Make the Switch: Tips for the Permanent Nurse Taking a Travel Assignment

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Make the Switch: Tips for the Permanent Nurse Taking a Travel Assignment

You may have a permanent job with a local hospital but have gotten the itch to travel. Making a move from a permanent position to a travel assignment may sound challenging but is simpler than you think and offers you an exciting opportunity to experience the country in a way you never could on vacation. As a travel nurse, you no longer are obligated to staff meetings and quarterly evaluations, and orientation is suddenly cut from three months to three days.

As a travel nurse, you must be an RN with up to 18 months of hospital-based experience in your field. Once you have those criteria under your belt, you have the opportunity to travel across the country. You can also take an assignment close to home. While everyone has different factors that are important to them, the decision that is often ranked as the most fun is where will you go? Whether you choose close to home or close to family in a different state, or someplace completely foreign to you, you’ll have unique opportunities and options you didn’t have at home.

As you consider your first travel assignment, work with your recruiter to determine if corporate housing or a housing stipend is best for you. Most seasoned travelers will use the stipend, while most first and second-time travelers opt for corporate housing to reduce the stress of the first assignment. Corporate housing often includes household items you would not have thought about packing, such as sheets, towels and kitchen appliances. This also helps reduce the amount of the things you’ll need to pack and carry with you. For instance, if your destination requires air travel, you’ll want to pack the least amount possible to reduce your costs. On the other hand, if you’re driving to your destination, you’ll have a little bit more space in the car and may want to consider a housing stipend.

During your interview with the recruiter, ask about the different facilities and hospitals they cover. Some traveling nurses opt to work in hospitals where the charting system is similar to one they already use, so while your work environment and city may change, how you do your work will not. Consider the experiences you would like to have. For instance, if you’re interested in expanding your nursing experience, you’ll want to choose a prestigious hospital or if you are trying to relax and get away for a while, you may opt for a more rural experience.

Your first assignment is often the most difficult as it’s a time of adjustment and getting used to what needs to be packed, paperwork that needs to be finished and how to adjust to a new environment. This is when it’s important to stay focused on your long-term goal. Whether you want to expand your nursing experience, try out new cities or just get away for a while, it’s important to remember why you chose to do travel nursing when challenges arise and you’re wondering why you didn’t stay home. As a travel nurse, you’ll learn to be open, resilient and flexible in your ability to work at different facilities and adjust to new cultures. These are all factors that make you much more attractive to new employers.

As a permanent nurse, your network is limited to the people you see on your job or can network within your city. However, as a travel nurse, you could be part of a new team every 3 to 6 months, which also enhances your networking options. These are opportunities that can have a positive impact on your career and ability to be promoted.

Ready To Make The Leap In Your Career?

Some nurses choose to accept travel assignments for many years, while others are searching for a new place in the country to call home and use traveling to explore those areas. Whatever reason you’ve decided to pick up a travel assignment, our professional recruiters are able to guide you through the process and help make your assignments productive, fun and interesting. Contact us today — at Amare Medical Staffing it is our mission to help you.