Just the other day, I heard someone from a major travel nurse company talk about the “COVID nursing bubble,” and it got me thinking.
Is there really a COVID nursing bubble?
Or will this be the way things are for the foreseeable and distant future?
While it’s hard to make a determination, the truth is that nursing, and travel nursing, as we know it, has changed for good. I’ll talk about that in another article, but for now, I want to talk about what and how we travel nurses can prepare ourselves for when things get back to “normal.”
The greatest thing we can do now is to be ready for the inevitable “return to normality.” Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time travel nurse, here’s what I recommend:
Flexibility is everything
Open yourself up to assignments and contracts that are not the right setting for you, where you’d want to be geographically, or don’t match your pay demands.
In other words, be super flexible.
You can use these experiences to your benefit later on when things get back to more normal. Plus, that flexibility in where you go and take a contract makes you a more likable candidate not only in these crisis times but especially later on.
Finally, you’ll also learn more about the travel nurse industry this way.
Have a “Plan B”
During this time, an emergency fund would be beneficial.
If you don’t have one, consider establishing a side business such as teaching English online, writing, telehealth, becoming a virtual assistant, walking dogs, going permanent staff for a while, and so on. Anything that will cover your living expenses is fine.
But more to the point, plan to save 6 months’ worth of living expenses in case the time comes when you decide to take a break from travel nursing.
Network, network, and network some more.
Never underestimate the power of networking. It’s been my experience that even those who have been in this industry for 10+ years still need a little nudge every now and then to find work and get that “Plan B” in motion.
Don’t limit yourself to just one travel nurse company
I realize this may make some nurses feel like they’re “cheating” on their favorite agency or recruiter, but in reality, diversifying your options is simply a smart move.
In much the same way nurses become proficient in different areas and specialties, the same concept applies to your travel nurse connections.
Some travel nurse companies may have a geographic specialty or placement “sweet spot,” so spread your wings and your choices because, in the end, it’s about you and your career.
Allow your favorite recruiter to submit your profile ASAP
Because the job market is so competitive these days, it’s critical to get your resume in front of a hiring agent as soon as possible. However, limit this power to just one recruiter to avoid double submissions, which can be a huge no-no and negatively impact you and the agency.
In fact, double submissions can get even the best nurses and recruiters blackballed.
You need to crush your interview
In some of the hot jobs or assignments that need fast fills, often the nurse manager will call you before your recruiter even knows, so be prepared! In other words, don’t sit back and wait for the perfect interview time and set-up, be ready for a call at any given moment, and rock that interview.
Be sure to ask relevant questions, be ready to answer questions from the manager or facility, and step into your new assignment with confidence.
The final word
Travel nursing is changing for good.
We can be prepared by being flexible with our jobs, having a backup plan in place, working with multiple recruiters, and preparing ourselves to nail the interview process.
To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.