This article provided by: Travel Nurse Across America
As summer winds down, it’s time to start looking ahead for that next travel nurse assignment. While it’s hard to imagine where to spend the colder months of late fall during the heat of summer, you know that travel nurses have to plan. Travel nurse jobs open and close around the country for a variety of reasons, yet there is still a certain amount of predictability to several areas.
Winter Travel Assignment Needs Are Here
Many areas are very seasonal, like snowbirds, for example. Areas like Arizona and Florida become the destination for a large population, meaning there is a need for nurses. Meanwhile, the colder regions of the country — like Washington state, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, etc. — tend to have the most needs. Flu season is also a significant factor in winter needs. Using data from previous years, facilities estimate their needs for the upcoming flu season. Due to these estimates, recruiters will start to see jobs opening up that will take travel nurses through the end of the year.
When considering winter assignments, your schedule is likely the big question looming: will I have to work the holiday? It’s pretty standard to expect to work two or three major holidays, and that time off may not be granted. Think about your holiday preference before interviewing. Remember, you’re there to fill a need, so think about what you would be willing to work. Be sure to discuss holiday expectations with the manager when you interview. It’s also essential to discuss holiday pay, so there are no surprises on your paycheck.
Licensure and Certifications
Another piece of recruiter advice? Work with an agency that will help you with your licensures. While the eNLC opens up several states to travel nurses, there are still some states that don’t participate. Some agencies will not only assist you with the paperwork to receive temporary and permanent licensure, but they will also cover the costs. Look for an agency that will expedite the process. Think of those states with longer wait times, like Washington state. Ask your agency if they have a program to help you work in states with high winter travel assignment needs.
Beating the January Rush
Many travel nurses take off during the holidays, after all, being away from family throughout the year can be challenging enough. This means there is typically a massive influx of nurses looking to start in January. Want an inside tip? Extend your winter travel assignment to beat the January rush! After around three to four weeks on assignment, begin to evaluate whether or not you would like to extend. This will give you the opportunity to get acclimated to the weather, your facility, and your unit before welcoming new travelers. For more on extending assignments, read this article.