Before you begin looking for a travel nurse job, knowing what to expect is essential. As a new travel nurse, you’ll likely be at the bottom of the resume pile, with the veteran travelers outranking you. Therefore, taking your time, gathering a few resumes, and deciding which contract is best for you is essential. Once you have a few assignments, your resume will start moving up the hiring manager’s inbox.
Preparing for travel nurse jobs
Before applying for travel nurse jobs, research the facility you will be working in is essential. The best way to learn about a facility is to contact a travel nurse agency since they can provide information about the work environment, policies, and procedures. They will also be able to give you tips on what to expect on your first day on the job.
Travel nurses need to be flexible and have the ability to adapt to changing work environments. The orientation process is often shorter than regular employees, so it is essential to be relaxed and ready for changes. Also, make sure you are familiar with different cultures and working environments. Finally, if you are considering a career in travel nursing, leave your previous employer on good terms.
Travel nurses perform the same tasks as their registered counterparts but may also develop a specialization that makes them an asset in a particular location. For example, traveling nurses may focus on treating elderly patients with illnesses such as swine flu. These positions often require a lot of travel, but they can offer an excellent way to see the world.
Expectations of a travel nurse position
Travel nursing is an excellent opportunity for practitioners to explore different places while building relationships and expanding their skill sets. The process can be exciting and challenging, but new travel nurses must temper their high expectations with realistic ones. Here are some tips for achieving a healthy balance between adventure and stress.
Before accepting a new travel assignment, discuss your work schedule. Many facilities advertise shifts in advance and may be open to discussing alternate changes during the interview process. In many cases, shifts are fixed for six to eight weeks, with mandatory overtime and call. These are essential details to consider.
As a travel nurse, you typically work three shifts weekly (morning, noon, and night). You may work as many as six to eight hours daily or as little as three to twelve hours. The schedule varies based on the needs of the hospital. You may have to work weekends and holidays, so you must be flexible with your schedule.
Another perk of a travel nurse position is that you will be free to travel. The flexibility you enjoy while working in a new setting will help you develop new skills. In addition, the opportunity to live in various places and work with people you get to know will help you get more experience as a nurse. You can also choose the assignments you want to take, allowing you to enjoy the experience while earning extra money.
Getting a travel nurse contract
The first step to getting a travel nursing contract is understanding the contract’s details. It should specify the stipend amount, payment terms, and the employee’s cost. It should also clearly state whether there are medical benefits. If there are no benefits, the contract should state what the employee has to pay out of pocket.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want, you can approach a recruiter for contracts in the specialty you have most recently worked. While signing on with the first one can be tempting, you should always consider a contract’s financial and personal implications. A travel nurse contract should be in keeping with your personal and professional goals.
Another essential factor to consider is the length of the contract. Most travel nurse contracts are for 13 weeks, but it is possible to get shorter contracts. Sometimes, you may only need the nurse for a week or two, but it is still important to negotiate the contract length. Also, ensure that guaranteed time off provisions are written into the contract.
A travel nurse contract is a legal contract between the nurse and the facility or agency. Breaking it will be costly for the travel nurse and the facility or agency. Besides, it will look unprofessional and may put you on the “do not hire” list. Although you can change the contract if uncomfortable, it is never worth risking your license.