The Pros and Cons of Working as a Travel Nurse

When you decide to start working as a travel nurse, you have unique advantages and disadvantages. You want to understand the downsides as well as the benefits you can expect from the job. By preparing for the downsides, you will have an opportunity to make the most of your career.

The Pros of Travel Nursing

Recognizing the benefits of travel nursing gives you a clear idea of why it is a good role for your career. The advantages of travel nursing fall into a few main categories: your income, travel experiences and the workplace environment.

Income for a travel nurse is more than your pay. You have benefits that increase your income. Travel nurses are given a fair pay for the area. They are also given a housing stipend or lodging for their time in a new location. The stipend or lodging helps reduce your monthly expenses or gives you extra funds when you find a good deal on short-term housing. Keep in mind that the amount you make depends on the state, so you will usually make more in areas with a high demand for nurses or in areas with a lower cost of living.

The travel experience is another advantage of working as a travel nurse. You have the opportunity to see new places and enjoy beautiful environments. You also gain the opportunity to meet new people. Travel nurses also have the flexibility to travel when they want and to explore areas they want to visit.

Your workplace environment also plays a role in travel nursing. As a travel nurse, you are not involved in the politics of a specific medical facility. You come into the position, work for the duration of a contract and then you leave. Other nurses will not see you as competition within the hospital or medical facility. It allows you to broaden your horizons as a nurse while staying away from the political aspects of the job. It also allows you to help out in under-served areas when they need a professional nurse.

The Cons of Travel Nursing

Although travel nursing does have clear benefits, it also has downsides to consider. The primary disadvantages of working as a travel nurse relate to your personal relationships, the time you spend in transit and the paperwork.

Personal relationships may suffer when you work as a travel nurse. Since you do not stay in one area for long, you may get homesick or leave your support network behind when you move. You will move every few months, so your relationships may face challenges related to your consistent moves.

You also spend more time in transit, which means your vehicle will have more wear and tear. You will need to replace a car more often than you may expect.

Travel nurses also have a disadvantage when it comes to paperwork. You have two areas to consider in relation to paperwork: the constant job search and the paperwork you fill out at a medical facility. You will need to fill out more documents when compared to other nurses.

Working as a travel nurse is a complex position. It does have key advantages, but you also need to recognize that you may face some challenges. Weigh the pros and cons before you consider a role as a travel nurse. You can also try out the position for a few months before deciding if you want to continue working in a travel nursing position.

How to Succeed as a Travel Nurse When you are Introverted

When you want to work as a travel nurse, you may assume you need an extroverted personality type. After all, travel nurses are constantly meeting new people and facing new environments. When you are shy, it seems daunting to take on the role of a travel nurse. Although it may seem challenging at first, introverts can succeed as a travel nurse.

Start in Your Education

A key advantage you have as a nurse is the training you receive in education. During your studies, you learn how to handle the needs of your patients. You follow a specific routine and strategy to put your patients at ease when they need treatment or care.

Use the tools you learn during your studies. Follow the tips and advice you learn in school to respond to your patient’s needs. Keep in mind that your goal is helping with their health. By following a strategy you learn during your education, you will gain confidence during the first challenges you face.

Take a Deep Breath Before Entering a New Environment

The key challenge you face as an introvert in travel nursing is the new environment. You meet new co-workers, staff and patients every few months. That can seem daunting in the beginning. During your first assignment, take a deep breath before you walk into the hospital or medical facility. By focusing on your breathing, you will avoid feeling overwhelmed with the change. After the first few assignments, you will learn how to handle the challenges of meeting new people with each assignment.

Explore the Local Environment

During your days off, take the time to explore the local environment. Familiarity is comforting when you have an introverted personality type. By taking the time to explore the area, you become familiar with your surroundings. That helps you develop a comfort zone in each new location.

Join a Support Group

When you feel overwhelmed with the changes, consider joining a support group. The advantage of a support group is that others understand your situation. They face the same challenges and offer advice based on their own experiences. It will give you an opportunity to learn from others while you are traveling.

Keep in mind that support groups are not always in-person groups. For an introvert, the online support groups are a good choice. Use social media to connect to others who have a similar lifestyle. It gives you an opportunity to ask for help without feeling exhausted or overwhelmed.

Take a Break

As an introvert, you need time to yourself. Plan to take breaks during your days off to enjoy time alone. Spend time reading your favorite books or take a break from the world by watching your favorite shows. The time you spend away from others will help you regain the energy to handle the tasks and challenges that may arise at work.

Travel nursing does not require an extroverted personality type. As an introvert, you can still enjoy the opportunity to travel and explore new areas. The key is expecting a few challenges and having a plan to handle the initial assignments. As you learn from your experiences, you will gain confidence in your long-term success as a travel nurse.

4 Common Nursing Resume Mistakes

Are you searching for a job as a nurse? Have you gotten your resume prepared and ready for applications? While you may assume that your resume is the ideal for a career in nursing, you also want to check for some of the common mistakes that may limit your opportunities.

Making It Too General

Throughout the course of applying for positions, you need to focus on connecting with professionals for a specific role. Do not assume that your resume applies to every position.

Optimize your resume for the applicant tracking system. Edit it for a role so that you are the ideal candidate for that position, not just a good candidate for any position as a nurse. Employers use applicant tracking systems to identify appropriate candidates. Take their use of the systems into your calculations and adjust your resume to fit the position.

Summarize Your Experience

A resume offers two possibilities for an introduction: a summary or an objective. As a nurse, you want to write a summary because it tells your employer what you bring to the table. It focuses on your skills rather than what you want from your career.

As an nurse, you want to share your skills with a potential employer. Unlike other industries, employers in healthcare want to know what skills you have before they hire you. They need to know if you have the skills they need, particularly when you are looking at specialized fields in nursing. For example, a pediatric nurse needs the ability to work with children, so listing skills related to childcare and pediatric nursing will help. Nurses who assist a surgeon bring other skills to the table. A summary allows you to list specific skills for a potential employer.

Leaving Gaps in Your Resume

A gap in your resume does not look good to an employer. When you take off time from your career, explain the gap in your resume. You can explain in your summary. For example, if you took time off to care for an aging parent, then provide a statement that highlights your experience and the fact that you took time off to care for an aging parent. If you took time off to pursue a higher education, then list your accomplishment in your resume and provide the dates when you started and finished your certification or education.

Use an Inappropriate Email Name

Never use a personal email account with a username that was for friends, family and your personal interactions. Set up a new email account with your first and last name or with your last name and first initial. A professional email name shows that you are serious about obtaining a position. You also want to avoid hobbies or interests on your resume to make it look professional. Focus on your education and experience. Use a professional email account. It will suggest you are prepared to start your career.

Your resume is the first impression you make on a potential employer. Edit it to fit the needs of your employer and the position. Showcase your skills and make sure you provide a professional email address.

Finding Lodging as a Travel Nurse

When you work as a travel nurse, you may have concerns about lodging. When a specific position does not offer lodging or when you want to find a place that fits your personal preferences, you need to take a step back and evaluate your options.

Clarify Your Options

Before you take any steps to secure lodgings, you want to clarify your options. You have three main options for a rental: extended stays in a hotel or motel, staying in a short-term furnished rental or using tools like Airbnb to find lodging. If you have a pet, then you want to make sure a rental unit allows you to bring a pet before you travel.

Extended Stays in a Hotel

Hotels and motels consider a customer a long-term stay when you plan to stay in the hotel for 30 days or more. As a travel nurse, you generally expect to stay in one location for 3 months or longer, but the exact time depends on your contract.

An advantage to staying in a hotel or a motel for the duration of your time in a new location is the service you receive. You can also negotiate with the manager to get a better rate for your stay. Do not talk to the front desk. You need to talk to a manager to get a rate that keeps up with your goals.

The downside of staying in a hotel or a motel is the cost. It will usually cost more due to the cleaning services provided by the hotel. You will want to weigh the costs carefully to determine when it helps with your goals.

Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals are an option when you want to stay in a comfortable space and enjoy a reasonable level of freedom. They may also be called a vacation rental. These rentals are usually furnished and focus specifically on short-term contracts. They offer contracts that range from a few weeks to a few months, so you want to compare the rates to find the best option.

A key advantage of a short-term rental is that they may allow you to bring a pet. Keep in mind that pets may require an additional deposit and each rental has different rules or standards.

Using Online Rental Services

When you use a service like Airbnb, you want to evaluate your options carefully. A key advantage with services like Airbnb is that you get special rates for extended visits. The downside is that you may have limited options in some areas. It is particularly limited in more rural locations.

Use caution when working with an online service. Online tools, like Craigslist, may have some good offers, but they also have bad offers as well. If something seems too good to be true based on your research of the area, then it probably has a catch.

Travel nurses are usually offered lodging or given a stipend for housing. The key to finding an option that fits your needs on a short-term basis is comparing the rental options.

5 Tips to Survive the Night Shift as a Travel Nurse

When you take on the role of a travel nurse, you agree to long shifts and working at unusual times. In some cases, a hospital or medical facility will ask you to work the night shift. Transitioning from the day shift to the night shift seems challenging, but you can simplify the process.

Change Your Eating Schedule

A healthy meal plan is essential for any nurse. The challenge when you transition to the night shift is that you will not feel hungry at the same time. Avoid eating for an extended period. You want roughly 12 to 16 hours between meals to change your patterns. Start eating on a schedule that shifts from the normal daytime plan.

Eat your breakfast after you get up in the evening to prepare for your shift. Eating a breakfast meal at that time will help you regain energy for your upcoming shift and will help you transition into a new schedule. Enjoy lunch in the middle of your shift, when you take a break. After you finish your shift, eat dinner. By shifting your meals around, you teach your body that your morning is in the evening.

Plan Your Sleep

The average adult needs roughly 8 to 8.5 hours of sleep each day. When you transition into a night shift, sleep is the main challenge. You need to shift your sleeping patterns so that you sleep in the day and have energy to last through the night.

Set aside enough time for sleep. Before you start a new shift, make sure you have a full 8 hours or more to sleep. Initially, you may need extra time to adjust your habits and give your body time to fall asleep. Create a schedule that gives you plenty of rest so you are energetic during your shift.

Put Up Blackout Curtains

Close the blinds and put up blackout curtains. You need a dark environment to sleep through the day. By putting in blackout curtains, you will encourage your body to sleep. If you are not able to put in blackout curtains, then put foil in the windows and then close the blinds. The foil will reflect light outward and will keep your room dark.

Use a White Noise Machine

A white noise machine is ideal when you try to sleep during the day. It blocks out the noise from your neighbors and reduces the number of disturbances to your sleep. Use the machine to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Exercise Regularly

Do not allow your normal activities to fall off. Exercise on a regular basis to stay healthy and active. Regular exercise gives you energy to handle any task you may face. It also helps you stay awake during a night shift.

A travel nurse takes on unique shifts at a medical facility. In some cases, you need to transition to the night shift for your patient’s care. By taking the time to plan for the potential disturbances and adjusting your meals, you will find that the process is easy.

Tips to Save Time on a Job Search

When you get fired from a position or decide to look for a new job for your career goals, you don’t want to waste your time. You want to save time and accomplish your goals in an efficient manner. By using a few strategies, you can cut back on the time it takes to find a new job.

Get Prepared and Organized

Before you start your search for a new position, set up a professional email account. Avoid emails with funny names or nick-names. Opt for an account that uses your first and last name or that uses your last name with an initial from your first name. A professional email allows you to connect with potential employers.

You also want to organize your plan and prioritize your search for a new position. Prepare your resume and provide a cell phone number on the resume. A cell phone number means a potential employer can contact you at any time. If you provide a home phone number, then make sure you have a system set up for messages.

Preparation is the foundation for your career aspirations. It allows you to avoid delays in your search. By updating your resume and setting up an easier system for communication, you will be able to connect to potential employers before others fill a potential opportunity.

Create a Template for Your Cover Letter

A template for your cover letter means you will easily be able to update it for specific employers. The template describes the basic skills you bring to a company. You can then edit the document for specific details.

The goal is an efficient system for your applications. Fill out your contact information. Use a general opening and closing paragraph. These parts of the cover letter will not change for each position. Use the middle paragraph to fill in specifics for a position you want. By using a template, you save time and avoid writing a new letter for each position.

Prepare Your References

Gather information about your references before you start applying for positions. Companies ask for references at different times throughout the application process. You may need the information when you first apply for a position. You may also need a list of references during an interview. By gathering the names, email addresses, phone numbers and other details of your references before you apply for a position, you have the data available when you need it.

You want personal and professional references available. Personal references are friends, family members, teachers or others in your life. Professional references are your co-workers, a previous manager or a previous employer.

If you want to save time before you apply for a job, then you need to prepare in advance. Set up a system of communication and create a template for your cover letter and resume. Gather information about your references. By taking the steps to prepare for the process, you do not waste time during applications and can move quickly into interviews.

Stress Management for Travel Nurses

Working as a nurse is a high-stress profession. You have the lives of your patients in your hands and they depend on you to help with their needs when they visit a doctor or an emergency room. When you travel as a nurse, you take on a complex role. You may spend hours on your feet and caring for your patients in a high-stress and high-demand position. The challenges of your job do not mean you must maintain your high level of stress. You can take steps to reduce your stress levels and wind down after a long shift.

Take a Warm Bath

A classic way to unwind after a long shift is taking a warm bath. Give yourself a break from the challenges of your work and take a few minutes to yourself. A warm bath helps in two ways: it gives you a break away from the stress of your work and it warms up your body. The warm temperatures help your muscles relax. Staying in a bath also allows you to get away from any other stresses in your environment. It keeps you enclosed in a small space until you feel ready to take on the next challenge.

Visit a Spa

Travel nurses have an advantage when it comes to stress management. Are you working in a mountain oasis? Is there a ski resort nearby? Are you near the beach? If you are working in a tourist hot-spot, then you have access to amazing spas and attractions. Whether you are in a ski town or you are near the beach, giving yourself a spa day offers an opportunity to relax and unwind.

During your next day off from work, visit a local spa. Enjoy a little pampering with a full body massage. Visit the sauna to warm up your body or enjoy a relaxing break in a hot spring or Jacuzzi. Spas offer different services to help you relax after a difficult week.

Get Your Work Organized

When you work as a nurse, you have a stressful work environment. While taking your time off to unwind is a useful way to avoid feeling overwhelmed, you also want to reduce your stress at work. A simple solution is organizing your work. Set up a system that helps you stay on track. Keep your paperwork in order and make sure you have documents filed properly for your patients.

Set priorities and stick to your plans. As a travel nurse, you may feel pressured to take on more than you can handle. If you start feeling overwhelmed, then take  a step back and evaluate your situation. Prioritize vital tasks and work your way through the tasks based on their importance.

Travel nurses take on a complicated role in a medical facility. You work long hours on a single shift and may feel overwhelmed at times. By taking measures to relax and unwind at the end of a long shift or a difficult week, you will enjoy the job and journey.

Working as a Travel Nurse When You Have a Pet

Working as a travel nurse offers an opportunity to see different states and localities. The challenge is taking your pet and maintaining their needs while you work in a new job. When you have a pet and you plan to travel as a nurse, you want to take the steps to prevent problems related to your pet.

Check the Accommodations

Travel nurses are often allowed to bring a pet, but the accommodations may set limitations on the size of your pet or the breed. If you have a large breed dog, then verify your options for accommodations before you travel. If the position does not offer appropriate accommodations, then you may need to consider renting or finding an alternative. Keep in mind that most accommodations do allow small pets, but may require a deposit against potential damages from a pet’s behavior.

Update Appropriate Vaccinations

Your pet may need booster shots or other vaccinations before you start traveling. Keep in mind that each state has different standards for rabies shots or other vaccine schedules. Check your home state and the new state to ensure that your pet’s vaccines comply with the standards of the state.

Carry an Interstate Health Certificate

Visit a veterinarian a few days before you intend to travel with your pet. Many airlines require a certificate of veterinary inspection as well as documentation of your pet’s vaccination records. The certificate of veterinary inspection must be provided within 10 days of taking a plane. If you plan to travel by car, then you still need to carry records of your pet’s vaccinations; however, you may not need as much documentation as an airline requires.

Get a License

A pet license is an important part of traveling with your pet. Get the paperwork in order before you start traveling to ensure that your pet is properly documented. It prevents complications if your pet gets sick or injured at any time during your travels.

Purchase Pet Insurance

A pet insurance policy allows you to seek treatment in an emergency situation. Traveling increases the risk of injuries to your pet when compared to keeping your pet at home. By obtaining a pet insurance policy, you will not need to worry about expenses in an emergency situation.

Tags and Microchips

The final consideration is putting a tag or a microchip on your pet. Make sure that tags are up-to-date with the latest information. You also want to update a microchip if your pet has a microchip. You can also get a microchip and maintain the tags for further safety in case your pet gets lost or wanders off at any point during you travels.

Working as a travel nurse does not mean you must give up your pet. You can travel with your pet and enjoy a new job opportunity as long as you prepare in advance. Carry the documents you need to comply with state and local laws. It will allow you to enjoy your pet’s company in a new home.

Changes with the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNCL)

There are some changes coming in the New Year with your compact license. Please see below for detailed information in regards to these important changes and how they may affect you:

* The eNLC has made some updates to the program requirements, thus affecting the list of participating states.
* From the list of 25 states that are currently part of the NLC, 4 are being removed (CO, NM, RI, and WI) and 5 will be added (GA, FL, OK, WV, and WY).
* The additional 5 will not be compact until after the roll out date of 1/19/18, and will require additional steps to convert a current state license to a compact.

Please prepare your employees – important changes as of 1/19/18.

To avoid a lapse in Nursing License:
* Anyone working on a compact license from CO, RI, WI or NM will ONLY be able to work in those four states on the new mini-compact. If working in another state, he/she will need to apply for a new state license in working state.
* Anyone working in CO, RI, WI or NM on a compact license from another state will need to apply for a new state license in working state.
* Rhode Island and Wisconsin are in the process of adding the additional requirements in an effort to re-join the eNLC,  which could impact or dissolve the mini compact group.

New Mini-Compact States:

1.  Colorado
2.  Rhode Island  (pending eNLC legislation)
3.  Wisconsin (pending eNLC legislation)
4.  New Mexico

21 States Staying on the Compact License:

1.  Arizona<https://state.1keydata.com/arizona.php>
2.  Arkansas<https://state.1keydata.com/arkansas.php>
3.  Delaware<https://state.1keydata.com/delaware.php>
4.  Idaho<https://state.1keydata.com/idaho.php>
5.  Iowa<https://state.1keydata.com/iowa.php>
6.  Kentucky<https://state.1keydata.com/kentucky.php>
7.  Maine<https://state.1keydata.com/maine.php>
8.  Maryland<https://state.1keydata.com/maryland.php>
9.  Mississippi<https://state.1keydata.com/mississippi.php>
10. Missouri<https://state.1keydata.com/missouri.php>
11. Montana<https://state.1keydata.com/montana.php>
12. Nebraska<https://state.1keydata.com/nebraska.php>
13. New Hampshire<https://state.1keydata.com/new-hampshire.php>
14. North Carolina<https://state.1keydata.com/north-carolina.php>
15. North Dakota<https://state.1keydata.com/north-dakota.php>
16. South Carolina<https://state.1keydata.com/south-carolina.php>
17. South Dakota<https://state.1keydata.com/south-dakota.php>
18. Tennessee<https://state.1keydata.com/tennessee.php>
19. Texas<https://state.1keydata.com/texas.php>
20. Utah<https://state.1keydata.com/utah.php>
21. Virginia<https://state.1keydata.com/virginia.php>

States being added to eNLC beginning 1/19/18 (additional steps needed to convert license to a compact):
22.  Georgia
23.  Florida
24.  Oklahoma
25.  West Virginia
26.  Wyoming

In addition to the above changes, any nurse who obtained a compact license after July 20, 2017 might need to meet additional requirements to maintain their compact status. Each nurse will receive communication from their licensing state if any action is needed.

 

What is a compact license? Check this article by clicking here.

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