A new year has a way of reminding us of the aspirations we’ve been collecting throughout our lives. Last year, 14% of Americans resolved outright to travel more in 2016 while another 28% were focused on living life to the fullest. This year, living life to the fullest has taken the number 1 spot with 45.7% of Americans ready to enjoy their time on this planet. It’s not uncommon for some of those dreams to surround seeing the world, seeing a landmark in person or eating a specific cuisine from the very place it originates. Even finding yourself in the city of your favorite sitcom might be on the ol’ bucket list.
(Hint hint The Office fans, we’ve got nursing positions in Hershey, PA, only an hour away from Scranton!) Whatever your New Year’s resolution might be, we can’t help but assume seeing more of the country might in some way be a part of it. It’s that wanderlust and a hope to gain financial independence and further your career that keeps medical professionals interested in the world of travel nursing. It’s in this job that you can gain all of those things while doing what you love. Interested? Here’s what you need to do to become a traveling nurse… Thinking about making the move to becoming a #traveling nurse? Read this first: Click To Tweet
Get Your Reqs in Order
Obviously, this isn’t a job for the inexperienced. A career in nursing takes specific training and an education. Making the shift from traditional nursing to a traveling one is a culture shock of sorts. You’re still doing all the things you’ve worked so hard to become an expert in, but in an always changing environment. For that reason, it’s important you’ve gotten a solid grasp on the specific requirements of a traveling nursing career. To qualify, most agencies will require at least two years of nursing experience. Because the job can be very high stress, agencies want not only qualified clinicians, but also the ability to be flexible and to embrace new environments. Often, hospitals require closer to 2 or 3 years of recent nursing experience.
Do Some Soul Searching
For the adventurer, this always changing, never stale job is exciting. For others, this could be the exact definition of panic. It’s important you understand who you are and what you need to feel satisfied on a day-by-day basis. If you love your family and can imagine traveling the country to see the extended relatives you only hear from on the occasion, a life as a traveling nurse could be an amazing option. If the thought of traveling even for vacation gives you hives, a career in medical traveling might not be your thing. Self-reflection is important for any career move. Sacrifice is pretty much mixed into each and every job change and as a traveling nurse, there are the added complications of whether you want to continue owning your home or car, downsizing your possessions and even considering your pets and immediate family. In order to make the best decision for yourself, we suggest you dive deep into the reasons you first wanted the change. Knowing what it is you’re hoping to gain from a job in travel nursing will help answer the big questions as well as outline all the things you want and need out of a travel staffing agency.
Speak with a Recruiter
There is one truth that all traveling nurses know: your staffing agency can make or break your experience working in the field. The recruiter you work with is the central point of it all. They will help you land assignments by understanding your unique needs and qualifications. They will help you navigate complications and work through unforeseen challenges. If after self-reflection and research, you still feel a travel nursing job is right for you, then it’s time you begin building a relationship with the right recruiter. It’s a good idea to speak with a recruiter about 2-3 months before you would like to receive your first assignment. The recruiter will understand the current market need for your specialty. They will also be able to help you understand the areas where you might need more experience or how you could further your chances of landing a traveling contract. Don’t be afraid to talk to more than one agency. The staffing agency and recruiter is an integral part of your satisfaction. You want someone who takes time to know who you are as a professional. We’re not shy about our admiration for travel nurses of the world and we’re not afraid to admit some of the difficulties of life on the road. Why? Because we’re in the business of honesty. It’s important that anyone considering this nomadic, life-saving lifestyle is absolutely aware of all the challenges a traveling nurse meets throughout their career. That all aside, there’s a great deal of reasons why you shouldn’t be deterred. Benefits of being a traveling nurse are many. If this post only increased your excitement for a travel nursing career, then let’s talk. We’d love to help you on your way to the job of your dreams.