Improving Your Skills to Become More Marketable as a Travel Nurse

by Howard Gerber on April 18, 2013

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Getting the travel assignment you want most may take research and a little patience, but there are ways to increase your chances of getting your ideal assignment. Improving your skills increases your marketability as a travel nurse and makes you more in demand.  Although you already have your education and experience as a nurse, there are several things you can do to increase your knowledge, your skills, and make you a more marketable nurse.

Certifications

In addition to your education and nursing license, certifications in specialty areas help set you apart from other applicants. There are several certifications to earn depending on what your interests are.  For example, if you are interested in pursuing a career in intensive care nursing, certifications in critical care nursing can be earned through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).  Progressive care nursing certification is another option to consider through the AACN.

There are many other specialty certifications to choose from, including oncology certified nurse, certified wound care nurse, and certified registered nurse infusion. Nurses with certifications, such as certified neonatal intensive care nurse and certified inpatient obstetrics nurse, are also often in demand for travel nursing assignments.

There are different requirements for various certifications including classes and years of experience Contact the professional organization offering the certification for exact requirements.

Computer Skills

Computer skills are good to have in many career areas, and nursing is no exception. Not only are many hospitals across the country transitioning to electronic medical records, computer systems are often used to scan and record medication administered. Nurses who are experts in information technology are often needed to help hospitals during the transition to electronic medical records systems.

Even if you are not an expert and don’t plan on seeking a travel assignment involving nursing and informational technology, having computer skills will be helpful. Although hospitals may use different systems, it is easier to learn a new system if you already have some basic computer knowledge. You don’t have to be a computer whiz, but knowing your way around a keyboard, and some basics will be helpful.

An Advanced Degree

Although an advanced degree, such as a BSN or master’s degree in nursing, is not necessary to get a great travel assignment, it can help. Whether you pursue a BSN degree or a nurse practitioner credential, advanced degrees in nursing make you a more marketable candidate for travel assignments. Not only will more assignments be available to you, but you may be able to command a higher salary. If you plan to pursue an advanced degree, but think school and travel assignments can’t go hand in hand, there are options. With numerous online programs in nursing, you can work towards an advanced degree from anywhere you have an internet connection.

Keep in mind, credentials and advanced degrees are not the only ways to make yourself a more marketable candidate.  Additional considerations include being open to working different shifts and various days of the week. Having a positive attitude and working well as part of a team are also essential to finding your ideal travel assignment.

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