How To Get Into Travel Nursing
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Wondering how to get into travel nursing? Are you a nurse with a case of wanderlust? Does traveling around the country, making new friends, and experiencing life from new perspectives sound exciting? Becoming a travel nurse allows you to do all this and more. There is something quite incredible about having the skill set and the training to take care of patients in any place you dream of exploring. Not only can you immerse yourself in new cultures and in new cities, but you can make a difference all around the country, one patient at a time. So let’s discuss how to begin the journey of becoming a travel nurse!
Firstly, one must complete either a LPN, ADN or BSN program through an accredited university system. It is important to keep in mind that while obtaining your LPN or ADN is quite an accomplishment, most hospitals hiring staff nurses and travel nurses are more frequently requiring one to be BSN-prepared. Learn more about licenses and degree by clicking HERE.
After successfully completing your program (woo-hoo!) now it is time to sit for the NCLEX examination. You may have heard this daunting acronym before and while it is quite an intense test, adequate preparation and discipline will prepare you for success.
Now that the NCLEX is in the rearview mirror, *sigh of relief* it is time to land your first job as a Registered Nurse!
The Job Hunt
Finding hospitals that have a New Grad Residency Program is always my suggestion. Not only do these programs target specific difficulties of being a new grad nurse, but they allow important one-on-one training with other experienced RNs. Do a bit of research on a hospital before applying to discover if they have a residency program!
Now that you are on your own, it is time to really hone your skills. Ask as many questions as you can. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Patient safety always comes first and nurses love helping other nurses! Take the hard cases, learn all the medications and side effects, take notes, participate in hospital rounds, research new studies in your field of practice. Your first year or two of nursing is imperative to laying the foundation for your career and will also assist you in being the most-prepared travel nurse that you can be! It is also very important to keep your license, certifications, and all job-related requirements like BLS/ACLS/NRP etc. all up-to-date.
It’s time to travel the world! (Or just the United States, for now!) Determine the places that you would like to go and for how long you would like to be there. There are many different agencies for travel nurses to choose from so do your research and get to know a few different recruiters. These recruiters also help teach you how to get into travel nursing. They will inform you of details about travel nursing and the first steps of starting with their agency. You will most likely “click” with one and they will become your right-hand man, or woman, for helping you secure your first assignment.
It’s imperative to be open about what you are looking for in an assignment. Are you trying to pay off student-loan debt? Do you have a bucket list of different cities to explore? Are you wanting to re-locate? These are all important questions to ask yourself and share with your recruiter in order to be the most satisfied with your position and location.
Once you decide with your recruiter that you would like to be submitted for certain jobs, time is of the essence and preparation is imperative. Having your resume on you at all times and a list of questions to ask the managers from different hospitals that call you and interview you is always a good idea. Making yourself readily available for a phone interview is smart. Tailor your resume for traveling and list your skillset. Be confident in your abilities and know that if a position and a place are meant to be, it will be yours!
How exciting! You are officially a travel nurse! There are so many exciting experiences ahead. Take this moment in, knowing that the adventure of a lifetime is just ahead of you.
Whether you’re an established nurse looking to shake things up or you’re just starting a career as an RN, Travelnursingdirect.com is here to help. Join our community of future and current travel nurses by clicking HERE
Katherine Reagan has been a nurse for 5 years. Her site www.onehappynurse.com shares tips and tricks on what it takes to be a successful Travel and Staff Nurse. If you are a nursing student, she will help you prepare with real life examples and ways to thrive mentally, emotionally and physically while you are still in school.