Travel Nursing Tips For RNs and LVNs

Have you ever thought about going beyond your zip code with a degree in the most rewarding industry? If the answer is yes, congratulations! You’ve just decided you’re ready for a change and want to start a rewarding career as a travel nurse.

Travel nursing is an excellent opportunity to catch a glimpse of how different facilities handle their medical care. You can also expand your own skillset and knowledge base and bulk up your nursing resume. If you haven’t been in the field for several years, don’t worry! Changes in the nursing market and hiring practices now allow RNs to find nursing jobs across the country as travel nurses with less experience than previously required. Travel nursing jobs for new grads can offer a career’s worth of varied experiences in only a few short years, usually in conjunction with highly competitive pay. If you’re considering a career as a traveler, here are a few travel nursing tips to help you get set up.

Find The Right Travel Nurse Specialty

Finding a specialty can help you stand out in the travel nursing field and help you secure employment more easily. You can then market yourself accordingly to present hiring managers with a more robust application. Some of the best travel nurse specialties are:

  • Emergency Room (ER)
  • Operating Room (OR)
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care (NICU and PICU)

Every specialty has some demand, so if you’re considering something different, don’t worry! Even if you do not opt to earn a certification right away, gaining experience in various specialty areas will help increase your marketability.

Maintain Your Licensing And Certification Documents

Many travel nursing positions are time-sensitive for apparent reasons, so the early bird gets the worm, as they say. After graduation, gather your nursing licensure and certification for safekeeping. Scan important documents to have them readily available for email correspondence with a travel advocate and facilities. Don’t forget to store copies of your documents on a secure flash drive or on your computer to remain prepared for travel nursing jobs anytime, anywhere.

Obtaining specialty certifications that coincide with your field of practice is highly recommended as well. Necessary certifications for your new grad nursing job, such as BLS, ACLS, and others, show potential employers that you are proactive and want to provide the best inpatient care possible.

Be Flexible

Flexibility and persistency are essential for new graduates when looking for their first or next travel nursing job. If an opening at a top hospital is not your first choice for specialty, consider taking it as there may be opportunities to move units or float to other floors down the line. 

The same goes for your first travel nurse contract. Be flexible about your assignment choices and the locations, especially as a recent RN graduate. It is essential to gain clinical experience to learn more about the ins and outs of travel nursing and figure out your nonnegotiables and desired destinations.

Stay Connected

Whether with old travel nurse buddies or previous advocates, keeping connections in travel nursing can give you a considerable advantage regarding travel nursing contracts, the best cities, and facilities that are offering the most benefits. Collect business cards, names, and even make social media connections at each travel nurse assignment, and you’ll have an exceptionally impressive digital repertoire in no time. These connections can also help you make the position more permanent in the future.

Whether you’re looking to add some adventure to your career or want to continue adding to your repertoire, there are plenty of options in the world of travel nursing. Travel nursing is a unique career in itself, but it’s not one where you can get an internship and start immediately. Finding the right fit takes time and deliberation to ensure your happiness as a travel nurse—keeping these tips in mind will help you with that. If you’re ready to spread your wings and utilize your degree in a new and exciting way, head to our job board to find available travel nursing positions today!

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