Are you a newbie or wannabe travel nurse? Here are a few tips from a seasoned traveler to help your new career move get off to a flying start.

    Communicate and collaborate with your Freedom Healthcare team — As with most challenges in life, the key to a successful placement is good communication from the get-go. Your recruiter is your point person, advocate, problem-solver, and shoulder to lean on when you’re on assignment. And for professional and personnel issues, our Division of Nursing is your mentor and liaison with the client. No need to go it alone; your Freedom Healthcare team is ready and responsive to your questions and concerns.

    Choose assignments that work for you — When you’re new to travel nursing, it’s a good idea to choose assignments that emphasize your current expertise. That will let you get your feet wet performing familiar tasks and procedures while acclimatizing yourself to a unfamiliar workplaces and locales. Once you feel fully comfortable moving between new assignments, you can expand your horizons by working in different specialties or units and build your skill set to advance your career. You might also choose shorter contracts for your first few assignments until you’re sure the travel lifestyle is truly for you.

    Know before you go — When considering an assignment, make sure its time frame doesn’t conflict with any upcoming life events like weddings or graduations you’ll want to attend. Notify your recruiter up front when you will be unavailable so the two of you can work together to select a placement that won’t conflict with your plans down the road. Remember that changing a schedule after you accept a contract is permissible only for emergencies, and nonemergency leaves are granted entirely at the client’s discretion.

    Cultivate relationships on your assignments — As a nonpermanent professional working with an organization’s permanent staff, you may occasionally encounter lack of cooperation or work with difficult personalities. It’s important to maintain your professional demeanor and equanimity. Forming friendships and enjoying social activities with other staff will help you become part of the team, and demonstrating your professionalism under pressure to your house manager or supervisor will be helpful if you need to professionally advocate for yourself. And of course your Freedom nursing division are always available to support you when concerns arise.

    Take care of yourself — It goes without saying that travel nursing can be stressful, often with long hours and challenging working conditions. So it’s imperative that you make your own health a high priority. Exercise, diet, nutrition, sleep, and rejuvenating activities on your days off are all crucial to your good health — and the health of your patients.

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