As a travel nurse, you have the luxury to choose your next placement location, and what better time than in the summer. There are many options to choose from, like a warm beach town or a city surrounded by mountains. Also, our list comes with sites to visit, restaurants, and things to do while working in the city. Here are our top five locations to choose from this summer:
New York, New York
New York City is a prime adventure spot for travel nurses this summer. Not only does this destination offer the highest paying travel nursing jobs, but the city is officially opening back up in July! That is why the summer season is the perfect time to work in this fast-paced metropolis with easy access to subway lines and bus stops.
While in New York, plan on visiting landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, and Central Park. During the warm summer days, take advantage of the beaches just a subway or ferry ride away.
Professionally, New York City hospitals were ranked as the best in the country in 2020-21, including New York-Presbyterian’s Columbia and Cornell hospitals ranked fourth in the nation. The attractions, nightlife, and well-ranked hospitals make this destination a must for travel nurses this summer.
La Jolla, California
Although not a city of its own, La Jolla is a beautiful seaside community in San Diego County. This thriving down-to-earth village is second on our list for many reasons. Despite the fact La Jolla is small, there is a ton to do. This beach town is famous for its outdoor activities, including surfing, tide pools, hiking the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, and visiting the sea lion caves.
Average temperatures in La Jolla range from 50-77 degrees – great for those nurses who want to avoid the heat. In addition, the gloomy clouds dispel during the summer months, making it the perfect season to visit! In addition, Scripps La Jolla Hospitals ranked as a top hospital in San Diego County for the third year in a row.
Wilmington, North Carolina
The port city of Wilmington is third on our list for travel nurses this summer. Victorian architecture, historic homes, and brick streets transport you back in time. Voted “America’s Best Riverfront,” Wilmington’s riverwalk features top-rated restaurants, boutiques, and dynamic nightlife. For historical enthusiasts, take a tour of the World War II Battleship NORTH CAROLINA or the many historical homes preserved from the Civil War.
Wilmington’s travel nursing opportunities include New Hanover Regional Medical Center, which was rated high performing in seven adult procedures and conditions.
Calling all coffee lovers, foodies, and adventurers. Seattle is a superb place for travel nurses in the summer. Planted right in the Pacific Northwest, this place has many things to do, and not to mention top medical hospitals such as the Swedish Memorial, Virginia Mason, and the University of Washington.
Explore the famous Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, the first-ever Starbucks, and Pike’s Place Market. On your days off, visit the Pudget Sound, hike Mount Rainier, or scour the countless waterfalls only an hour outside of the city. Seattle has it all!
Last on our list to travel to this summer is the gateway to Alaska. With long-lasting daylight, wildlife viewings, and temperatures ranging from 60°F – 80°F, summer is the perfect time to visit Anchorage.
Take a day trip to Denali National Park and visit the highest peak in North America, Mt. McKinley. Not only does Alaska have fishing, hiking, glacier-exploring, and amazing wildlife, but it is home to one of the best medical centers, Alaska Native Medical Center.
Summertime is a great season to explore different cities. To find out what travel nursing opportunities are available in these five cities or other destinations, check out Stability for open roles and check off your bucket list today!Read More
Warmer temperatures are on the horizon, which means summertime is in full swing! The last thing nurses want to do is spend hours in the kitchen over a hot stove. So, we have you covered with seven meal-prep options that require little to no effort.
Summer Cobb Salad
Take advantage of seasonal veggies by incorporating them into your meal! A Summer Cobb Salad is a simple dish that takes less than ten minutes. Add in the spring mix of your choice with avocados, berries, corn, and your favorite meat. Sprinkle goat cheese, and top with a balsamic vinaigrette, and you are ready to go!
Ahi Poke Bowl
A classic Hawaiian dish that tastes like summer. If you enjoy sushi but don’t have the time to make it, this is the next best option. A refreshing, healthy bowl of raw tuna mixed with green onions, sesame, and soy sauce, makes for a great lunch! Here is the recipe for Ahi Poke Bowl. We recommend greens like avocados and cucumbers on the side.
Caprese Pasta Salad
Tomatoes, mozzarella, and noodles, what more could you want? Caprese pasta salad takes less than twenty minutes and yields a week of servings. Just add olive oil, salt, garlic, pepper to enhance your dish. This meal is great because you can serve it warm or cold. Enjoy!
Summer Veggie Quesadillas
Summer Veggie Quesadillas require a stove, but it’s a perfect and easy meal for those summer months. Grill up some zucchinis, summer squash, bell peppers, and onions, sprinkle in the cheese of your choice, and add pesto on top! If you make too much, you can freeze them up to four months!
Watermelon Basil Feta Salad
Watermelon is a huge staple this summer and a must in your next meal. Watermelon Basil Feta Salad is a great option during those hot summer months. Add cucumbers, red onion, feta, basil, and watermelon to make this crisp, simple dish. On the plus side, it’s healthy, so it won’t have you feeling sluggish during those long shifts.
Cold Chicken-Cheese Kebobs
You heard it right, chicken you don’t have to grill! Chicken-cheese kebobs only requires eight ingredients. Just marinate the chicken overnight to maximize flavor and wallah you have an effortless meal for your next shift.
Chickpea Salad Sandwich
Chickpeas are the perfect basic for a hot summer day. It takes twenty whole minutes to make a chickpea salad sandwich, and they are great for the entire week. Spice up this dish with your favorite protein, and you are ready to eat.
Meal-prep is a game-changer – especially for busy nurses! And there are countless benefits to meal-prepping, such as eating healthier, saving on costs, and spending less time in the kitchen. These are just seven recipe options; however, these ingredients are versatile – instead of a chickpea salad sandwich, you can make a chickpea rice bowl! This summer be creative without spending too much time in the kitchen.
Ready to plan your next travel nursing placement? See open roles and get started today at Stability.Read More
This year for Nurses Week, we’re highlighting the nurses that make Stability Healthcare so special. Meet Donnabelle. She has traveled all over the world working as a nurse to help in different countries with needs for nurses. Read more below:
What has it been like working during the pandemic?
Covid-19 era made me realize how crucial it is to spend quality time with our loved ones, there’s nothing certain about life, I’ve been taking care of Covid patients since it started, it was very challenging and overwhelming, it breaks my heart witnessing patient deteriorate without their family at bedside, requesting to speak to their loved ones over the phone during the last moments of their lives was heart-wrenching but you still need to keep going. RN life is challenging but fulfilling being able to help and support the patients at their lowest point of life.
What placements have you had in the past?
I have worked in different areas of nursing from newborns, critical care, to a skilled nursing facility.
All-time favorite placement?
NICU and ICU
What is your career history, how did you become a travel nurse?
I’ve been traveling since 2006 to different parts of the world to help other countries in need of nurses (Asia, Middle East and Western country).
What inspired you to become a travel nurse?
It helped me mold my profession. I have learned a lot from my clinical experiences, met a lot of people, and learned about their cultures – all very rewarding. And of course, being able to travel and work at the same time.
What is your nursing specialty?
Medical/Surgical (most recent)
Favorite hobbies outside of work?
Travel and explore with my family
Best travel nursing story?
What’s your favorite part of working with Stability?
Being paid on time! 😉 and certainly, their prompt replies to my queries and being proactive most of the time.
What is something you bring with you (non-nursing related) to every move/placement?
Essential things such as credit cards, cellphone and charger, vitamins, and moisturizers!
Any advice for future travelers?
Be flexible, lower your expectations, be more patient, ask if in doubt! And always have the initiative to help your fellow healthcare providers.
Ready for your dream travel nursing job? Find your next placement at Stability Healthcare.Read More
This may come as a surprise, but one of the best ways to get a look into the life of a travel nurse is to, well, go on Tik Tok! Tik Tok gives a platform to anyone to create any kind of content, and there are plenty of travel nurses that make videos about their experiences. Here are a few of our favorites:
If you’re interested in becoming a travel nurse but don’t really know where to start, @sibsrn is your kind of Tik Toker! She makes videos that are direct and to the point – like the benefits of applying to jobs you think you may not be right for, how to handle a long-distance relationship while being a travel nurse, and skincare basics for a nurse. She makes videos for things you wouldn’t even think of right off the bat, but as soon as you watch them, you’re glad you did! Every so often she gives updates on where her position is, how she’s liking it, and where she’s going next.
@byernestion is one of the most well-followed travel nurses on Tik Tok. He’s a strong advocate for Black rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and for being yourself! He’s one of Tik Tok’s travel nurses that posts most regularly, so you can always have new content to see. He is also very blunt when he answers commenters’ questions, so you get an honest viewpoint on his feelings pertaining to being a travel nurse.
Courtney Maree (@laughingbabe) shows the adventure-filled lifestyle that travel nurses can live and shares all of her tips and tricks so you can do the same. Her content is the perfect mix of relatable, educational, funny, and also serious. Her positive energy and content creates a welcoming and supportive place for nurses of all levels to enjoy.
Most of @courtneyzanee25’s Tik Toks delve into the benefits of being a travel nurse, but with a humorous twist! You can watch her pick out which scrub cap she’s going to wear for her shift, see her use memes to illustrate the monetary benefits of being a travel nurse and learn about some of the activities she does where she’s stationed. She injects plenty of her personality in each Tik Tok, making the content more relatable, even for those who aren’t nurses! It’s a good mix of classic Tik Tok dances and funny, informational videos. The comment sections are great to read because they’re often filled with input from other travel nurses or people who are interested in becoming a travel nurse.
@reesesRN is a travel ICU nurse. Her Tik Toks chronicle why she wanted to be a travel nurse, how she became one, and what she typically does on her shifts. Her content is very relevant and mirrors today’s social issues. Some videos help expel myths about the COVID vaccine, some advocate for human rights, and some are more lighthearted, like giving insights into what different parts of a hospital smell like. She also often answers questions about travel nursing that other users comment on. All of her videos are informative and important and are up to date with modern medical and social issues.
@charley1969 is an ICU travel nurse. There are plenty of great, humorous Tik Tokers, and although @charley1969 is funny, they also have more serious videos thrown in that deal with the hard, emotional sides of being a travel nurse. They provide a realistic side of being a travel nurse that many don’t often see. However, despite the somber tones of some of their Tik Toks, @charley1969 often still offers a positive, encouraging outlook that sheds light on how important travel nurses are.
@travelnursetiktokaf uses Tik Tok as a platform to help staff nurses transition to travel nurses. With a plethora of information on travel nursing out there, it is awesome to see the ins and outs of travel nursing from a travel nurse. This account gives a look at the money side of things and how to navigate the profession, but also shines a light on the experiences, the people, and the fun parts of travel nursing. Her videos have you thinking, “who wouldn’t want to be a travel nurse?”
@mackyoustoopd is another great example of a Tik Toker who creates hilarious bits that not only give you a good laugh but give you first-person thoughts on being a travel CNA! Although most of his content is pretty specific to being a travel CNA, they’re still funny overall and are certainly appealing to anyone who already works in a medical field. Since he posts so many videos on a regular basis, his content spans from the typical occurrences of a night shift to what it’s like working with patients (in his case, specifically for patients in the Psych ward).
You are one of the elite group of about 25,000 that can call themselves traveling nurses. And, there are podcasts made just for you!
Podcasts for traveling nurses help to provide an outlet for information to stay current and updated with changes in the profession, and also to stay entertained. Have you tuned in to some of these nursing podcasts already, or are you just starting your search? Let’s check out the top 5.
Play That Podcast
Why podcasts? Nursing is a challenging profession, and when you add in the issues of traveling it becomes even more difficult. But, it’s our lives, and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
Podcasts are a way to become educated, informed, and even unwind with content that we can tune into, pause, and restart whenever we have time. Audio allows us to listen in as we travel by plane, train, automobile (or on foot.)
Do you have stories/experiences that you would like to share? Many of these podcast hosts would love to hear from you!
Good Nurse Bad Nurse
If you are going to get hooked on a podcast, at least let it be a long-running one. Good Nurse Bad Nurse podcast host Tina describes her work as educational and encouraging material for nurses. Episodes are long (30 mins-90 mins) which is great for those days when you have the time to relax and enjoy, or for long travel days.
Your Next Shift: A Nursing Career Podcast
With almost 200 episodes, this “cutting edge” podcast informs and educates nurses so that they can show up as their best self on their next shift- as host Elizabeth Scala claims. More than just another informative podcast, Your Next Shift is thrilling and entertaining with guest nurses from all over the world telling their stories about their nursing jobs.
This podcast gives you the strength to go on when you wake up feeling like you can’t. Remember why you chose this profession, and what the benefits of traveling nursing are.
Their motto is “getting to the heart of travel healthcare,” and they cover not only travel nursing culture but all types of traveling healthcare workers. Relatable content from professionals and fellow travelers. Hosted by former healthcare workers, Sunny and Mark.
There are about 30 episodes with a lengthy write up describing the material that is covered in each episode so that you can read through and decide if you want to listen or skip to the next one.
Do you want to hear real people talk about real problems? Nursing Uncensored deals with the mental and physical health issues of nurses, and tons of other subjects surrounding the realities that nurses personally face every day.
This podcast is unique in that it covers some controversial topics, not just the vanilla stuff. There’s more to love about Nursing Uncensored with Adrienne’s blog, and videos on her website.
The Happy Traveler
Nurse Kelley talks about self-care, traveling with your family, working as a nurse during the Covid-19 pandemic, and much more. Episodes are short and sweet ranging from 8 minutes to about half an hour, available on Apple podcasts.
To take care of others, you must first take care of yourself. That’s what nursing podcasts are there for! Tune in, and tune out.Read More
With a COVID vaccine being made available, it’s starting to look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation when it comes to the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine and why you should get it, who can get the vaccine, and where to get the vaccine. Below, you can find more basic and general information. However, the vaccine rollout can be dependent on state/city, and as Biden comes into office, the rollout may change even further. As a travel nurse, you likely will be in the first few rollout phases (or maybe, you’ve already been vaccinated)! It’s best to consistently check local state regulations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for the most updated and accurate information.
What are the effects of the COVID vaccine and is it safe?
If a vaccine is effective, it helps prevent the person from getting sick if they’re exposed to the virus. For COVID specifically, it’s very important to note that you must continue to remain socially distant until enough people have received the vaccine. There is not enough information to determine whether or not a vaccinated person can pass and transmit the virus to others, hence the importance to remain socially distant (Hopkins Medicine).
The FDA approved vaccines (which you can see below) are safe and encouraged. As BBC states, “there is no evidence that any of these ingredients cause harm when used in such small amounts. Vaccines do not give you a disease. Instead, they teach your body’s immune system to recognize and fight the infection they have been designed to protect against.” If you think you may have any allergies or reactions to the vaccine’s ingredients, it’s always best to consult the CDC website and your doctor before receiving the vaccine.
What COVID vaccines are out there?
As of now, there are two COVID vaccines that the CDC recommends: the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Each has their own requirements and eligibilities:
- Recommended for those 16 years and older.
- 2 shots in the upper arm. There should be 21 days between the initial and second shot.
- According to the clinical trials, “the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95.0% effective… in preventing symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in persons without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
- Mild to moderate symptoms following vaccination can include: pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site, and chills, tiredness, and headaches. This is normal, and these are common symptoms with many safe vaccines.
- Recommended for those 18 years and older.
- 2 shots in the upper arm. There should be 28 days between the initial and second shot.
- According to the clinical trials, “the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine efficacy after 2 doses was 94.1%…in preventing symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among persons without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, which was the primary study endpoint.”
- As with the Pfizer vaccine, mild to moderate symptoms following vaccination can include: pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site, and chills, tiredness, and headaches.
Who can (and should) get the vaccine?
- Currently, eligibility to receive the vaccine differentiates between states. For example, Illinois is making the vaccine available to certain groups in different phases. Travel nurses would be in Illinois’ first phase, because it includes healthcare personnel (hospital settings and non-hospital healthcare), long-term care facility staff and all residents, and other identified congregate care staff and residents. The second phase includes people 65 years and older, frontline essential workers, and inmates. Then the rest of the phases move accordingly to who is deemed at a higher risk of contracting and suffering from COVID. Often, you register ahead for the vaccine, but this also varies by location. Webmd has a good, collective list of links to states’ different rollouts.
- Overall, the COVID vaccine rollout across the United States will likely change when Joe Biden takes office. NPR reports that Biden has a five-part plan to speed up national vaccinations: “To bring the virus under control, it proposes hundreds of billions of spending for a national vaccination program and public health measures such as testing and contact tracing; new jobs for public health workers; and expanded U.S. manufacturing for protective gear.” The full five-part plan can be found here.
Why should a travel nurse especially get the COVID vaccine?
- First and foremost, getting vaccinated for COVID will help keep you healthy, and greatly lower the risk of serious complications of COVID. Travel nurses typically have a higher COVID exposure than non-healthcare workers. Getting the COVID vaccine will not only give you peace of mind but will also allow you to continue to work and help those in need.
- The CDC points out that “Healthcare personnel who get COVID-19 can also spread the virus to those they are caring for—including hospitalized patients and residents of long-term care facilities. Many of these individuals may have underlying health conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 illness.” Getting vaccinated not only protects yourself, but it helps protect the people you’re working with.
As always, please refer to the CDC for the most updated information regarding COVID and the COVID-19 vaccine.
One of the benefits of being a travel nurse is the option to work virtually anywhere in the world. Assignment choices vary depending on experience, specialty, and desired location, but being able to change up your travel nursing destination means that you can move with the seasons. Here are some of the best travel nursing destinations for winter – whether you love or hate it.
If You Want To Warm Up…
Tampa, Florida: Tampa is an ideal travel nursing destination to escape the harsh winter climates because winter all but does not exist in this Central Florida locale. Even if you don’t necessarily want to take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico, you can walk alongside the ocean, enjoy the expanses of greenspaces or enjoy outdoor markets with average winter daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The USF healthcare system as well as Tampa’s extensive population of retirees means travel nurses have plenty of options for work here as well.
San Francisco, California: This is another city that is seasonably mild throughout the winter months. While the fog may cool things down at night and in the morning, you can expect to enjoy outdoor recreation in San Francisco year-round. It is the heart of northern California, which also means that travel nursing assignments are diverse as the opportunities for fun in this locale.
Phoenix, Arizona: Job opportunities across a wide spectrum of healthcare systems and stunning desert scenery make Phoenix one of the top travel nursing destinations. This might not be your ideal option during the summer months, but if a winter escape is what you are after, then this metropolis in the desert should be high on your list. The surrounding mountain ranges mean you can spend time camping, hiking, or fishing while the rest of the country breaks out the snow gear.
If You Love Cold Weather…
Denver, Colorado: You get all the appeal of a bigger city with the wintry weather that guarantees great skiing, snowboarding or nights spent watching snowfall next to a roaring fireplace. Moreover, the extensive healthcare system in Denver means plenty of opportunities for work for travel nurses.
New York City, New York: If you’re on the hunt for travel nursing destinations that will allow you to make the most of the winter weather, then NYC is your spot. Sledding in Central Park, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, and of course the myriad holiday decorations bring the city to live. The job opportunities here are plentiful as well as some of the top hospital systems in the world are found around the city.
Bar Harbour, Maine: This is touted as one of the best-kept secrets for an exciting winter adventure. If you want to ingratiate yourself into the season, the beauty and authenticity of Bar Harbour can’t be beat. Acadia National Park offers opportunities for snowshoeing and the shops, while less crowded, all decorate for the holidays with festive fanfare. As travel nursing destinations go, there are plentiful options for job opportunities.
Ready to head to your winter wonderland? Stability Healthcare offers travel nursing placements all across the country. Find your next placement today.Read More
Working at a hospital can really take a toll on a nurse’s health with long hours, lots of time on your feet, lots of high-stress moments, and no consistent routine. It’s important to get in a little extra movement to keep you in tip-top shape so you’re feeling good.
Starting the day with a workout isn’t for everyone, but it is a fantastic way to get the day started. The common misconception is that you have to wake up at the crack of dawn and lose needed sleep to squeeze in a morning workout, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Set your alarm clock a few minutes earlier than usual, and get in one of these convenient morning workouts – all under 20 minutes and all can be done out of the comfort of your own home.
Maddie Lymburner of MadFit has a goal is to help inspire everyone at all fitness levels to get up, get moving, and reach their goals. This 15 minute morning workout is the perfect combination of stretching and cardio to get you moving.
If you’re in the mood for something more lowkey, then this full-body stretch is perfect. Mady Morrison is a Berlin-based yoga instructor and her workouts aim to leave you feeling balanced in body and mind. This video takes you through a full-body stretch that is perfect to get you ready to head into a 12-hour shift.
If you’re in the mood to get moving, this 12-minute cardio routine is sure to get your heart racing. Dudzz Dimension is a former NCAA Basketball player and current Personal Trainer and his videos are for beginners and pros alike. The best part? This only takes 12 minutes!
If yoga is your thing, this one is for you. If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know we mention yoga fairly often This 20 minute full-body flow is the perfect way to center your mind and body before starting your day.
And last but not least, you don’t even have to change your alarm for this one. This 5 minute routine from the Allbengers is just enough to help you break a sweat and keep you feeling strong and ready to take on your shift.
Ready to test out your morning workout routine in a new city? Stability Healthcare offers travel nursing placements all across the country. Find your next placement today.Read More
The leaves are changing, we’re pulling out our sweaters, and most importantly, we’re officially making the leap from iced coffee to hot. We put together a list of some of our favorite fall drinks to get you feeling festive and give you a little boost to start your shift on a fall-filled note!
Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
8 oz coffee (either warmed up cold brew or regular coffee)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Califia)
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Combine ingredients in high powered blender and blend on medium speed for a good minute or two. Taste and feel free to add additional maple syrup or other ingredients – everyone’s taste is different! Feel free to top with whipped coconut cream! Enjoy!
Spiced Apple Tea Latte
1 1/4 cup grass-fed whole milk
1/4 cup grass-fed cream
1 medium organic apple, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon organic black tea
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte
2.5 cups hot water (approximately 175 degrees)
1/3 cup raw cashews
2-3 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
2 teaspoons matcha powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. For an extra creamy drink, soak your cashews in hot water for 15-30 minutes, then drain and rinse before adding to the blender. Serve the pumpkin spice matcha immediately.
via Kaitlyn Noble
Apple Caramel Latte Macchiato
2 cups apple cider
1 cup milk
6 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoon salted caramel sauce
extra sweetener if desired
Add milk, apple cider and instant coffee granules to a small saucepan. Give it a stir and let it heat up until just before it’s simmering. Add vanilla extract and, if using, additional sweetener of choice. Prepare the mugs by pouring salted caramel sauce into them and swirl to cover the bottom. Cool the mixture a bit (unless you have a heat-proof blender) and then blend. It will get bigger in volume as you blend, so you shouldn’t completely fill the blender. Work in batches if needed. Using a spoon, hold the foam back while you divide the milk mixture among the mugs. Then divide the foam between the mugs. Drizzle with more salted caramel sauce!
The demand for nurses continues to increase across all areas of healthcare. Nurses with professional expertise in more than one area of care have more options to branch out, especially when it comes to traveling nurses.
Travel nursing compels nurses to be at their professional best. It also provides nurses with the unique opportunity to travel to areas of the world they might not otherwise experience and network with medical professionals from various backgrounds and experience levels.
Travel nursing requires adaptability, a deep well of nursing knowledge, and an eagerness to continuously learn. Nurses with multiple specialties generally enjoy a greater degree of access to travel assignments than their more limited counterparts.
If you are considering adding to your nursing specialties or changing your specialty entirely, here is a guide to help you get started:
Start With a Self-Assessment
Take stock of your nursing strengths and weaknesses. Determine areas in which you would like to improve and consider facets of nursing that perhaps you hadn’t before, in the context of the strongest skill sets.
For example, if you learn fast, are quick on your feet, and have been highly responsive as a floor nurse, then as a travel nurse, you might try your hand at an emergency room assignment. If you enjoy working in pediatrics, you may have a knack for nursing vulnerable patients and might excel in geriatrics as well.
Consider areas that correlate with travel nursing needs and your personal interests. For example, if you have an interest in challenging nursing assignments, then consider cultivating a specialty in intensive care. There is an ongoing demand for travel nurses, so switching to this specialty would pique your interest and increase your chances for frequent placements.
Do Some Research On Different Nursing Specialties
Switching specialties for travel nurses may require little more than brushing up on institutional knowledge or shadowing another nurse to learn policies and procedures for a few days. Other changes in specialties require an advanced degree or an entirely new set of certifications.
Choose a few areas of travel nursing that you are eager to explore and research their qualifications. If you do need to go back to school or obtain another certification, opt for a specialty that is a bit less rigorous to explore while you get the appropriate credentials for your desired option.
Also, peruse job descriptions for your chosen specialties to get a good idea of what may be expected of you in the field. Before you expend the effort to make the switch or take the step of shadowing a fellow nurse for a few days, it is important to ensure that the specialty you are pursuing aligns with your professional goals and skills.
While you are laying the groundwork to get the proper educational credentials or waiting for the perfect travel assignment to open up, start networking. Connect with other nurses that are already working in the specialty to which you are making your move.
Ask questions, glean pertinent advice, and soak up as much information as you can. Nurses working in the field can help you prepare to make the switch as seamlessly as possible.
If you know other nurses who have gone through the process of changing their specialties, ask them about any pitfalls they may have encountered in the process. For a more comprehensive understanding of this process, ask nurses with stationary positions in your local medical facilities as well as other travel nurses.
Plan Ahead To Change Your Nursing Specialty
It is important to be fully prepared before you make the leap to a new nursing specialty. Plan for your transition and time it to ensure you have had enough time to get the proper certifications and educational credentials (if they are needed).
You also want to ensure you have learned enough about your new specialty to feel comfortable caring for patients immediately. You may be excited, but don’t rush the process.
Limit Your Specialties
One of the reasons becoming a multi-specialty nurse is so exciting is because your value increases as a nurse and you become more engaged in learning about your professional all over again.
Professional enthusiasm is a desirable trait, especially for a travel nurse. However, don’t overextend yourself or you risk compromising future patient care. Choose just one or two new specialties to which to expand at a time.
Before you move on to another trait, make sure you have a professional level of expertise to offer the highest quality of care to patients on each assignment. Once you’ve mastered your new specialty, then you can consider learning another.
Prepare Your Professional Materials
A switch to a new nursing specialty means updating your resume with the care qualifications that most match your chosen area and brainstorm possible interview questions about the switch.
If you have already established a relationship with a travel nursing agency, be prepared to demonstrate your competence in this new area and provide any necessary proof of your qualifications. Most agencies will not provide you with an assignment in your new area of expertise if they are not sure of your ability to make the switch.
Alert Your Travel Nursing Agency To The Switch
Reach out to the travel nursing agency from which you receive assignments and let them know you have added a new specialty to your resume. Ask for any nearby assignments they might have to allow you to get your feet wet before traveling on a far-flung assignment for your new specialty.
The benefit of taking a local assignment in your new specialty first is that you have your community-based support network of colleagues on which to fall back if you have questions or concerns about the switch.