TNAA Healthcare provided this article.
The travel nurse industry is booming as pandemic burnout has pushed RNs to look for ways to enhance their careers and lives. Nursing school students have aspirations of traveling, no longer envisioning their career spent in one spot. Staff nurses have learned traveling is viable for many lifestyles and situations, and hospitals are advised to better fit travelers in their units, treating them as partners instead of seeing them as temporary staff.
How can you set yourself up for a successful travel nurse career if you’re interested in traveling? It comes down to three things: your agency, your recruiter, and you.
How Travel Nurse Agencies Can Help You Navigate the Industry
Some travel nurse agencies have been overwhelmed with the amount of nurses wanting to travel and don’t have the resources available to keep up with the growth. That’s one reason why you’ll want to be picky about the agency you partner with on your travel nurse journey.
Picking a Travel Nurse Agency With Industry Knowledge
There are dozens of travel nurse agencies out there, but you want an agency and recruiter that can serve as your trusted advisors to help you navigate the growing and changing industry. Your agency should have high credibility in the industry, and your recruiter should be highly knowledgeable about the healthcare facility you are interested in and the facility’s requirements.
Picking a Travel Nurse Agency That Values Relationships
Along with industry knowledge, you’ll want an agency and recruiter that focus on building their relationship with you. That starts with having a recruiter who is available to talk to you instead of leaving you abandoned with your questions. Your recruiter should listen to your personal and career goals, ask important questions to understand your goals better, and seek out the assignments that align with those goals. Your recruiter should also be transparent and honest about situations in the industry or at a certain facility. They should always be looking out for your best interests.
Picking a Travel Nurse Agency With Benefits That Matter
This one is really important. Not all agencies offer the same level of benefits and support that you had while you were a staff nurse or that you want when adapting to your new life as a traveler. We’re talking housing assistance, licensing assistance, mental health resources, insurance options, and more. Take the agencies you are interested in working with and research their benefits. Make sure they have the benefits that you want to fall back on when you take your life on the road.
How to Set Yourself Apart and Have the Best Travel Experience
If you’re a new travel nurse or even a seasoned traveler among the influx, here’s how you can set yourself apart from the crowd.
Engage With a Facility’s Core Staff
You may be at one hospital for a limited time, but you can still leave a lasting impression. Don’t settle for just being ‘the traveler’ on your unit – make yourself known to the director. Let them know you are here to be a partner in promoting excellent patient care and best practices. While getting to know people, find your core staff buddy and invite them out or over for dinner. It will make the travel life a little less lonely for you and give you friends across the nation.
Be the Best Guest
Be the best guest on the unit. You are there to fill a hospital’s needs. That doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be disrespected, but it means you might be tasked with doing the less-than-glamorous duties from time to time. Being willing to help in this manner is actually to your benefit. In the event of a low census, you will have proven your worth and desire to be a teammate on the unit, meaning you’ll likely be the traveler they want to keep.
Know When and How to Share your Expertise
You’ve learned several techniques while supporting facilities across the nation. It makes sense that you would want to share your expertise, but do so tactfully. Avoid telling a staff nurse how they could do their job better. Instead, write a letter to the nurse manager or director about what you saw that worked best for you in a previous assignment. As you share your expertise, remember always to be willing to learn and try new techniques yourself.
Before the pandemic, travel nurses were hired when staff nurses took leave during busy seasons and to fill gaps as hospital managers worked to build their core staff. Now, it seems like a chapter as a travel nurse is almost expected in your career as an RN. So, if you see travel fitting in your life, follow these tips to give yourself a successful career as a travel nurse.
Are you looking for your next travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our job board. Do you need housing for an upcoming assignment? Click here to search our housing page.