Travel Nursing Career Tip #1- Nab an extra certification
As you move through your nursing practice, you’ll pick up on what you enjoy most and what you can live without. Add some value to your skill-set, there are almost 200 different nursing certifications you can achieve. View the alphabetical list here.
Are you looking into expanding your skill-set or already working toward a new specialty? Do you know how you should address these certifications once you’ve achieved them? Before you proudly stamp these incredible new achievements to your resume and application forms, take a look at how to properly present and communicate them in the right order. List your title as follows:
- Highest degree earned
- State designations or requirements
- National certification
- Awards & honors
- Other recognitions
Earning a new specialty to the title is appealing to medical recruiters, but the communication of those titles is just as vital.
Travel Nursing Career Tip #2- Expand your network
You can’t avoid meeting people when you’re a traveling nurse, and we’re willing to bet you’ve already met a lot of them. But have you been making a concentrated effort to expand your network? Have you been adding the people you meet on LinkedIn? It’s also a good idea to join some professional nursing networks like Sigma Theta Tau or the American Nurses Association, or even your home state’s nursing association!
However, try not to think of your network as just a path to career advancement. The people you connect with are an invaluable source of learning, new ideas and support. Your network is comprised of your brothers and sisters in nursing—don’t be afraid to utilize it!
Travel Nursing Career Tip #3- Learn new computer systems
Having worked in several different hospitals or facilities already, you’re probably familiar with a couple of different electronic medical record (EMR) systems. You’re probably also confident that the next time you come across a new one, you will be able to learn it quite quickly. However, think about how impressed your employers would be if, wherever you go, you already know the system! If you’re looking to step things up a notch, spend some of your spare time learning unfamiliar systems.
Nurses are the frontliners, the MacGyvers of the facility, which is why Jose Gomez-Marquez, Medtech, Medical Makerspaces, Maker Nurses, Hacking Healthcare Hardware at MIT, said nurses are among the most sensical players of making new medical tech. “Eventually he’d [Gomez-Marquez] like every hospital to have a workshop where nurses can play around with ideas,” said Ben Schiller, New York Staff writer for Fast Company. “We’re not advocating making things and trying them directly on patients. We’re saying that nurses should just have a starting chance,” Gomez-Marquez said.
Don’t downplay your ideas, you know what works and what needs improvements, what could be done in a better fashion, and what materials should exist that don’t – share it! Where? Join the MakerNurse Create Program to get started on sharing your genius ideas with this incredible community of change.Nurses, now is your chance to create medical tech that works. Read this: Click To Tweet
Travel Nursing Career Tip #4- Get yourself a mentor
Especially as a traveling nurse, you may only spend between a few weeks or a small handful of months in any given assignment – this makes having a confidant or mentor you can rely on all the more important. This is also a great way to transition you from place to place.
Types of Mentors to Consider:
- Check-in with your staffing agency’s social channels to create an open online community among other traveling peers within the agency – who said company culture can’t be achieved online?
- Reconnect with educators from nursing school – This is someone familiar and reliable who can relate to potential surprises you may be experiencing in your practice.
- Observe senior leadership within your new assignment to base the way you behave in the new environment. Procedures and protocols will vary based on your location – observing respected senior leaders helps set a base for new incomers like yourself.
Gathering mentors from every side of your profession from where you started your practice in school, expanding an online culture within the agency you’re employed through, and connecting with new senior leaders is an excellent melting pot of perspectives to learn and grow from.
Travel Nursing Career Tip #5– Work in a teaching hospital
The best way to learn something is to teach someone else how to do it. If you’re looking for your next big challenge, working in a teaching hospital is sure to fulfill it. In a teaching hospital, learning never stops or slows down, teachers included. Teaching hospitals also frequently participate in new research and studies, which gives you the opportunity to be on the leading edge of new treatments and discoveries.
Travel Nursing Career Tip #6- Build a Resume that Wows
There are so many options and directions when it comes to developing your nursing career. After you receive that initial license to practice, you’re free to run down as many rabbit holes as you want! Which of the many accomplishments take priority on your resume? Are some skills and affiliations more impressive to employers than you think? Organize your resume from top to bottom according to the following list:
- #1: Professional nursing affiliations: Along with the name of the affiliation, don’t forget to include the date of admission, offices held and a two-sentence description of the role you represent and your reasoning for choosing this group.
- #2: Highlight special nursing assignments & medical awards: If you’ve been volunteering at your favorite shelter for years and received an award, write it down. Same goes for recognition for being incredible for something during nursing school, in any social clubs, and previously mentioned medical professional affiliations.
- #3: Legality: This is highly recommended by many medical recruiters:
- License type (LPN, RN, NP, CRNA, etc.)
- Licensing state
- Name on license (if different from the resume)
- License number
- If your license is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, this is where to mention it
- #4: Availability & Start Dates: Some job posts will specify shifts available, others will not. This makes giving time availability and preferred working hours a worthy component.
- #5: Noteable Duties: “Patient care” isn’t going to cover it. Noteworthy duties to mention:
- Number of beds
- Do you start IVs?
- List all industry-wide protocols & processes in which you’re familiar
- What equipment are you fully comfortable with using?
- What age range of patients are you most familiar with?
- Are the majority of your patients: renal, cardiovascular, neuro, ortho, rehab?
- Do you administer medications and which ones?