Travel nursing jobs are an exciting way to earn more money, travel the country, and check off some bucket list experiences along the way. New traveling nurses can get swept up in their enthusiasm to hit the road and miss out on important moments throughout the hiring process. Let’s take a look at 5 quick “don’ts” that you should avoid as a new travel nurse so that you can get back to planning your adventures!1. Don’t Be Disorganized
Before becoming a traveling nurse and throughout your contracts, it’s important to organize your nursing paperwork and have it easily accessible. You never know when your recruiter will call with an ideal opportunity, and creating a cohesive profile that includes your updated resume, reference list, current nursing licenses, etc. can open you up to better experiences and faster hiring. All you have to do is nail your first travel nursing interview!
Along with your recruiter, travel nursing companies like CoreMedical Group offer access to housing specialists and credentialing coordinators who can assist you along the way. While you carefully file all your documents at home, your credentialing coordinator will organize any new documents you may need to submit for your next assignment, help schedule additional medical testing, run skill checks, and make sure you are fully prepared before your travel nursing jobs.
2. Don’t Brush Over Your Contracts
You’ll want to jump head first into traveling nurse contracts, but it is important to take a moment and carefully read through any and all contracts before committing to an assignment. Travel nursing companies offer a wide range of pay and benefits, and it is essential to know what you are getting before moving across the country (or even across a state). If something is missing from your nursing or housing contract, take a moment to chat with your recruiter and housing coordinator to get everything sorted properly. Modifications can only happen if you’re proactive about requesting them.
3. Don’t Overpack
It’s understandable to be prepared for your first travel nursing assignment, but don’t forget that you’re not moving to the middle of nowhere! Whichever destination you choose (and there are lots to choose from), there will be supermarkets and box stores full of whatever you may need. The key is to think like a minimalist. Here’s what you should always pack:
- Your nursing portfolio (nursing compact states licenses, reference letters, etc.)
- All your favorite shampoos, soaps, and toiletries
- Weather and workplace appropriate clothes
- A basic first aid kit and any tools you may need for furniture set-up
- Household items like bedding, towels, and a few dinnerware settings
As a traveling nurse, you will quickly learn how much is too much. Whether you utilize your staffing company’s housing stipend to find your own place or plan to move into temporary housing provided with your contract, you will discover what is necessary to pack, and how to curb the excess. The only things left you’ll need to bring are all those unique items that make your temporary housing feel like home.
4. Don’t Fuel Any Drama
One of the most challenging aspects of being a travel nurse entering an established workplace is deciphering the “office politics.” While it is imperative that you understand the ins and outs of your new position, who you are working with, and the systems and policies currently in place, it’s equally as important not to fuel any adverse situations that may arise. Ask questions and become informed about the positives and the pain points affecting your fellow nurses, then take a step back to evaluate everything. It may be tempting to get involved, primarily when it affects you; however, you should always take a moment to pause before making assumptions. When you learn how to interact positively with new colleagues, you’ll be happier overall with the culture and work environment.
5. Don’t Be a Hermit
While it’s healthy to take time out of your schedule for quiet, solitude, and relaxation, it can also be detrimental if you start to let that take over your week. If you begin to slip into this routine, remember why you turned to travel nursing in the first place: your love of adventure and exploration. A quick Google search and a chat with some of your local coworkers can result in a comprehensive list of amazing things to do, places to see, and people to meet. Don’t let fear of the unknown get the better of you. Make a serious effort to step out of your comfort zone and see what experiences you would be missing otherwise!
Now that you understand a few things you should avoid on your first travel nursing jobs, it’s time to start exploring all the benefits of being a travel nurse! Start by seeing why other RNs think travel nursing is a great career move, and then reach out to travel nursing companies like CoreMedical Group to learn more!