Travel nursing is an exciting opportunity to explore new places, meet new people, and gain valuable clinical experience that you won’t get working as a nursing assistant. While this profession can be very fulfilling, newcomers should be mindful of a few factors when transitioning from nursing staff positions into travel nurse work – use these helpful suggestions as guides when making this switch! My Private Health Insurance has been operating since 2016 and pride themselves in offering travel nurse health insurance service in the insurance industry, while still providing personalized attention and an enjoyable one-on-one experience for their members.
Keep Your Salary to Yourself
One of the primary advantages of travel nursing is its high earnings potential. On average, registered staff nurses make $37.24 an hour, or an annual average of $77,600. Travel nurses possess similar education and qualifications and perform tasks similar to registered staff nurses; however, they typically earn six-figure wages in most travel nursing positions.
As soon as your first paychecks arrive, it can be exciting for most people. But not everyone may share your enthusiasm – staff nurses may resent travel nurses’ higher earnings for doing comparable work, while discussing it might not lead to many new acquaintances and could create tension at work. Resentment at work can cause stress for everyone involved.
Strong Work Connections Improve Growth
Travel nurses enjoy working in various environments, offering unprecedented professional and personal development opportunities. Networking is key in order to gain maximum benefit from your work while being part of an energizing community wherever your travels may lead. Even though you might only stay for short amounts of time in any particular locale, making new friends is always possible and expanding your professional circle will always prove worthwhile.
Although joining an organization can be daunting for anyone new, most are more than willing to assist newcomers in understanding how best to navigate it. Instead of focusing solely on yourself, consider your work colleagues as well as this job as an opportunity to expand both professional and social networks. Make an effort to form temporary bonds with those around you as being positive team player will go far towards building lasting bonds between colleagues.
Loneliness Will Happen
Although traveling nursing offers many advantages, its challenges also include feeling alone at times. Acclimatizing to new places as well as activities and dining out alone may take some getting used to; occasional loneliness is inevitable but there are steps you can take to increase social connections beyond work such as yoga classes or community events, or planning online visits with family and friends to prevent loneliness from taking its course.
Participating in extracurricular activities outside of work can be rewarding and is certainly beneficial to relationships with colleagues. If you come across flyers for hospital-sponsored events, take part when possible and don’t be reluctant to accept invitations to join colleagues after work for social gatherings – invite a friend along too!
Most Travelers Don’t Pack Appropriately
Dependent upon how often you travel, chances are something may become lost in your luggage. For small items like socks or toothbrushes that you’ve forgotten at home, local stores should have what’s required. But if something more complex such as your computer cord or documents like driver’s license are lost it may be more challenging finding replacements or having someone from home deliver it back.
Transporting too much can add unnecessary stress to your journeys. Carrying less will mean less to contend with at hotels, airports and temporary nurse homes.
You Need Receipts for Reimbursement
Travel can be expensive when traveling by train, car, or plane; so it is good to know that reimbursement may be possible for part or all of your costs. In order to receive reimbursements you may need to show proof that payments were made for this trip and negotiate reimbursement agreements; most importantly keep meticulous records of every expense paid out.
Save receipts related to gas trains, plane tickets, baggage charges and personal vehicle mileage fees as well as incidentals such as meals and short-term accommodations on the road to increase your chances of being reimbursed for your travel costs.
Never Burn Bridges
Your Contract Is Nearing Completion Just because your nursing contract may soon expire doesn’t mean that you should stop building relationships and making friends – there’s no telling when travel companies might become permanent hires; therefore it is essential that any damage from temporary work doesn’t lead to permanent hire status or vice versa.
Keep the door open for opportunities to build relationships after concluding your employment contract term has ended. Inform coworkers two weeks in advance, and schedule an appointment with your manager or supervisor and express how much you enjoyed working at their office.
Nurture Relationships Back Home
As traveling nurses, keeping in contact with family and friends back home can be challenging when traveling through different time zones or working night shifts. Utilize internet calls or video chats as well as video calls with them in order to stay engaged with their daily lives – sending postcards or souvenirs can build anticipation for your return home!
Are You Ready to Try Travel Nursing?
Travel nursing can be an exciting adventure that gives you a taste of new destinations while simultaneously building invaluable clinical experience. Being informed on what to expect during the early stages will make adjusting to this new profession less daunting and help make the transition smoother and less stressful overall.
Useful Travel Nursing Tips
Learn about travel nursing and what it involves.
Travel nursing offers many opportunities. One effective strategy for new nurse-travelers is to gain as much information about travel nursing as possible; you could experience different locations every couple of months while expanding your expertise with various specialties while meeting new people along the way. But traveling nursing may not be suitable for everyone.
Determine your availability to work as a travel nurse.
Nursing travel gives you the flexibility of selecting your ideal work date and time of year, from spring break up through Christmas. Decide whether you prefer an interlude of rest between contracts, or jumping straight in and doing multiple gigs in quick succession? Make your recruiters aware of this preference so you don’t get assigned something outside your desired timeframe.
Consider Working as a Float Nurse at Your Current Nursing Job.
Travel nurses need to be capable of adapting quickly to different medical or health settings, performing their duties with efficiency. A great way to prepare yourself for these varied assignments is becoming an auxiliary nurse at your current place of employment.
Update your resume.
Nurses need to update their resumes periodically with any new experience, certification or changes that arise in their careers. When applying for their first travel nursing job as a travel nurse it is imperative that all pertinent experience, education certificates and references be included on their resume – this ensures you will find work more easily in future contracts! The more travel nursing experience one gains the easier it will be to secure future opportunities.
Create a medical records portfolio and keep it up to date.
Travel nursing agencies and organizations that utilize them have specific requirements for medical documents and clearances that must be presented prior to starting any assignment. To save both time and anxiety, be sure to maintain up-to-date vaccinations as well as providing evidence of your physical ability that demonstrates that this job meets its physical requirements.
Gather necessary documents.
Travel nurses need quick access to all necessary documents in order to create a comprehensive portfolio. In order to do so, it’s vital that they include: an up-to-date resume, contact numbers of references’ contact numbers and immunization records as well as copies of BLS/ACLS certification, copies of annual physical forms and driver’s licence applications and social security cards or passports as well as official I9 forms from agencies they apply with; in addition to this list many travel nurse agencies require nurses fill out Skills Checklist forms from employers; once completed obtain the original from them and ensure its presence with recruiters if possible – make sure the recruiter possesses this original!
Get excellent letters of professional reference.
Your resume must include both professional and personal references. In addition, consider getting at least three or five letters of recommendation from professional sources as this can offer more details than what a resume can. Request letters from your former managers, charge nurses and college instructors; letters should highlight your chances of succeeding as an experienced travel nurse by detailing interprofessional communication abilities, adaptability to work assignments and your attitude toward work assignments.
Don’t burn bridges.
Travel nursing offers many great professional and personal development opportunities, while you explore new locations and cultures around the globe. However, it’s essential that you plan for your career’s future, since there may come a time when you would like to return to a previous position or temporarily halt your travels – transitioning will be much smoother if all former employers remain friendly ties between yourself and them!
Choose the type of transportation you want to use.
No matter the mode of transport you use for travel nurse work – be it plane, train, bus or own car and drive – reimbursement should cover most or all of your costs. When planning to fly, however, renting a car might be better as an alternative way of reaching work once at your destination city; with 13 week contracts usually lasting longer. When making this decision it is also wise to consider costs related to taking one vehicle over renting one and how much reimbursement will come back your way.
Do your research.
Travel nursing opportunities abound, and numerous people can help prepare you for your first assignment. But before signing any agreement, conducting independent research of your own is highly advised – consider which geographic area or facility would suit you best as you consider all possible travel nursing positions available to you.
Consider getting a recruiter or agency representative.
Travel nurses needing jobs can turn to recruiters to find work. Travel nurse recruiters provide them with training, advice and task matches based on expertise and experience. Furthermore, they often know which housing options would be the most appropriate and can assist in finding suitable accommodations if required.
Be honest with recruiters and potential employers.
If you truly desire an opportunity, you might feel inclined to embellish your resume or list of skills and experience in order to enhance it. Don’t! Nurses don’t possess all of the details about every disease or treatment scenario imaginable; be truthful when speaking about job experiences and interests as well as any areas that make you uneasy or are uncomfortable for you; being open with those making decisions will prevent further frustration down the line. Being honest helps save both parties involved time.
Create a budget.
While creating budgets may not seem like the most useful tip for nurses on the road, they’re an integral component of life on the road. Nurses travelling between assignments often don’t take breaks between assignments to cover financial obligations – which means you need enough money on hand. A budget that outlines monthly and incidental expenses as well as anticipated earnings is key in staying financially on track while alleviating stress.
Think about health insurance.
If you are currently covered under health insurance through your current employer, once you leave you will need to decide which type of coverage would suit you after leaving them. Some travel nurse agencies do offer health plans but these may not necessarily meet individual or family requirements; investigate all available options before selecting what you believe to be the most suitable plan.
Experienced nurses may be better at choosing their desired job over those just starting out in travel nursing, so be willing to compromise when selecting setting, location or facility as long as it falls within your means if that helps secure an assignment as quickly as possible. Once established with an organization/agency which hires nurses for travel assignments, chances are you’ll have more freedom in choosing where you will work next assignment.
Get to know other travel nurses.
One of the best ways to gain useful travel nursing tips is by networking with current travel nurses. Discuss their views on where it would be best for an aspiring Travel nurse to start their career, as well as which agencies they use for help finding work.
Try not to take things personally.
Nursing can be both rewarding and demanding; travel nurses in particular often feel this pressure more acutely than nurses who work full-time facilities. Under stress, it’s easy to misinterpret other’s motives or comments when feeling pressured, so remember you are an accredited travel nurse with all of the experience and expertise to do your job efficiently – don’t take anything uncomfortable as a personal attack from others!
If you have a recruiter, stay connected with them.
A great travel nurse recruiter should provide assistance before, during and following assignments. Communication between employer and recruiter should remain effective at all times – discuss any thoughts and opinions related to your task with both. Furthermore, should there be specific needs associated with the assignment then the recruiter can assist in reaching those objectives.
Be early for work.
One chance at an initial impression, and arriving late to work can be disastrous. Be sure to leave home in enough time so as to arrive at least 15 minutes early for each job interview.
Find a mentor.
Travel nursing provides many advantages; however, it can also be daunting and intimidating if you are new to the profession. Ask the nurse in charge or supervisor if there is an experienced nurse you could shadow as needed; note that great nurses never get bored so don’t feel shy to seek guidance or advice elsewhere if necessary.
Enjoy your new town!
One of the greatest advantages of traveling nursing is experiencing new destinations. On your off days, take time to visit new towns; this is an excellent opportunity to make acquaintances in unfamiliar communities while relaxing and unwinding in new settings. Furthermore, visiting different towns could lead to possible job leads down the line should you need one!
Leave work at work.
For nurses, finding the balance between work and personal time can often be challenging. Striking the right work-life equilibrium means knowing where you can draw the line between personal and work time.
Never stop learning!
One of the best pieces of advice for nurses who are just starting their travel careers is to always seek new challenges. Healthcare is continuously growing and evolving; nurses who want to thrive must keep up with these developments. Be sure to participate in as many continuing education opportunities as you can and attend your assigned in-services; make this your time to shine by learning all that they offer! Make it count – no one can take away this chance for growth and wisdom accumulation!
Nursing on the road presents challenges from different personalities and work environments; therefore it’s wise to expect unexpected obstacles at times. By keeping your goals and desires top of mind and being true to them there’s no stopping what could be accomplished as a nurse on their journey.
Many who work in travel nursing enjoy its advantages of not being tied down to one location. Of all my travel nursing tips, the most useful would be having fun!
Prepare for your next assignment.
Contracts for travel nurses could last anywhere from one week to six months (or longer), so being prepared before signing your next position is of great benefit. Your travel nursing agent should likely have opportunities available around the time your current contract is set to end; you must ensure offers are received while keeping control over matters on your side.