If you are getting ready to graduate from nursing school or are a recent graduate, you may be considering working as a traveler. After all, working as a travel nurse can be a great experience. Not only do you have the opportunity to see different parts of the country, you get to meet new people and have new experiences. Travel nursing may seem like the perfect choice, but you may wonder if working as a nurse traveler is a good idea this early in your career.
Advantages for New Grads
There can be a few advantages to working as a traveler if you are just starting your nursing career. For example, working as a traveler allows you the chance to see what it is like to work in different hospitals, which may help you decide what type of facility you enjoy most.
As a traveler, you may also learn new procedures and how to work with different equipment, which can help you down the line. Working as a nurse traveler may also boost your confidence to take a chance and go for what you want.
The Downside of Working as a Traveler as a New Grad
Working as a nurse traveler with little experience can also have a downside. Travelers may not be given an extensive orientation. You have to be the type who can jump right in. If you are a new graduate and feel like you need a slower introduction to a job, traveler nursing may need to wait.
Nurse travelers have a lot to deal with, including moving, living in a new city, and starting a new job. If you are an inexperienced nurse, it may be overwhelming. But if you are someone who can hit the ground running, you could do well.
The bottom line is that everyone is different, and it is hard to say whether traveler nursing is a good idea for new nurses. Some new nurses need to be mentored for a while and ease into the profession.
As a traveler, you are expected to be able to stand on your own quickly. Some nurses can adapt to any situation and have the confidence to perform well as a traveler.
Getting Your First Assignment
Staffing agencies have different policies regarding the amount of experience a nurse must have. Some require a minimum of a year, while others may be more flexible. After you find an agency to work with, you still have the hurdle of getting a contract from a hospital. You will really have to sell yourself as a new nurse.
On your resume, highlight the experience you do have, such as hospital volunteer work and clinical rotations during school. Think about transferable skills you have that will benefit you as a travel nurse. If you have worked as a supervisor or excelled at a job that required independence, mention it.
Ask questions during an interview. Determine what your orientation will consist of. Find out if you will be expected to float to different units. Make sure you are comfortable working in the department you will be assigned to. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you do not feel ready for an assignment, you can always turn something down until the right thing comes along.