10 Signs You’re Meant to Be a Travel Nurse
By Joan Rose, RN, MA, contributor
There are thousands of travel nurses working in the United States, with a number of them employed at Magnet hospitals and other top medical centers.
Travel nurses are paid to travel and explore the country on temporary assignments as they do the work they love. They are also compensated well for what they do.
Do you have the characteristics to be among these lucky traveling nurses?
1. You have an adventurous spirit
Do you enjoy new adventures, unique places and roads less travelled? Or do you like to be in the thick of things and will challenge yourself to experience exciting new cities and destinations?
Whether you like rural locales and outdoor activities or the latest dining trends and cultural meccas, travel nursing jobs allow you the opportunity to escape the status quo, stretch your limits and grow personally and professionally.
2. You have strong nursing skills
Blessed with good education and training, intelligence, compassion and an insightful view about the world around you, your evaluations are positive and your supervisor is pleased with your attitude and performance. You are an asset to your team as you routinely adapt to unexpected situations in a calm and skilled manner that always puts patient care first.
Travel nurse agencies are always looking for quality nurses who are skilled, confident and ready to apply their nursing abilities in a variety of workplaces across the country.
3. You have a touch of wanderlust
Whether you are well on your way to visiting all 50 states or you still work in the state where you were born and raised but are yearning to explore the U.S., you know you have “the travel bug.”
Travel nursing is the perfect opportunity to you satisfy your sense of wanderlust!
Temporary travel nurse jobs (usually 4-13 weeks) allow you to pick destinations and experience your own slice of heaven, from cliff-lined California beaches to fields of Texas wildflowers to the bright lights of a big city on the East Coast.
4. You enjoy getting to know people
Would your friends and colleagues describe you as a “people person”? You don’t have to be the life of the party, but if you enjoy meeting people, learning their stories and building friendships you are likely to thrive as a travel nurse.
Travel nurses have the opportunity to expand their social network exponentially as they become fast friends with nurse travelers and staff who are from all over the country. They can also keep in contact with new and old friends through social media, phone calls and visits.
Once you start traveling, just think: you’ll always have someone to visit or crash with in future trips across the country!
5. You steer clear of negativity
You ignore hospital politics and refuse to engage in the “blame-game.” At work, you greet colleagues warmly and do your best to avoid negative talk and maintain a positive attitude.
Travel nurses work at a variety of hospitals and other healthcare facilities where they are assigned to fill a staffing need, and must dedicate themselves to helping staff and patients. Experienced and self-confident practitioners, they tend to ignore negative remarks as they strive to be congenial and cooperative coworkers.
6. You are a team player
You like being a team member and supporting others on the healthcare team, including physicians, nurses, allied professionals and assistants. You enjoy synergy, sharing ideas and being part of a community of professionals who enjoy solving problems and making patients better.
Travel nurses must learn to assimilate into new teams quickly with the help of a friendly, helpful attitude and a focus on shared goals.
7. You act like a sponge
You know that nursing is not a static profession; you are constantly seeking learning opportunities to increase your knowledge and nursing expertise. You want to soak it all in.
Travel nurses have the unique opportunity to learn new best practices, patient care tips and even creative work-arounds from their fellow nurses on assignment. While many aspects of nursing are the same wherever you go, there are always new things to learn about equipment, patient care, workplace relationships and career options.
Onward Healthcare travel nurses can also participate in on-site training and take free online CE courses through our association with RN.com.
8. You can adapt to change
You’re an accommodating person willing to make work adjustments based on meeting current needs.
Although you’d rather work on your assigned unit and do things a particular way, you are flexible enough to do what’s best for your patients, your team and the situation at hand. When asked to float to another unit, work overtime or change your shift due to unexpected situations, you do so without complaint.
Travel nurses must be flexible about work-related issues at times, and willing to learn new ways of doing things that can expand their nursing skills. They are also amenable to new living environments.
9. You can see different viewpoints
In your quest to learn and grow as a nurse, you look for opportunities to interact with those who have different points of view, or may be culturally different than you are. In the process you become more broad-minded and accepting of others’ views.
Travel nurses interact with a variety of people who think differently than they do and accept them as they are. This openness is often rewarded by friendships destined to last a lifetime.
10. You work hard and play hard
When you’re on shift, you give your nursing job and your patients your all. But when you are off work, you know how to relax and enjoy the people and things around you. Sports, dining, theaters — you name it! You know how to make the best of your days off.
Travel nurses can immerse themselves in their new communities, discover the best spots around town (with a little help from the locals), try new things, meet new friends and explore to their hearts’ content.
If this sounds like you, maybe you’re meant to be a travel nurse!
APPLY with Onward Healthcare to start working with one of our recruiters and begin your own travel nursing adventure.