I had the chance to sit down and speak with our clinical RN, Betsy Martin to discuss tips to have a successful travel assignment! Betsy and her team of clinical RNs get the chance to interact with travel nurses all the time. They’ve noticed some trends in what can make-and-break a travel assignment.
Tip #1 – Do your homework when choosing assignments
Make sure to have all applicable information before accepting a travel assignment, and have all needs in writing. Remember – you’ll be spending about 13 weeks or more at this location so you want to make sure you know what you’re signing into. Ask really detailed questions, especially during the interview when you have the chance to speak to that unit manager; questions such as days off, schedule/shift requests, nurse to patient ratio, are you floating and exactly which units?
Tip #2 – Scheduling
Travelers are expected to be flexible and accommodating to facilities in which they take an assignment at because they are being hired to help with staffing. However, as much as you can control, know what your limits are and really stick to it. Make sure to let your recruiter know what type of shifts you feel comfortable working. Allow yourself to have recovery days. Think twice about working a second job.
Tip #3 – Housing
As much as possible, don’t skimp on housing. Find a place where you feel safe and where you can get proper rest. Use your stipend for comfortable housing and consider your commute. Do your research on housing in the area and check different websites to see what they have to offer. Ask ahead about traffic, parking, and average commute times. Where you live can really set the tone for the overall assignment.
Tip #4 – Keep up with self-care
In between assignments, keep up with doctor appointments, dentist appointments, make sure prescriptions are filled, etc. Consider even a national gym membership so that you have access to a gym wherever you take an assignment at!
Tip # 5 – Have a support system
Some people decide to travel in pairs which is a great idea that way you have someone else who’s there in it with you! Also, you could consider a location to where you know at least one friend or family member so if you do need something you have someone you can go to. If you’re in a location where you don’t know anyone – be proactive about making connections. Join online travel nursing groups and become close friends with those people you’re on assignment with!
Watch the full video where I discuss these tips with Betsy Martin:
An additional resource for both seasoned travelers and first time travelers is the First Time Travelers FB group.
For additional tips from Betsy, check out her blog on working the night shift.
Karina Conti is a Social Media Recruiter for the Nursing division at Aureus Medical Group.