7 Secrets to Achieving Your Travel Nursing Goals
By Andrya Feinberg, contributor
“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live.”
— Greg Anderson
When there is something travel nurses want to change, something they want to achieve, or something they want to improve, creating goals and a plan of action can make all the difference in their lives and their nursing careers.
A little help from the experts can also go a long way.
For instance, Onward Healthcare provides the resources and support to help travel nurses focus on their priorities and achieve their personal and professional goals. Our recruiters can help you gain vital experience in your nursing specialty while visiting places on your bucket list.
Why set travel nursing goals?
Travel nursing may seem like a free and easy lifestyle, but in order to get the most out of your assignments, you have to have a plan. Setting goals will help you look beyond your next couple of travel nursing jobs to be sure you are steering your career in the right direction.
Creating the future you desire will take some personal reflection, careful thought and planning.
7 tips to set and achieve goals in your travel nursing career
Take note of these proven tips and advice to achieve your travel nursing goals:
1. Write down your reasons for becoming a travel nurse. Are you looking for some specific experience? Do you want to work near family or make a transition from one city to another? If you’ve been traveling for a while, do your original reasons still hold true? Consider how travel nursing jobs have affected your professional experience and your personal life thus far, and anything you might want to aim for going forward.
2. Construct a personal inventory of your strengths, weaknesses, skills and interests. Then talk to your recruiter about travel nursing jobs that can best utilize your strengths, provide training and/or improve skills that might need some refinement.
3. Set goals that match your interests with a realistic timeline, clarifying what you want to achieve and when. Don’t get overly ambitious, especially if you are new to travel nursing; it’s important to make sure your goals are attainable in the time allotted.
4. Research the education and experience necessary for your long-term goals. “Education is extremely important in advancing one’s career,” said Karen G. Schepp, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, chair for the department of psychosocial and community health at the University of Washington School of Nursing in an interview with NursingJobs.com. She reported that each nursing degree or specialty certificate gives you more options and opportunities in your nursing career. A more educated nurse is also a safer nurse, she explained, and the commitment and energy devoted to a nurse’s education will provide both professional and personal rewards.
5. Always represent yourself and the nursing profession in a professional manner. Honesty, hard work, confidentiality about patients, respect for individuals, professional competency, a positive attitude and strong interpersonal skills are among the professional attributes that every nurse should have, according to Schepp. How you are represented on social media can also have a huge impact on your professional goals, as it is now common practice for employers review a candidate’s’ online profiles before extending a nursing job offer.
6. Continue personal and professional development. Personal development can have a positive impact on a travel nurse’s career. Schepp and other leaders recommend that nurses focus on communication skills, including active listening, problem solving and conflict resolution. This can start in your current health care setting, and expand as you work in a various assignment facilities. Some skills can also be refined through continuing education courses, like those offered by Onward Healthcare’s education partner, RN.com. (Bonus: Onward travel nurses can take any of RN.com’s 180+ CE courses without cost.)
7. Expand your perspective, and be positive! Doing the same thing in the same environment, year in and year out, won’t necessarily help you grow, so keep your eye out for nursing positions that fall outside what you are doing now. Travel nursing jobs can help you expand your résumé as you seek out positive work environments that encourage skill development and growth.
ARE YOU READY to move onward and upward in your travel nursing career? Find your dream travel nursing job with help from the staffing experts at Onward Healthcare.