Travel nursing can be fun. You explore new places, meet new people and gain much-needed work and travel experience.
Though it all sounds adventurous to think about travelling the world along with getting a travel nurse salary, it can be extremely hectic for some people to commute for hours and sometimes get straight to work.
Therefore, before starting as a professional travel nurse, we recommend going through five essential points.
So, let’s take a look:
Talk to experienced nurses
Before taking up your first travel nursing assignment, it would be best to talk to industry veterans.
You can reach out to travel nurses who have been through the thick and thin of the nursing game. They can give you an inside scoop on how things work and what you can do to make life easier and more fun. They may even be able to recommend a high-quality travel nursing company, which helps you reduce the amount of research you will need to do.
If you do not have any nurses around, you can always hop on social media and connect with travel nurses. If possible, try to coordinate a meeting with a few of them so that you can take notes on how to deal with the unknown hospital staff and diverse patients.
Keep your options open
Search for better prospects that allow you to garner various experiences in a limited time. Since you are a beginner, the quality of experience you get comes first. Therefore, while searching for nursing agencies, avoid working for pushy recruiters who want you to become a workhorse from day one.
Moreover, it would be wise not to burn the bridges that lead you to your former job, even if you are 100% committed to becoming a travel nurse. After several months of experience, you may want to return to your favourite office desk and continue working as a full-time nurse in a hospital. You never know.
Assess your versatility
Travel nurses, in general, are very versatile. They can adapt to unfamiliar workplaces quickly. Therefore, you need to cross-check your versatility too.
Ask questions like:
- How easily do I become familiar with different spots in the hospital?
- How do I gel with my coworkers?
- How easily do I get agitated when a patient’s room is not near me?
- How comfortable am I in handling various patients from different backgrounds?
- How do I respond during emergencies?
Answers to all these questions will directly impact your life as a travel nurse. So, do answer them honestly.
Diversify your areas of expertise
If you want to climb up the ladder quickly, you need some nursing expertise. You can choose your area of specialisation and gain a certificate.
It will help you stand apart from other applicants when you apply for a job that demands a particular specialisation.
The more versatile you are, the better assignments and locations you get to serve.
Keep your savings handy
Though most nursing agencies reimburse your accommodation, you still need to have some actual savings done before entering the nursing industry.
Since you will be required to travel quite often, you may prefer more convenient accommodations than the house arrangements provided by the nursing agency.
Speaking of nursing agencies, do read the nursing contracts carefully before signing. Ask them about what facilities they guarantee to the nurses.
There is no doubt that travel nurses enjoy the luxury of travelling to different parts of the world. However, sometimes it can take a toll on nurses.
Therefore, one must ask themselves whether one will be able to bear the stress of travelling and working simultaneously or not. If the answer is yes, the doors to the life of a travel nurse are open for you.
Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.