A travel nurse survival checklist.
Travel nursing may be a wonderful experience for learning about different cities, cultures, and locations, all while utilizing your talents and skills to help others, but it can be intimidating at first. The notion of uprooting yourself, and often a settled job and then venturing down an unknown path frankly feels scary. Even though travel nursing is more flexible and unique, those initial first steps outside your comfort zone can feel scary nonetheless.
Never fear, I’ve compiled this short and sweet survival checklist for your first assignment as a travel nurse. So when you’re ready to take a chance and devote your career to travel nursing, here are the first things to consider.
Put In The Research First
One of the first things I did before even reaching out to an agency was research. And not necessarily research on companies.
I mean to discover and even hit up some travel nurse influencers. There are many worth following on social media, so utilize Instagram and Facebook to your advantage! After that, join a few Facebook groups to get a feel for some of the difficulties and thrills of traveling nursing.
In my experience, nurses are pretty open in sharing current and past travel nurse experiences and assignments.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to recruiters as well. You don’t have to commit to anything in the research stage, so do not be wrangled into anything in this stage. Simply informing them that you’re doing research allows them to make time for you and answer your questions.
At least the good ones will.
It may seem confusing at first when you get started digging in and asking questions, but it’s not too tricky once you figure it out.
Organize Yourself Next
After you get your due diligence done, you may be ready to take the next step in earning an assignment and applying.
So organizing yourself to assure you fulfill the minimum requirements is not only a must but makes life easier for you.
Getting yourself squared away may include having current licensure, applicable immunizations, certifications like CPR, ACLS, PALS, etc…and any other documentation that a recruiter may need from you.
If you aren’t sure what these are, don’t worry about it. After you submit your application, your recruiter will help you with all of this together, especially related to a specific assignment, contract, or healthcare facility.
Align With The Right Nurse Recruiter
Finding a travel nursing assignment on your own for the first time may be a hair-pulling and intimidating experience.
So working with a recruiter from the start can help take the stress out of obtaining a job. More than the recruiter, also think about the travel nurse company or agency they represent as well. And look, don’t be shy; speak with three or four people different recruiters and agencies to find just the right fit.
However, be sure the one you choose is compatible with your personality, style and that you can converse with them easily. They’ll learn about you and your objectives so they can recommend the ideal assignments, benefits, and locations for the launch of your travel nursing career.
Talk About Housing Early On
Before securing any assignments, travel nurses should prioritize talking about housing or a temporary residence.
Travelers should examine multiple choices for short-term living in the location you’re interested in. Some options may include a month-to-month, short-term apartment lease, or extended stay facilities like a hotel or short-term rentals.
Don’t forget to tell them you’re a travel nurse. Many places will typically give special packages and rates to travel nurses.
Know Yourself, Your Limits, And How Flexible Your Truly Are
It’s important to share your limitations as a travel nurse and flexibility when discussing them with your recruiter. Here are some examples of what I mean.
Do you want to stay near home or go across the nation?
Are you ok with floating while on assignment?
Is housing provided, or will there be stipends?
Finding out some of these nuances in the beginning will help your recruiter locate you an ideal assignment, the best benefits, and set reasonable expectations for overall compensation, pay, and travel stipends.
Connect With Other Nurses In The Area
Making new pals as an adult might be challenging, especially if you’re spending a short period of time in a new environment.
Connect with other nurses and similar-minded medical professionals in the area on social media. Social media, especially travel nurse groups, may increase your likelihood of making friends when you get to your assignments.
Also, look for travel nurses who are on assignment through resources like Meetup groups or ask around at your hospital or agency.
The final word
Remember, you’ve chosen travel nursing to apply your expertise and love for travel while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Don’t be scared off from pursuing bold career moves because of the first-time intimidation.
Travel nursing and all the beautiful benefits around it may be just what RNs need for a great change of pace.
To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.