Travel Nurses: How to Prepare for the Road Ahead
There’s no denying that being a nurse is difficult. Although similar phonetically, being a travel nurse is an entirely different challenge with its own set of difficulties.
As a travel nurse, you’ll be expected to meet and work with new people, travel to new locations and accept a variety of assignments. It’s a lot to handle, but there are great benefits and opportunities for growth that come along with the position.
We at Pro Med Healthcare observed that many travel nurses develop their own personalized modus operandi for assignment preparation, but everyone’s different. Following this guide will help you feel confident tackling whatever obstacles you may face in the infancy of your travel nurse career.
Things move fast in the travel nurse position, and you’ve got to be able to handle the volley of challenges thrown your way at a breakneck pace.
At the start, recruiters will be looking to gather a lot of information from you, so having on hand the essentials, such as immunization records and certifications, will expedite the assignment process. The turnaround time on paperwork can be quite quick, so staying on top of your duties will be instrumental to your success.
It’s important to note that many companies have strict deadlines that you’ll need to abide by. Failure to meet these could cost you the assignment. Writing down important dates in a calendar is a safe way to keep yourself on track throughout the entirety of the assignment process.
Staying organized is no easy task, but it’s an essential one. By keeping all your licensing, health information and immunization records in one place, you’ll be saving yourself many a sleepless night rummaging through cardboard boxes full of every single paper but the one you need.
Equally important, you’ll want to keep handy an updated resume, complete with a list of references and current phone numbers for your future employers to reach. It’s important to note that you should ask for your references’ permission before providing them as a reference.
While seeking a new assignment, it’s essential to keep in daily contact with your recruiter and provide them with all the necessary information beforehand. By staying on top of this without having to be asked, you’ll show your initiative and excitement for the new opportunity.
With the majority of travel nurse assignments lasting a mere 13 weeks, it’s safe to say you’ll be traveling frequently.
Think critically about your assignment’s location and the time of year before packing anything. Is it really necessary to bring that bag of sweaters to Orlando in the summer?
Create a list of essential items that you can purchase once you arrive at your assignment’s location. You may get into a rhythm eventually, but forgetting your body wash for the third time this year can be pretty frustrating.
At Pro Med Healthcare, we want to make sure you’re prepared for your travel nurse experience in every way imaginable.
Your recruiter is there to answer any questions you may have, as well as the ones you may have overlooked.
While on the road, you’ll need someone to keep an eye on your home for you. Who’s going to take care of the lawn? What’ll happen to your mail? You should address these questions and others before even stepping a foot out your front door.
Do you have pets? Are you planning on bringing them along with you? It’s important to make sure you stay at a pet-friendly location if so. If not, make sure you have a pet sitter for your furry friend.
Your occupation is only half the job while employed as a travel nurse. You’ll be traveling to unique locations, making new friends and exploring unfamiliar areas. Who knows, you may end up calling one of your assignments home.
Arriving early at your assignment’s location will help you familiarize yourself with the area, as well as your duties and expectations. Ask to speak with your manager and you may be provided with a guided tour of the hospital that you’ll be working at. This way, you’ll be able to meet the team, ask questions and be fully prepared when it comes time for you to start.
With these tips, you’ll be ready to conquer any and every assignment put in front of you. After all, travel nursing is an adventure, and your journey is just beginning.
Interested in travel nursing or finding out more about the Pro Med job openings currently available? Learn more here, and complete the form to get started creating your account and finding your dream job!