Being a travel nurse is an exciting career path. It provides one of a kind benefits and a great way to grow your career. Are you still deciding on where to begin your first travel nurse assignment? Perhaps you have accepted an assignment. Either way, these 20 tips for a first time travel nurse will help you.
20 Tips For A First Time Travel Nurse
1) Get Organized. Whether you are browsing or getting ready to embark on as a first time travel nurse you need to stay organized. Make sure your license information is updated. Make sure your health and immunization records are up to date. Prepare for your phone interview. Bring copies of any necessary documentation to your first day.
2) Be Flexible. Some travel nurse companies will tell you they can place you anywhere you want as a first time travel nurse. However, the fact is that you might not always get your first choice. Be flexible on location, setting, and facility and you will get a travel nurse job quickly. After you have experience you can be more picky on where you want to work.
3) Pick A Place of Comfort. It can be daunting to pick-up and move to a new location as a travel nurse. One tip we give first time travel nurses when first speaking to them is pick a place you know. Pick a place that has friends or family members. Perhaps there is a destination you have traveled to frequently. This will help calm any nerves as a first time travel nurse.
4) Don’t Take Things Personally. Being a nurse is a stressful job. It is fast paced and you are dealing with the health of others. If a patient or their family say something it’s important to listen but do not take anything negatively said personally. Share anything said with your supervisor to get feedback on how to proceed and stay professional.
20 Tips For A First Time Travel Nurse – Before You Start
5) Take A Test Drive Before Starting Your First Assignment. Before your first day on your first travel nurse assignment practice your first day. Wake up and get ready at the appropriate time. Leave your house on the time you think it will take to arrive. Find out where to park and how to get to your floor. Determine if you need more or less time to arrive to your first day.
6) Arrive Early On Day One. There is no feeling worse than feeling rushed. Especially when it is your first day as a first time travel nurse. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at work and it’s best to arrive early. You only get one time to make a first impression. Best to have that first impression be positive.
7) Prepare For Your Pets. As you prepare for your first travel nurse assignment make sure to not forget about your pets. Do they need to visit the vet before you leave? Are their immunizations up to date? Make sure they are ready too. It is also a good idea to ask your vet if they have any recommendations for vets in your new city. You want to be prepared in case you need to take your pet to the vet while you’re on assignment.
8) Take Care Of Your Home Logistics. What are you going to do about your mail? Forward it? What are you going to do about any deliveries? Hold them? What about power? Cancel it? There are a lot of big things to think of before starting your first travel nurse assignment. However, don’t forget about the small things too.
9) Pack Smart. Remember that most travel nurse assignments are 13 weeks. Think about what you absolutely need and what you can live without for a few months. You might not need to bring every pair of shoes. Instead of bringing your TV, can you get by with your laptop or tablet? There are also things you can buy when you arrive that you don’t need to pack.
20 Tips For A First Time Travel Nurse – Do Your Due Diligence
10) Decide On Housing. As a travel nurse you will have options on housing. Find your own or lean on your travel nurse agency. Do you want to live downtown or away from the action? The choice is yours.
11) Do Your Own Research. You will have plenty of assistance before, during, and after your first travel nurse assignment. But before on signing your contract on as a first time travel nurse do your research. Research which company you want to work with. Think about where you want to work. Ask other travel nurses their opinions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be.
12) Chat With Other Travel Nurses. One of the best places to chat with other travel nurses is using a community network like Gypsy Nurse. This is a great place to see what other travel nurses are talking about and ask any questions. You can find great advice on things such as the best nursing podcasts for travel nurses, the best scrub brands, the most comfortable nursing shoes, and the best compression socks for nurses.
13) Understand Your New Work Environment. Find out about the floor you will be working. Learn what it’s like, how things are done, and where supplies are kept.
20 Tips For A First Time Travel Nurse – During Your Travel Nurse Assignment
14) Be Ready To Show Your Skills. As a travel nurse; especially a first time traveler, there can be a feeling of hesitation when dealing with permanent staff nurses. The fact is that most nurses are courteous and professional. Once you are trained on the processes jump in and start helping. Your co-workers will see you as a viable part to the team.
15) Have A Positive Attitude. Stress a guaranteed part of any nursing career. Understanding how to deal with the stress can be difficult, especially for a first time travel nurse. We recently created the 20 coping skills for new nurses which can help you remain positive. Try some of these things to keep a positive attitude for your entire assignment.
16) Ask Questions. When you begin your assignment, you will have orientation. During this time, you will go over policies and procedures of your new facility. You will also learn questions about your new job. Use this time to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. It’s best to ask them now than later.
17) Stay Connected With Your Recruiter. When you find a great recruiter he or she will be with you every step of the way. They are on your side to make sure you find the right spot for you. If you have certain things you want out of your travel assignment share them with your recruiter. Once you get on your assignment, be sure to check in with your recruiter from time to time.
20 Tips For A First Time Travel Nurse – Have Fun
18) Make Friends With Co-Workers. One of the easiest ways to settle into a new place as a first time travel nurse is to get to know your co-workers. Find out what you have in common. Invite them for a cup of coffee after your shift. Schedule something during your day off. You may not get along with everyone but having a few friends will go a long way to having a successful first time travel nurse assignment.
19) Think About Your Next Assignment. You know the saying it’s easier to find your next job when you have a job? You will be surprised how fast 13 weeks goes by. Once you hit your forth week it’s a good time to start thinking about what you want to do next. Do you want to extend? Do you want to try somewhere else? Will you need a new license? These are just a few things to think about during your assignment as a first time travel nurse.
20) Explore Your New Town. You are only at your assignment for a limited time. Make sure you get some you time and explore your new city. Ask co-workers or search sites like Yelp for recommendations on activities and restaurants. Take a mini-vacation if you can. Who knows, you might like the location of your first travel nurse assignment that you might want to come back.