Making The Most Out Of Travel Nursing:
The decision to try travel nursing is exciting, but it can also be rather scary – especially if you feel unprepared. Once you’ve signed your first contract, you will likely experience some anxiety. You might even question your decision altogether. But remember, it’s okay to be nervous about a new and unknown experience. In fact, the best changes in life usually come with some anxiety.
So let's begin: 6 tips for new travel nurses to help you calm the nerves and stride into your first assignment with a plan to succeed:
1. Confidence is Key
You’ve already done the challenging work of learning how to be a nurse and getting the license to prove it. Each facility does things differently, but your role in each one is still to be a nurse. If you show confidence in yourself, your co-workers and patients will believe it too.
2. Be (^extra) Kind
It sounds so simple, but a little extra kindness will make it much more likely that your first impression is a good one. You’re also less likely to experience hostility if you make the effort to put out positive energy. Finally, putting yourself out there will help you to hopefully turn a few co-workers into friends, which can be helpful in getting to know a new city.
3. Focus on Work
When you start your first assignment, the amount of new information can be overwhelming. Setting patient care as priority number one will help you to stay grounded as you learn about your co-workers and your facility.
4. Stay Organized!
Last-minute scrambling to collect needed information only serves to add stress. Work with your recruiter to make sure that documentation including licenses and certificates, immunizations, health records, tax information, and whatever else the facility needs is ready to go before your first day.
5. Use the Resources Available to You.
At work, ideally, your preceptor will be helpful as a go-to for any questions or issues. If not, speak with the nursing supervisor to identify someone who can serve that role for you. During your days off, don’t be afraid to lean on your existing support system if you need to talk to someone.
6. Make Time to Explore!
You won't get this time back, no matter where you are stationed, enjoy what it has to offer. Nurses tend to be overthinkers. If possible, try to keep yourself busy with fun local activities on your first days off. That way, you can truly decompress instead of sitting around thinking about all the things that you could’ve done differently during your first shifts. Get out, and explore.
Just breathe. You know more than you may think.
The considerations for your first travel nursing assignment aren’t that much different than any other new job. If you can present yourself as a confident, kind, and competent nurse who cares about your patients, you will likely find success in your role. questions when needed. Make sure you take care of your mental well-being on your days off. And finally, don’t forget to have some fun.