Nurses know more than anyone how often their job duties can change. From dealing with different patients (sometimes daily) to the ever-changing work hours, and the different everyday demands of the job, flexibility is a big part of this profession. With travel nursing, being flexible is extremely important. The demands of this job not only include the everyday duties of being a nurse but traveling on top of that. For those considering travel nursing, you should keep in mind the need for flexibility.
What type of flexibility should a travel nurse expect?
Before the beginning of a new assignment, a travel nurse can expect a lot of uncertainty. For first-time travel nurses, it’s important to understand just how much plans can change with each assignment. So, living with a little uncertainty will be the new normal. The best way to adjust as a new nurse is to just be patient and keep an open mind when you have a new assignment. A few things to keep in mind are:
- Placements can change
- Teams and managers might change
How can travel nurses become more flexible?
It goes without saying that a constantly changing schedule and assignments are the norm for travel nurses, so going into travel nursing with the mindset that the job might change, is a good way to prepare yourself for your new ventures.
- Be prepared for last-minute assignments – some positions will only give you a day’s notice, so being prepared to travel on the fly is important. Some nurses that don’t have a home base, keep their belongings in a storage unit so they can easily grab what they need when they’re in their home city.
- Utilize other people in the field – the great thing about travel nursing is you’re not alone! Other, more seasoned nurses are a great tool if you are new to the field and have questions.
How flexible do travel nurses actually need to be?
Boundaries are important to ensure you are taking care of your mental and physical health. A couple of things you can do to set boundaries in place at the start of a new assignment is to build in specific time off into your contract. Another way to help cut down on an overwhelming schedule is to request a blocked schedule to help with consistency. While it’s important to be flexible, if there is ever an emergency, it’s important to relay that to your company.
The more flexible you are, the more in demand you will be. Travel nurses see a lot of change and while some skills are learned over time, it’s important to go into it with an open mind and be willing to adapt to change.
Ready to start your travel nursing journey or to find your next placement? Head to our jobs page and you’ll be just a click away!