The travel nursing career offers a unique opportunity: the freedom to explore new places while earning a paycheck. However, before undertaking this exciting journey, you need to get acquainted with the pre-travel expectations so you are prepared and can have a more effortless experience. Don’t worry; we’ve created ten tips for first-time travel nurses to help you jumpstart your career.
Organization is essential; decluttering your belongings, evaluating what you need, keeping your documents in one place, and creating a plan will be the initial steps to help you create a more seamless experience.
Get a compact nursing license
Thirty-four states have allowed the Nursing Licensure Compact. The NLC enables eligible nurses to maintain one nursing license and work in any compact state without obtaining additional licenses. This compact license means you will have guaranteed access to work in these states. Stability Healthcare recruiters are on standby to help you through the licensing process.
Keep licenses, certifications, and medical records up-to-date
Documentation is one of the biggest burdens when it comes to travel nursing. It is a common requirement to maintain up-to-date documentation. For medical records, we advise keeping a file of records of your physical exams, immunization, titer results, etc. American Traveler created a full list of medical documentation you will need prior to travel nursing.
Pro-tip: It’s best to have a digital copy of all your documentation in one place!
Pick an agency you trust
Before you begin your travel nursing career, we recommend researching reputable agencies that best suit your needs. Talking to other travel nurses, listening to podcasts, and talking to a recruiter may help narrow down the travel nursing agency. Also, checking Glassdoor and Indeed are additional ways to hear from travel nurses and their experiences.
Prep for interview
When setting up a travel nurse interview, you’ll either be notified by your recruiter or contacted by a medical facilities hiring manager. The hospital may have a couple of people for the position, so you must stand out and be prepared. Stability has all the tips to help you ace your future nursing interview.
Plan for housing
Once you receive your placement, the next step is to find housing! Regarding accommodation, travel nurses have two choices: agency-paid housing, where the agency finds housing for you, or stipend pay housing, which means you will receive a stipend to pick your housing arrangements. Whatever option you choose, you will have autonomy in where and how you want to live. For more information, visit https://stabilityhealthcare.com/travel-nurse-guide-to-housing/.
Packing lightly is not an easy feat, but you will be thankful you did it! Try to keep the packing to essentials so you can travel comfortably. Remember, this isn’t a permanent move – treat it more like an extended vacation. For further help, we’ve created a packing guide that splits your belongings into five categories: must-haves, clothing, toiletries, home goods, and extras.
Embrace new opportunities
This is the time to get out of your comfort zone. There must have been a reason you wanted to become a travel nurse. You only have 13 weeks, so take advantage of unique opportunities to grow your professional skills and seek out new relationships. We promise you won’t regret it!
Meet new people
The travel nursing career offers extensive knowledge, unique networking opportunities, and exploration; however, it may be hard to create lasting relationships since you are moving around so much. Use this opportunity to meet your coworkers, find local activities and see if there is something that interests you.
Prepare for your next assignment
One of the most valuable travel nursing tips is to prepare for your next placement ahead of time. If you have an agency, they may have prospective offers ready for when your contract expires. However, you must ensure that the offers are finalized.
Being a travel nurse is a fulfilling and unique career, but many elements that go into planning and ensuring this is the right path for you. Reach out to us through our socials if you have any additional tips and tricks for new nurses.