Travel nursing takes a special set of skills. You must have a thirst for adventure, an ease with change, and the stamina to face new challenges. Do you have what it takes?
You’re an adventurer.
Yesterday, you finished packing up the little apartment you’ve been staying at by the beach. You did your last shift in the Level-I trauma unit in the tiniest hospital you’ve ever seen, and said goodbye to your coworkers over homemade cake.
This morning, you hopped on a plane to Chicago, had a meeting with your new supervisor at the sprawling hospital that’s your headquarters for the next three months, and settled into a furnished apartment in Rogers Park.
Last winter, you surfed for the first time in Santa Cruz. Next summer, you’re going on a 10-day Alaskan cruise — and you didn’t even have to put in for time off.
If you like adventure — travel nursing is the job for you.
You’re comfortable with change.
Change is part of the air a travel nurse breathes.
If you aren’t adaptable, it’ll be very difficult for you to learn a new job, create a new home, and make new friends every few months. But, if you are someone who embraces newness and is invigorated and inspired by change, the traveler’s life might be right up your alley.
You think on your feet.
Along with chasing change, travel nurses think on their feet. Like all nurses, they must be problem solvers who can make quick, crucial decisions about patient care.
But, travel nurses have the added challenge of triaging patient needs and responding to physician demands in constantly changing systems. They must both adapt to new rules and make confident decisions while always being the newbie.
If you are sure-footed about your nursing skills and a quick study in a new environment, you would make a stellar travel nurse.
You have physical endurance.
Every nurse is a nurse of steel, right? But travel nurses need an extra level of physical endurance. Not only do they need to steady a post-surgical football player while adapting to the physical demands of a new night shift, they need to do it after driving for 13 hours to get to a new gig.
Travel, change, and newness all have their own physical requirements. If you’re strong, with great stamina, and take pride in your ability to take on challenging physical tasks, you’re well-suited to the traveler’s life.
While most traditional nurses are settled into an existing system — their long-term hospital, their full-time home — travel nurses have the freedom to create their own structure. To make this work, you must be organized.
From keeping on top of different staffing agencies’ paperwork to meeting more complex tax requirements, being a person who crosses their t’s and dots their i’s will get you far in travel nursing.
While nursing is a people-focused position, travel nurses must be more self-reliant than traditional nurses.
You want to be comfortable enough in your own skin to move to a new town without knowing many people. If you’re the type of person who enjoys the freedom and fierce independence, you’ll love the life of the traveler.
You’re a people person.
While travel nurses are self-reliant and go their own way, they also need strong social skills.
Are you comfortable fitting in with new coworkers, meeting and learning the ins and outs of new environments, and reaching out to make new friends?
If you thrive with people, are known for your ability to connect, and enjoy getting to know people all over the country, then you’re a natural travel nurse.
You stay above the fray.
One of the greatest boons of travel nursing is the opportunity to stay out of hospital politics. You’re always the new kid, which means you can opt out of the more entrenched and thorny issues that plague every organization.
If you’re the type of cool cucumber that would relish the opportunity to let all the bureaucracy and gossip pass you by, find your first travel nurse gig today.
Need more info? Check out why you should give travel nursing a try.