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Are you sick of waiting for “someday?” Is it difficult to stomach the thought of spending the next ten years in your hometown? If so, pursuing a travel nursing career can open you up to a world of new experiences in locations thousands of miles away from your home base. For those aspiring healthcare professionals not sure what to expect, the day-to-day life of a traveling medical professional is adrenaline-pumping, fast-paced, and comfort-zone crushing.
If a job description packed with once-in-a-lifetime adventures gets your heart racing, it may be time to partner with a reputable staffing agency like Fusion Marketplace. With a resource like this at your fingertips, you can preview travel nursing opportunities nationwide and make headway towards your bi-coastal career ambitions.
Despite the intrigue of travel nursing opportunities, it can be challenging to know what to expect. Here’s what you can look forward to when you pop your bubble and strap in for the ride.
6 things to a travel nursing career
You’ll become more flexible
In a travel nursing career, you’ll find yourself neck-deep in a ton of unique situations. To cope with the ever-evolving lifestyle, you’ll begin to accept and even welcome change.
Along the way, you’ll be exposed to new places, new facilities, new equipment, new coworkers, and new care delivery methods. With each unique situation you face, you’ll become better and better at growing and evolving with consistent change.
A perk of becoming more flexible is that you’ll become an expert packer. Since a travel nursing career means you’ll be on the road for a significant portion of your year, you’ll find yourself accepting of living life out of a suitcase. The added perk: packing a bag will be second nature.
Jump into action
Suppose you are naturally a strategic and plan-oriented individual. In that case, you’ll find that thinking on your toes and adapting to your surroundings will take you further in your travel nursing career. In this line of work, you need to be ready to jump into action at the drop of a hat.
While most facilities will offer some form of orientation to newcomers, there is a chance you might feel the direct effects of a nursing instructor shortage. In these cases, you might step off the plane and right into the middle of the action, where your services are needed immediately.
The best advice for a new travel nursing career: be prepared to roll with the punches. Sometimes a facility might be short-staffed. Other times, your arrival may coincide with an emergency. By demonstrating a team-player attitude, you’ll prove that you can harness your chameleon-like capabilities with little to no warning.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some orientations are structured in nature while others aren’t. Unfortunately, you can’t count on a thorough orientation because of the nature of nursing. In emergency situations, you may be called to duty before completing a full orientation, so be prepared to think on your sneakered feet.
The best thing you can do is ask plenty of questions. Particularly in your interview with a new facility, you should ask questions about their orientation and what you can expect.
Develop a team player mentality
As a traveling nurse, you’ll work with a massive variety of people. That will include a variety of personalities, habits, values, opinions, and work styles. To hone your people skills, practice compromising when appropriate, as well as some diplomacy and tactfulness. Remember that above all, you need to be dedicated to providing the best possible care to the patients.
Being around so many different people will teach you a great deal about human nature and interpersonal interaction. Don’t be afraid to bring your unique perspective. It could help in life or death situations.
Remember that you’ll also be expected to float to a variety of facility units. The chances are also high that you’ll be called to work in departments beyond your original assignment. To easily meld into new teams, stay up-to-date on all your certifications, and continue to work on expanding your skills and adaptability.
Grow your independence
In a travel nursing career, you’ll find yourself becoming far more independent. In the thick of your travel nursing responsibilities, you’ll need to navigate the mazes of new relationships, day-to-day obstacles like finding your footing brand new facility, coping with the headache of travel, and thriving in the face of uncharted territory.
As you independently handle these new situations, you’ll find yourself gaining the confidence you didn’t know you had. You’re succeeding – in your work life and your personal life. And it feels great.
The unexpected is expected
One of the most important things you can expect in a travel nursing career is the unexpected. You have to be ready for every curveball thrown your way. As you learn to think quickly and act fast on your instinct, you’ll grow professionally by leaps and bounds.
To thrive in this fast-paced work environment, learn to become a great listener. The better you listen to your coworkers and patients, the better nurse you’ll become. You also need to be innovative, so make a concerted effort to share your ideas, even if you’re brand new to a facility.
Above all, know that new opportunities mean growth. So, don’t run from the unfamiliar.
Have an adventure
Arguably the biggest draw for many travel nurses is the adventure that accompanies this career opportunity. You’ll become a jet setter, stepping foot all over the country, wherever you’re needed. As you travel, you’ll try new things in new places, sample local cuisines, and cross off bucket-list items at rapid speed.
With each new place, there’s a new culture and people. As you experience this newness, you’ll gain a library of incredible stories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Ready to excel in a travel nursing career? Pack your bags and take off to your highest career potential.