Travel nursing is a challenging opportunity, but can also be a daunting experience for first-timers. The travel nursing industry is huge, with many assignments available. This job comes with different challenges and rewards. Adjust your expectations about how much control you have over certain aspects of the assignment. Knowing what you’re signing up for before accepting an offer is important. Here are five nurse skill checklists for first-time travel nurses looking for a new job.
Research Agency and Destination
Before signing up for anything as a first-time travel nurse, do your research. Make sure it’s something you want to do and will fit into your lifestyle. If you don’t like where they send you or what they offer, keep looking until you find one that does. Ask about pay, benefits, travel expenses, and living arrangements. Ensure you’re comfortable with the agency’s policies and procedures for handling insurance claims and issues arising during your assignment.
Here are a few points to remember while researching travel nurse agencies:
- Ask about the agency’s history, reputation, and track record. A good agency stays for at least a year, preferably longer. It should have plenty of job listings and satisfied clients.
- Research the facilities where you will work and ask about their patient load and the cases they handle. Visit some hospitals in person before accepting an offer.
Clues of Ideal Travel Nurses Assignment
Always check the amenities it offers and how many nurses are needed. If you’re looking for a nursing position offering great pay and flexible hours, look for an agency specializing in contract jobs with high-end facilities.
Also, keep these points in mind:
- The assignment offers competitive pay, including a guaranteed hourly rate with no housing, meals, or travel expenses deductions.
- Provides you with a housing stipend or accommodation allowance. If not, understand the average cost of living and whether it’s possible to find an apartment.
- Offers flexible working hours so you can manage your schedule around childcare or other commitments.
- Offers travel nursing assignments in various specialties and settings, including acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician’s offices, and clinics.
Build Your Resume
Consider taking a travel nurse assignment that includes an orientation program where you can build your resume, gain experience and make friends with other nurses. If you’re new to the industry, look for opportunities with agencies offering nursing-specific training programs or online medication administration and infection control courses.
Visa and Licensure Requirements
If you’re not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, check the visa and licensure requirements of each state you plan to work in. Most states require foreign-born nurses to obtain a license before they can practice. Some allow them to work under employer sponsorship for up to three years while they complete their licensing requirements.
Prove Yourself at Your First Job in the Hospital
You’ll be expected to know the basics of your job from day one, and you must work under pressure. While you may have had no experience working in a hospital before your first nursing job, it can help if you’ve volunteered or shadowed at one.
Travel nursing is a great way to build your resume, earn extra cash, and travel the country. If you’re interested in becoming a travel nurse, start by researching jobs on our job board and applying for them. Once you get an assignment, ensure your contract includes everything you need before signing it. We hope the above tips were helpful. If you have any questions or concerns about the tips mentioned above, comment below.