VETERAN NURSES’ ADVICE FOR TRAVEL NURSING NEWBIES
Nurses looking to travel probably already know that travel nursing comes with a range of benefits. From weekly stipends to private housing to a competitive salary, there are plenty of reasons why people from all nursing specialtieschoose to travel.
Travel nursing newbies will soon learn that there are many things to take advantage of as you begin your first assignment. But before you hit the road, consider these travel nursing tips to ensure the destination ahead is exactly what you’re hoping for.
7 Tips for Travel Nursing Beginners
Before nurses decide to travel, they may wonder, “What is travel nursing really like?” Fortunately, with travel nursing becoming such a popular career choice for many healthcare workers looking to change things up, plenty of veteran nurses can offer travel nurse advice.
1. Remember Your Reasons for Being a Nurse
Many travel nursing newbies will already know that nurses are put in many high-stress and highly emotional situations. The fear of burnout and compassion fatigue is on the minds of many in healthcare, especially as the United States experiences a nationwide nursing shortage.
During times when anxiety is high, it’s important to remember why you decided to become a nurse in the first place. Maybe you’ve always seen yourself as a travel nurse, or maybe you fell into it from another career path. Most people who become nurses are passionate about helping others, which is a huge positive to working in healthcare.
Many people hit rough patches in their careers where they tend to lose sight of what drew them to that field of work in the first place. For many veteran travel nurses, taking a step back and remembering how important their job is helps them refocus when nursing gets tough. If you can remember why you even chose this career in the first place, it gives you some perspective on why you want to stay in the field.
2. Take Advantage of Learning Opportunities
Chances are, if you’re thinking about traveling, you’ve already had at least one to two years of nursing experience. You may only know nursing basics, or you may be an expert in a certain specialty. Either way, travel nursing is a great opportunity to learn new skills and advance in your career by adding experience to your resume.
Valuable travel nurse advice that goes a long way includes taking advantage of new learning opportunities in every travel nursing assignment you land. The best nurses are the ones that remain open-minded to learning new environments, procedures, and skills used during patient care.
As you travel, you’ll find that every hospital or healthcare facility does things a little bit differently, so you have to be willing to adapt to new styles and challenges as they come your way.
3. Embrace New Adventures
One of the main reasons nurses want to travel is to visit places they’ve never seen before. Traveling nurses typically have a lot of say about where their next assignment will be, so visiting any of your bucket list locations is definitely possible. You may even discover hidden gems you never imagined visiting before.
Wherever you travel, take advantage of visiting sites, learning new cultures, and meeting new people. You can also learn a lot from friends you meet, whether they are fellow nurses or otherwise.
4. Be Extremely Flexible and Open-Minded
Travel nurses must learn to adjust to changes and new environments all the time. Remaining flexible and open-minded, no matter where your assignment is, will help you become a better nurse overall. The healthcare facility may need you to work different units as needed, or they may need your nursing abilities on certain days and times of the week.
Overall, you’ll serve as a better team player if you go with the flow with job expectations and scheduling. Be open-minded to the hospital's policies and procedures, and choose to adjust and remain helpful rather than feel like you have to fix everything.
Every hospital will have its own unique culture, patient medical conditions, and technology to learn. Nurses who remain structured and rigid will have a harder time succeeding in travel nursing than those who learn to roll with the punches. If you’re willing to move out of your comfort zone and remain resilient, you’ll be very successful as a travel nursing newbie.
5. Keep Professionalism in Mind
Just like in any other career field, travel nurses should be able to handle themselves in a professional manner. Even in high-stress situations, you must be able to take on each new challenge with professionalism in mind, no matter what management styles or types of colleagues you’re working with.
Professionalism in nursing includes having good communication and listening skills, dressing appropriately, and being prepared for your shift. Looking and acting professional, as well as being friendly, gives your patients more confidence that you are trained and qualified to treat them.
Even though travel nursing assignments are temporary, hospitals and other healthcare facilities still expect the same level of professionalism and standards of conduct as they would from a staff nurse. Therefore, you should always keep professionalism in mind as you begin an assignment in a new place.
6. Stay Positive
As a nurse, maintaining a great attitude is crucial. With so much patient contact, nurses must keep a sunny outlook and pleasant demeanor. Travel nurses who stay positive usually find that they are more successful at their job and enjoy it a lot more.
No one wants to work with colleagues who are grumpy and pessimistic. As you start a new travel nursing assignment, you’ll want to stay as positive as possible, especially as you work with others. Patient care can be challenging, but working as a team can make it a lot easier to handle.
7. Find the Right Travel Nursing Agency
The right travel nursing agency for you will work with you one-on-one to find the best possible travel nursing assignment. You’ll build a personalized relationship with your recruiter so they can place you in locations you wish to travel to. Travel nursing agencies also work directly with nurses and provide a full list of benefits, including health insurance, travel reimbursement, and more.
Additionally, travel nursing agencies are immensely helpful in filling out paperwork, organizing housing, and managing any other details your assignment requires. You want to find an agency you can trust and who you feel is on your side if something goes wrong.
Other Travel Nursing Resources for Beginners
Besides these helpful tips, there are many resources available to travel nursing newbies. Working with an agency allows you to access many different travel nursing resources, including licensing information, certification opportunities, tax resources, and many others.
At OneStaff Medical, we have a range of resources you can visit to ensure your next travel nursing assignment is as smooth as possible. Many nurses looking to travel long term may want to complete certifications for certain specialties or pursue additional education. These options are all available for nurses who choose to travel.
As you start your career in travel nursing, it’s a good thing to know that you aren’t alone. Your travel nursing agency is here to support you, as well as other friends and colleagues you meet along the way. Although traveling as a nurse for the first time can be nerve-racking, it’s bound to be a fulfilling experience.
As a travel nursing agency, OneStaff Medical is here to provide any information you need about travel nursing for beginners. To get started, contact us today at 877-783-1483 or browse our current job openings.