Travel Nursing Career: Now Is the Time to Prepare

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By TNAA Healthcare

November 21, 2022

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Want to Start 2023 as a Travel Nurse? Now Is the Time to Prepare

TNAA Healthcare provided this article.

2023 is weeks away, and a new year brings new opportunities. Many nurses use the fresh start of a new year as the perfect time to leap into a travel nursing career. If you’re considering starting 2023 as a travel nurse, the time to prepare is, well, now.

Before taking your first assignment, you’ll need to:

1.   Find a Stand-out Travel Nurse Agency & Recruiter

There are hundreds of agencies and thousands of recruiters. What’s the best way to narrow down this pool of possibilities? Look for what makes an agency or recruiter stand out from the crowd.

Pick a Travel Nurse Agency

A quick way to make a top-five list is to consult reputable review sites, such as The Gypsy Nurse, to see which agencies travelers voted as the best of the best. Narrow that down to the agencies that have certification by The Joint Commission, which requires agencies to undergo an extensive evaluation process every few years and demonstrate the ability to offer high-quality and competent nursing services.

With that list, it’s time to explore each agency’s benefits, support, and perks. You’ll want an agency that steps forward to support you on the road with traveler-focused benefits, like day-one insurance and paid sick leave, mental wellness resources that meet you wherever you are, and a 401(k) plan to invest in your future.

Additionally, you’ll want to be able to rely on an agency’s well-structured, experienced support teams. Look for agencies with a QA team that ensures you’re meeting all compliance requirements, a housing team helping you find the best accommodations within your budget, and a clinical support team available to coach you when you need it.

Last but not least, you’ll want the agency you work with to have various travel nurse jobs available so it’s easier for you to get your first assignment to start your travel nursing career.

Pick a Travel Nurse Recruiter

Once your top few agencies are sorted out, you’ll want to connect with a great recruiter. Use social media networks, like The Gypsy Nurse’s Facebook group, to ask other experienced travelers which recruiters they recommend. Your recruiter should know what the agency offers and the current state of the travel nurse market, listen to your career goals and put you on a path to reaching them. You should feel like a priority to your recruiter, not just another traveler on their list.

2.   Prep Your Travel Nurse File & Submit Your Application

Your recruiter is responsible for submitting your travel nurse profile to a job; you’ll work with them to get it prepped. Your travel nurse profile will consist of your resume, licenses & certifications, immunizations & titer records, references, and more. If you need to update specific certifications or obtain another state’s license, now is the time to get it done!

Meanwhile, your recruiter is hunting for a few contracts that match your requirements – whether you want to work specific shifts, go for a particular pay, or try for a certain state.

When you and your recruiter have found a few that meet your needs, and your profile is ready, it’s time to apply! You’ll begin applying to open jobs about three to four weeks before the start of the assignment. (Tip: One essential thing to consider before applying for any job is the housing market in the area. You don’t want to accept a job only to discover that you can’t find reasonable housing nearby.)

3.   Interview and Land a Job

Once your application is submitted, this next step could move quickly. It takes approximately 72 hours to hear from hospitals about profile submissions. Suppose a hospital wants you for an assignment. You could have a phone interview with a nurse manager, a voice-automated interview, or an auto-offer without a formal interview. Once you agree to a contract, you can put in a two-week notice at your staff job.

4.   Compliance and Housing

Congrats, you’ve secured your first travel nurse job! Now, you’ll have to think about assignment compliance and housing. If your agency has a QA department, they’ll contact you to ensure you get all assignment compliance items out of the way. Your agency might even be able to set up any appointments you need and pay for it all. At the same time, you’ll want to find accommodations near your assignment. If your agency has a housing department, they can relieve stress by finding a safe, affordable place for you to stay.

5.   Now, The Fun Begins

You’re officially ready to take off for your first assignment! The good news is a lot of the hard part is over. You’ve picked a great agency, established a relationship with a recruiter who is getting to know you and your lifestyle needs, and you’ve got everything together for your travel nurse profile. With all this work behind you and one assignment on your resume, it will likely be much easier to apply for your next travel nurse position or to start your travel nursing career!

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

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

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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