So, do you want to be a travel nurse, or you already are!? Have you been dreaming of a career that allows you to travel and explore unique destinations and remain a caring servant-hearted nurse, then travel nursing may be your next ticket to success and career development. If you are already a traveling nurse, there is always time for more advice and perspective.
Hi, my name is Ann Gavin, RN with Travel Nurses, Inc., and here are my 7 secrets to a happy and successful travel nursing career! I once dreamed of this opportunity to accelerate my career, and now that I have made it a reality, I will never look back!
1. TAKE THE LEAP/DO YOUR RESEARCH
Listen to your gut. If you have been considering this decision, it’s been sitting in the back of your mind or has always been a goal like it was for me. TRY IT! I recommend logging onto Travel Nurses, Inc. ASAP, exploring the many travel job opportunities, and chatting with one of their fabulous recruiters. The process is straightforward and quick! It will surprise you at the endless possibilities available! Choose a recruiter that fits your personality and can accommodate the job opportunities you desire. Have an idea of where you want to go, your specialty, pay, and time frame. Being prepared with what you want makes the search for your recruiter more straightforward for you.
2. BE FLEXIBLE
As a travel nurse, you must go into this career with an open, flexible mindset. This lifestyle is very innovative, fast-paced, and challenging, all in the best ways! However, this means that contracts,
living situations, and your shifts at the hospital are always somewhat up in the air. You must be prepared to be tossed around like a pizza. The key is to remind yourself that this comes with the job territory. Remind yourself that you are helping the hospital where you are needed, which may mean multiple units/patient populations, etc. This is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and increase your knowledge of different hospitals, patient populations, ways of nursing, etc.
3. INVEST IN A ROUTINE
Since you are constantly changing homes, I recommend investing in a routine to carry with you everywhere you go to maintain a sense of consistency and stability. Whether that be set routines for your days off, a commitment to join gyms, churches, etc., everywhere you go. Have a routine on which you can rely. I prefer to invest in gyms and a self-care week every third week of the month to center myself and make every new city feel like home. This is also a great way to make connections and meet people!
4. EXPLORE THE CITIES I SUGGEST YELP, INSTAGRAM, TIK TOK
The best part of the job E X P L O R A T I O N. You constantly get to explore new cities and their neighborhoods, outdoors, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, hospital environments, patient populations, etc. IT IS SO FUN and EXCITING!
APPS will become your best friend Tik Tok, Instagram, Yelp, OpenTable, etc. Search these apps based on your location, and often you will find people who dedicate their time to finding the best events, restaurants, shops, etc. in your destination. Although your priority is to be an RN, take advantage of the opportunity to explore various parts of the United States. You have so many days off! There are exploration opportunities for every person in the travel nurse community. Whether you are a foodie, artist, fitness enthusiast, outdoorsy, etc.use your unique passions and apply them to each city for what you desire to explore.
5. PACK MINIMALLY
Have you ever heard the phrase less is more or quality over quantity? When it comes to packing for this lifestyle, that is the TRUTH. Invest in sturdy quality travel bags (MZ WALLACE, LONG CHAMP, PATAGONIA, ETC.) Quality athletic clothes (Lululemon, ALO, Athleta, Nike), good running and walking shoes (BALA), and your best basics. Seasonal, trendy stuff you can find on the go.
THE BEST BASICS raincoat, puffer coat, running shoes, athletic clothes, hat, good bag for work, sunglasses, smartwatch, pajamas, etc. Pack consistently as well to make your life easier. Living out of suitcases and plastic bins is a lot easier when it is organized.
6. BE SMART FINANCIALLY
This job comes with many perks that include… the paycheck 😉 However, don’t forget that saving is essential too! Talk to a financial guru or download some Dave Ramsey videos and INVEST YOUR MONEY! Be smart with it. Don’t set yourself up for failure and constantly blow all that great travel nurse money. Your future self will thank you. I recommend apps like mint, every dollar for budgeting. For savings, consider retirement options that come with your company (401k ,etc), or a Roth IRA. (Charles Schwabb).
7. HAVE FUN
ENJOY THIS CAREER. LOVE on your patients and take pride in knowing that you get to make a difference in the lives of others while also traveling the country. Make the most of your experiences!
Treat your unit to lunch and bond with other travel nurses! This career is unlike any other and is an excellent opportunity to develop as a nurse and person.
I hope my 7 secrets allow you to enjoy this career further or embark on a new adventure if you are still a staff nurse! Travel nursing is incredible, and I couldn’t do it without Travel Nurses, Inc.