TRAVEL NURSING | A MILLENNIAL'S GUIDE TO THE TRAVEL RN LIFE
Travel nursing requires a unique lifestyle. Moving and changing jobs frequently takes a special type of person, but many nurses love this path for a multitude of reasons. Many Baby Boomers have used travel nursing to pursue their careers while also traveling the country. However, only 10 percent of millennial nurses work as traveling nurses. If you are a Millennial considering this path for the first time, our guide to travel nursing can help you get started.
Reasons Millennials Should Pursue Travel Nursing
From career development to experiencing new cities, there are a variety of benefits for nurses who choose the travel nursing route. Although it may not be for everyone, travel nursing offers many benefits that can help you grow in your career and offer you financial perks, as well. The following are several reasons why many Millennials in the profession chose to become travel nurses.
Travel nursing is a wonderful way to gain new skills and expand your expertise. It allows you to work with health professionals that often have different specialties than you. You may have the opportunity to travel to numerous facilities, including research or teaching hospitals, which allows you to learn from some of the best nurses and doctors in your specialty.
On the other hand, you may choose to travel to rural locations and offer your skillset to communities that may be lacking nurses with your specialty or skills. These experiences are a great way to teach others and practice leadership skills. No matter what destination or facility your assignment is in, there are plenty of learning opportunities for travel nurses.
Better Pay and Benefits
Travel nurses often receive higher compensation and better benefits. In some states, they can earn more than $100,000 per year. Travel nurses receive competitive packages, including health insurance and furnished housing starting the first day of their assignment.
Travel nurses can also receive great bonuses, such as when they refer other nurses to work with a travel nursing agency. Who wouldn’t want to travel with a friend and get paid for it?! At OneStaff Medical, our Refer a Friend program allows nurses who work with us to receive $500 cash bonuses when their friends join our team.
Lower Cost of Living
Most travel nursing agencies also help provide private, furnished housing for their nurses when they are on assignment. This significantly cuts down the cost of living for these individuals since they don’t have housing expenses. Additionally, some nurses even choose assignments in cities that have a low cost of living for other expenses like groceries and gas. Some assignments also have reimbursement programs, so you should inquire about this when meeting with a staffing agency.
Explore New Cities
Travel nursing can take you almost anywhere in the United States. Whether you are wanting to experience a big city or learn from a rural community, the possibilities are endless. Travel nurses can easily move locations with the support of their agency once each assignment is complete. Exploring new cities and cultures is one of the many reasons why Millennials find travel nursing so attractive. You can meet other nurses and make friends who can show you around the city and help immerse you in the local culture.
Prevent Nursing Burnout
Unfortunately, many permanent nursing positions can lead to burnout or fatigue. It is common to feel as though your career is not progressing if you are in the same position for years. You may want to learn new skills or experience a different hospital. Whatever reason you may be feeling burnt out, travel nursing is a great way to get out of a funk and become excited about nursing again.
Tips for Millennials to Get Started with Travel Nursing
Now, you may be thinking, travel nursing seems like an appealing path to take, but how do I get started? Usually, travel nurses work with staffing agencies to find assignments, and they receive the support they need for the entirety of the process. While a staffing agency can certainly help you, there are some things that you can do to enhance your experience as a traveling nurse. The following are some tips from OneStaff Medical’s team to help you get started on your path to travel nursing.
1. Customize Your Resume for Travel Nursing
Every career field requires a slightly different resume, but the same goes for different paths taken within a career field. For example, a pediatric surgeon’s resume will look much different than a pediatrician’s. While they are both doctors who specialize in children, they do very different things. The same goes for nursing.
If you are pursuing travel nursing for the first time, you should tailor your resume for these specific positions. Working with a recruiter or travel nursing agency can help you tune up your resume to help you stand out among other candidates.
Highlight Your Specialties
Most traveling nurses specialize in a specific area of medicine. Therefore, you will want to be sure to emphasize your specialty, especially if it is one that is in high demand. The most in-demand nursing specialties include Intensive Care Unit, Labor and Delivery, Emergency Room, Operating Room, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and Medical Surgical, among others.
2. Work with a Reputable Travel Nursing Agency
Once you decide that travel nursing seems like the route you want to take, you will want to reach out to a reputable travel nursing agency to help you find your first assignment.
Nurses have many options when it comes to selecting a travel nursing agency. At OneStaff Medical, we are dedicated to helping our nurses to find the perfect assignment for them as well as being there throughout the entire process. Explore our resources to find out how we can help you jump start your travel nursing career.
3. Plan Before Beginning a New Assignment
Before pursuing an assignment, it is beneficial to determine what you want out of travel nursing. You can even make a checklist that includes things like a required pay package and destinations you would be interested in traveling to for your assignment.
Ask Your Travel Nursing Staffer Plenty of Questions
Working with a travel nursing staffer is beneficial because they often know just as much about the nursing profession as people in the field. Therefore, when you are meeting with your staffer, be sure to address all of the questions you have. Ask about the assignment, travel nursing pay package, location, and anything else that may come to mind. It is also essential to understand the terms of your contract fully.
Ensure You Have the Proper Nursing License
Before starting a new assignment, you will need to ensure your nurse’s license is updated. You may also need a different license depending on where your assignment is. When pursuing travel nursing, getting licensed in more than one state is beneficial to increase job possibilities. Our Travel Nurses’ Guide to Multi-State Licensing is a useful resource if you are interested in obtaining a multi-state nurse’s license.
Prepare Important Paperwork and Documents
When you begin working with a travel nursing agency, you will need to provide paperwork and documents that are pertinent to any nursing role. This includes licenses, certificates, employment documents, immunization records, health history, and physical exams. It is helpful to make copies of these documents and save them to keep on hand.
Tie Up Any Loose Ends at Home
If you are pursuing travel nursing for the first time, there will be some things you will want to take care of at home before you leave. For example, you should notify your current employer if you are leaving a permanent nursing role. You may also want to place a hold on things like WiFi or cable, so you are not paying for it when you aren’t using it. If you own a home, you may even consider renting it out to some tenants, depending on how long you will be gone, and whether you plan to come back to visit.
4. Go into Each Nursing Assignment with an Open Mind
Trying travel nursing for the first time can feel like a daunting experience. Stepping into a new environment can feel overwhelming to anyone. However, keeping an open mind and getting out of your comfort zone is extremely rewarding. Go into each new assignment ready to learn as much as you can from the experience.
5. Arrive Ahead of Schedule to Get Settled
Often, travel nurses will go to their assigned destination a few days early to get settled. Arriving early lets you determine your commute and get acclimated to the area without jumping straight into working full time. If you need to rent a car, you can do so at this time. You can even make plans with the hospital or facility to tour the department and meet some of the other nurses and staff prior to your first day. All of these things will help you become comfortable with your temporary home.
6. Get Involved with the Local Community at Your Travel Nursing Location
One of the many benefits of travel nursing is being able to experience new places. However, it can be easy to fall into a routine of working then going straight home. Try to make friends and get out to explore the local area. Go to historical sites, tour museums, and eat at local restaurants. Remember that one of the benefits of travel nursing is to explore new areas, so make sure to take advantage of this!
If you have any questions about travel nursing or want to start looking for your first assignment today, reach out to our staffers at 877-783-1483.