Congrats! You made it through nursing school, and you’re stepping into your new career. This is an exciting time for you and the beginning of a new chapter in your life. If you’ve chosen to go the travel nursing route, you’re in for an adventure. Travel nursing is an incredibly rewarding career and can bring you plenty of new opportunities.
You’ll be covering new territory this year (literally and figuratively), and it’s important to be prepared. Lucky for you, we’ve got years of experience as a travel nursing agency, and we know the ins and outs of the job. Here are some of the most important things to know as you prepare for your first travel nurse assignment.
Get the details ironed out before you leave.
There’s nothing worse than setting out on a new assignment without all the information you need. If you’re working with an RN travel nursing company, it’s essential to understand the benefits and processes that will be a part of your job. A travel nursing agency with the best benefits will offer you health insurance, help you understand essential processes, and get you started on the right foot.
Before you leave, make sure you have your training and certification information on hand in case your new team asks. Verify that your financial details are correct so that you can get paid (and so that you don’t have to worry about administrative tasks while you’re adjusting to a new location). You want to make sure you make the most of that traveling nurse salary!
You’ll also want to make sure that you understand the parameters of your contract, its duration, and what your company will provide (if they do) in terms of housing and services. Make sure that you can access all of this information digitally while you are traveling, as well.
Find housing that suits your lifestyle.
Finding housing in a new city or state can be daunting, but don’t worry. It’s not hard to find a travel nursing housing site. The most important thing to focus on is to find accommodations that will suit your lifestyle. Even though you’re moving to a new place for a job, you’ll have downtime to spend on your own. If you like to explore new cities, perhaps look for a walkable location so you won’t have to go far from your new home to find something to do. If exercise is an important part of your daily routine, look for gyms near your accommodations or find an apartment with a gym facility.
Keep in touch with friends and family.
It’s important to keep in touch with your loved ones while traveling. Traveling can feel lonely at times, and keeping in touch with others will improve your mental health, even if that means FaceTime chats or short phone calls on your way home from work. Let your friends know that you’ll be traveling but that you’d still like to keep in touch. Social media is a great resource, but don’t rely on it exclusively. Find ways to connect with people one-on-one so that you don’t feel isolated.
Remember that it takes time to adjust.
Everything in life takes a little bit of time. If you feel unsettled when you’re on your first assignment, know that this is normal. It may take a few days or weeks for you to adjust to your new lifestyle, and that’s okay! Don’t put pressure on yourself to adapt quickly. Take your time, and do things that bring you joy (like talking with friends, trying new restaurants, exercising, or exploring your city). In time, you’ll be thriving in your new travel nursing assignment.
Congratulations on this wonderful new chapter in your life. You’re going to love it! If you have any questions, reach out to us at Nurse First Travel Agency or check out our travel nursing jobs. We’re happy to help.