You were intrigued by becoming a travel nurse and knew the benefits included a higher base pay, exciting travel, and housing. But, now that you have signed your first contract and gotten your first assignment, what comes next?
Being a travel nurse is an exciting career path you may explore easily without committing to more than one assignment at a time. You have an ability to grow your career, accept new assignments and learn about different areas of the country. Here are some steps to help you feel a bit more confident as you begin your journey into travel nursing.
There will be parts of your experience that remind you of going on vacation. Getting organized, packing and getting ready for the journey are some of those steps. As you plan, remember to update your nursing license, healthcare information, and immunization records. Although moving to a new area may be a challenging experience, it’s also important to remember it’s for 13 weeks. Take some time to map out the route you’ll be driving and plan a few things you can do along the way.
Work with your recruiter to get as many details as you can about the housing assignment you’ll be using. The first time you travel, it’s easier to use the agency assignment. Once you’ve become a pro at traveling, you may want to consider using the housing stipend to make your own arrangements. Work with the coordinators and let them know about your unique requirements, such as traveling with a pet or your desire to live near a park. Before leaving, check out your new city online and make a list of things you’d like to do before you leave. Once you’ve moved in, take a few minutes to meet your neighbors and practice your commute to the hospital.
This can be a combination journal and travel log. You’ll want to keep good records of your mileage, uniform, equipment purchases and meals you eat on the road as these can be tax write-offs. It’s also fun to keep a journal of what you experience as you’re moving to your new city and while you’re there. This makes for fun reading months down the road.
After you leave, you’ll likely remember one last thing you forgot to pack and bring with you. Having a friend at home who can mail it to you will take a weight off your mind. It’s also helpful to have someone at home with the keys to your place in case of an emergency.
As a traveling nurse, it’s likely you’ll be working in different situations and encounter some challenging personalities. You may be working under an intense schedule or long hours. Whatever the challenge, it’s important to keep an open mind and remember the experience will reflect well on your resume, giving you a foundation on which you can build at any facility. Being professional and flexible in your skills, your schedule and your desire to do your best will always help you shine with your agency and the facility where you’re working.
At Amare Medical Staffing, we excel at helping you find your first travel assignment and fit into your new surroundings. Contact us today so you can get started on your next adventure!