Depending on what part of the country you live in, nursing jobs can be rather competitive. There can also be a lot of nurses vying for the same travel assignment. Competition can be especially tough if the job is in a sought after location, such as Florida or California. But there are things you can do to increase your marketability and improve your odds of winning the job.
Work in More Than One Area
The more skills you have and areas of nursing you can work in the better. Nurses who can only work in one specific area may still find travel jobs. But those who can work in several areas will have a much easier time landing the assignment they want. For example, if you can work in telemetry, the emergency room, and the cardiac ICU, you are a more attractive candidate than someone who can only work in one area. So how can you gain diverse experience if you don’t already have it? If you are currently working, ask to float to other areas of the hospital. Let your supervisor know you are interested in learning new skills. When you are ready to look for a travel job, you’ll be more confident in working in different areas.
There are many different certifications that nurses can earn, which validates your knowledge in a specific area. You may want to consider earning several certifications in the area of nursing you are most interested in. For instance, if you work in pediatrics, earning certifications will boost your chances of getting the travel assignment you want. Pediatric certifications, such as certified pediatric emergency nurse and pediatric advanced life support, are only some of the options you have available.
There are dozens of certifications in various specialties of nursing. The great thing about certifications is, you may already be eligible for certain ones, and will just have to take a test or complete a class.
Consider Getting Your BSN
More and more nurses are earning their BSN degree. If you have an associate degree in nursing, you may be competing for jobs with candidates with an advanced degree. Although having a BSN is not the only factor that will land you the job, it can help. If all other factors are equal, having a bachelor’s degree in nursing may give you the edge.
There are many RN to BSN programs that offer flexible scheduling for working nurses. Part-time, evening and weekend programs are options. Online programs are also something to consider. If you decide on an online program, even if you start a travel job, you can continue with your studies.
Beef up Your Resume
Lastly, make sure your resume is written to clearly display your skills, certifications, education and experience. A potential employer may not take the time to read through a four-page resume to learn more about you. A resume should be concise and well written. If resume writing is not your area of expertise, consider hiring a professional writer to make your resume a top notch.