.

Versatility is an essential quality of a great travel nurse. While gaining clinical experience, remain open to floating. Cultivating this skill will open doors to more jobs in more locations.

Finding Your Ideal Assignment Takes Determination

As you search for your next travel nursing assignment, cultivate relationships and show initiative wherever you’re working. This will improve your chances of finding useful mentors and getting great references.

Get in touch with units that interest you and schedule facility tours. Make direct connections with staff and unit managers. Connect with clinicians and facilities on social media to learn about important information and events.

Finally, be prepared for interviews. Projecting confidence and knowledge with ease is a priceless asset when searching for your dream job.

Are You Ready To Be a Team Player?

Travel nursing requires commitment and a team mindset. Before you arrive at your assignment, the staff may have been pushed to their capacity. Remain aware of this and do what you can to show that you’re there to help.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If a coworker is helpful, show gratitude. Do your best to get to know your teammates. Or, bring everyone snacks or coffee before your shift.

While some staff members will be happy for the extra help on the floor, others might take longer to warm up to you. Whether you love all your coworkers or just get along with a few of them, try to treat everyone with the same level of respect.

Travel Nursing Is a Fast-Moving Industry

In order to secure the assignment you want, be prepared to communicate and move fast. The industry moves quickly, so you may have to remain open to accepting a job quickly.

Another thing to know is that verbal acceptance is the standard of the travel nursing industry. You will always receive a contract to confirm details and provide a signature, but once you verbally accept, the facility will start to count on you. Most RNs consider this to be a worthwhile tradeoff to the many benefits of a travel nursing career!

We hope you found these tips to consider before taking a travel nursing assignment helpful. Are there any tips we missed? Comment below if you have any tips to share with fellow travel nurses.

Are you looking for your next travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our job board. Do you have an assignment but need housing? Click here to search our housing page.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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