Travel nursing is a very unique and fulfilling profession that provides an individual with the opportunities to learn and grow. Thanks to the nursing demand, well trained and experienced nurses can take up travel nurse jobs for facilities with staffing shortages and get to do what they love most and still get to visit different locations and facilities. Here are some important tips which come in handy for those who want to get the best jobs in this field, these include but are not limited to the following;
Be flexible with location and shift requirements
Even though you may have your heart set on visiting a particular country or state, being open and willing to take on other travel nursing placements wherever you may be needed or required does work in your favor. This is also the same for shift requirements; don’t be rigid with your timings. Even though it is true that most people prefer to work certain shifts, willingness to take those graveyard or dull shifts may not only earn you more, but will most likely place you in good stead with many prospective employers. In a nutshell, taking an assignment in a location you had not considered could open for you a window of opportunity which would have otherwise remained closed.
Do lots of research on available travel nursing companies or agencies
Knowledge is power. It is advisable to do some in-depth research on all available companies and agencies before you even try to engage any. Try and identify one that offers the most benefits and pays the best. Don’t be tempted by an agencies promise of good location and assignments, dig deeper into their pay and benefits structure and then compare them with other travel agencies. Look out for the one that consistently offers the most when it comes to benefits and compensation. Benefits to look out for include overtime, housing as well as insurance etc.
Whenever possible, have a chat with staff at the client facility
If you are inclined towards a particular job at a certain facility, make some time to at least get to talk with other staff members who may have already taken up travel nurse jobs at the facility and get some firsthand information about the place. This is especially so if you have never been there before or if it is a new facility. Apart from chatting or exchanging mail, try and see if you can physically visit the place if it is not so far off or get to communicate through Skype or any other available video program and get a feel of the place before you actually decide to go there.
Be ready to accept travel nurse jobs with an open mind and be willing to show your skills
It is important to know what to expect in your new assignment. Even though most permanent staff nurses are quite courteous and professional, there are those who will try and isolate you so as to test your skills and knowledge. Don’t take this personally; most of them just want to stay rest assured that they have a professional beside them. You should therefore be always ready to step in and show your skills when called upon. If you are ICU nurse with the requisite certifications such as PICU, CVICU, MICU, Neuro ICU etc, you should be able to tackle any problem so as to assure your co-workers that you are not only qualified but can also handle real life situations.
Talk to other nurses who have worked with agencies or have experience as travel nurses
There is nothing more convincing that hearing first hand experiences from nurses who have taken travel nurse jobs from certain agencies or those who have worked in certain locations of interest. Make a point of engaging such nurses and ask pertinent questions about the job location, facility, benefits and way of life. If you are unable to get a fellow nurse who has been through these conditions, you can do an online search and get some legitimate sites where you can interact with fellow travel nurses who may be more than willing to share their experiences with you. It is important though to make sure that you don’t give out too many details about yourself when you interacting online with a fellow nurse, you don’t really want to be too personal with strangers, they may even be impersonators.
Finally, it is important to note that just like any other profession, travel nurse jobs come with their own unique challenges which may differ from one person to the other and from one location to the other. It is therefore imperative for an individual to do some serious thinking and planning before deciding whether this is the right profession for him or her.