Are you looking into becoming a traveling nurse, but still having doubts about being the new kid on the block? It may take some time to get accustomed to your new work environment during your travel nursing jobs – but fear not! You are right where you should be to get started. Keep reading to see some of our top tips to navigate hospital culture and vibe with your next destination.
Start with Travel Nursing Companies
When becoming a traveling nurse, it’s essential to find the right healthcare staffing company to work with first. Your staffing company will have a history in the travel nurse industry and should be familiar with the unique desires and needs that travel nurses have. Once they help you find the right hospital for you, everything else will fall into place! You can make traveling easier by looking into multi-state licensing within the nursing compact states, and by going to your recruiter with a list of general and specific wants (like specialties, hospital locations, desired pay range, EMR systems, patient population, and more)!
Use Your Interview
Once your recruiter identifies opportunities that match your list of personal and professional wants, it’s up to you to learn as much as you can during the interview. You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: the interview is as much for you to learn about a future employer, as it is for the employer to learn about you. You won’t want to get too deep into benefits and pay – that’s what your recruiter is for – but you can learn a lot about hospital policies and company culture with a quick phone call or Skype conversation.
Create Your New Home
It may sound out of the ordinary to bring housing into a conversation about how to mesh with your new company, but where you rest your head can have an enormous impact on your mood. Being organized and comfortable at home sets you up for the best workday, and the most relaxation when you clock out. By taking some time to create a special reading nook, sort through and display beautiful images from your travels, or even invest in a white noise machine, you create a more welcoming, calming space. Plus, you’re more likely to invite over your new nursing friends when you’re proud of your space!
As a nurse, you are already prepared to adapt to change at a moment’s notice. As a travel nurse, you will need to tap into your ability to acclimate to a broader landscape. One way to prepare yourself is to evaluate the resources you have – like a nursing supervisor – and ask questions that will help you acclimate faster. Anticipate various scenarios you may encounter as a traveling nurse in a new hospital environment and figure out what solutions you would need help with before they arise.
All your travel nursing jobs will have different onboarding processes. While your recruiter, housing specialist, and credentialing specialists can prepare you up until your first day, it is up to you to enter the hospital with an open mind. Being available isn’t just literally being ready to take on the job you were assigned to do, but being open to the new environment, new experiences, and new friends you’ll encounter starting day one. If you make mistakes (which is totally okay), be willing to learning from them, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself!
Fear can be the most significant detriment when you step into your next hospital assignment, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember that you were chosen for your talents and personality and turn that fear into excitement by being organized, proactive, and open to new experiences. After all – adventure awaits!
Learn more about why you should work with a medical staffing agency to land a great travel nursing position.