If you have a year of more of experience (which places you beyond entry level nursing), you might consider travel nursing instead of working in a single location.
Travel Nurse Requirements
To become a travel nurse you first need to have a willingness to travel. Additionally you will need resources to travel and family and friends that are supportive and willing to maintain long-distance relationships. Of course, you must also possess the requisite years of experience and nursing expertise to confidently and competently provide nursing care to clients of the medical facilities where you travel. You may opt to become a travel nurse for a variety of reasons.
Benefits of Travel Nursing
One benefit of becoming a travel nurse is that they generally earn a higher salary than permanent nurses. Factoring in stipend pay for housing and initial travel can make the salary disparity even greater. You will meet new people, get higher pay, and do the same things that you would in a permanent position, so why wouldn’t every nurse want to travel?
Necessities for Travel Nursing
Travel nursing is best for individuals who, as noted, have family and friends that are supportive and willing to maintain long-distance relationships. Some nurses may have family circumstances that prevent their family from traveling with them; nonetheless, some agencies have arrangements whereby accommodations are made for nurses to travel with immediate family. When conducting a travel nurse job search, make sure you do plenty of research to determine if the facility meets your needs.
You will need to be flexible and willing to travel. The facilities where you work will provide an orientation where you learn about the facility, policies and procedures, expectations, and details such as which equipment/computer system you will be working with and location of supplies. However, despite careful planning and research, Murphy’s Law (whatever can go wrong will go wrong) sometimes intervenes: your car may break down, your plane may be delayed, paperwork may be missing, or some other snafu. In such instances, you will need to adapt to the situation.
Some might consider that such snafus can occur whatever the work circumstances; nonetheless, you need to be flexible and willing to adapt. Travel nursing can lead to a fulfilling and satisfying career, but you will need to be prepared and informed to perform well.
Is Travel Nursing for you?
If the idea of traveling appeals to you, begin a job search and research prospective employers. Although you need to meet the needs of your employer, the medical facility that employs you will also need to meet your travel needs. If the needs of you and the medical facility are reconciled, you may well find yourself in a very rewarding career field.
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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2014, January 13). Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge. Retrieved October 7, 2014, from In the Media: The Straight Story about Travel Nursing: http://www.rwjf.org/en/blogs/human-capital-blog/2014/01/in_the_media_thest.html
Travel Nurse. (n.d.). What is a Travel Nurse? Retrieved October 7, 2014, from Travel Nurse Toolbox: http://www.travelnursetoolbox.com/2007/12/what-is-travel-nursing-travel-nurse.html
Travel Nursing Information HQ. (2014, January 5). Travel Nursing Basics. Retrieved October 7, 2014, from Travel Nursing Information: http://travelnursinginformationhq.com/travel-nursing-basics/
Traveling Nurse Guide. (2014). Retrieved October 7, 2014, from Nurse Traveler.org: http://nursetraveler.org/