Considering making the leap into travel nursing? We have tips for new travel nurses! Travel nursing is an exciting career that can take you to places you’ve only ever dreamed of going! But there’s a lot to consider as you level up your nursing career. Luckily, Wanderly is here to help you navigate with a few tips and tricks when looking for your first travel nurse placement from getting started, to negotiating a contract to getting to know your new city!
1. Know the facts
One of the first tips for new travel nurses is to truly understand what travel nursing is? How is it different from being a permanent staff nurse? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Do I need a recruiter or to work through one of the many travel nurse recruiting agencies out there? There are so many questions that need to be answered before you make a career decision like this. Some of the reasons that you might want to consider a travel nurse placement are things like: the ability to travel, higher pay, ability to build a national network, flexibility, opportunities to explore different specialties in different settings, and so many more!
2. Set up your account on Wanderly
Another important tip for new travel nurses! Wanderly makes it easy to find and apply to the perfect travel nursing opportunity. With our all-in-one application process, you only have to go through the process once to apply to thousands of opportunities, all with just a few clicks. Instead of navigating through multiple different kinds of applications, checklists, certifications, agency requirements, etc. for each placement you’re interested in, you can just do it once and update whenever you need to on your Wanderly account.
3. Do your research
Of course, research is an obvious tip for new travel nurses. There’s a lot to research when searching for your first travel nurse assignment, but Wanderly is here for you to make the process as smooth as possible.
When it comes to the hard facts about different travel nursing placements, the job postings are broken down to their most fundamental characteristics: length, payment, location, shift times, specialty, and benefits.
But we all know that there’s more to making big life decisions than just the cold hard facts – you also want to research the more qualitative aspects of a placement – what’s the culture like in that healthcare setting, what’s the quality of life in that particular city, etc.
4. Find your placement on Wanderly
As a new travel nurse with the Wanderly search tool, you’ll have thousands upon thousands of opportunities at your fingertips. Now that you’ve done your research, you know what you’re looking for and can use multiple filters on the search tool to narrow down your options for your next contract in a streamlined, easy to navigate way.
One of the best parts of being a new travel nurse is the ability to negotiate each contract without having to deal with a union or other obstacles that permanent staff nurses have to face when negotiating their pay. Navigating the process of negotiating the best possible contract for you can be a dubious task – but luckily there is a lot of great information out there to help guide you, including on the Wanderly blog that has resources on everything from how to negotiate to how to make sure you’re getting the highest pay possible.
6. Get to know your new city
This is the fun part and one of the top tips for new travel nurses – the ability to EXPLORE new places and opportunities! For each placement, we recommend making a “Bucket List” – do some research on notable attractions, museums, festivals, foods, and experiences that the area you’re moving to has to offer. Especially as you’re getting acclimated and meeting new people, having a list of “must-dos” in the area make it so there’s never a dull moment and you always have plans when you want them, or when your large network of friends come to visit!
7. Ask Questions
Once you’re in your new placement, one of the best tips for new travel nurses – from career advice to navigating your new city – will be your coworkers! Being in a new place can be intimidating, but the more questions you ask, the more you’ll know and the more you’ll get out of your first placement as a travel nurse.
As a traveling healthcare professional, you have the opportunity to try out different specialties and different kinds of healthcare settings – which is amazing! But the flip side of this is that sometimes you will be entering into unknown territory. Our advice? Take a deep breath, jump in and don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from your fellow healthcare professionals and supervisors if you need it.
8. Look to the future
Our last on the list for tips for new travel nurses: don’t wait until your first placement is almost over before you start looking for what’s next. If you do the legwork to secure your first travel nursing assignment (with the help of Wanderly of course!), then your next move will feel like a breeze. You’ll be an expert in researching, negotiating and navigating a new potential placement and once you get there you’ll be ready to ask questions and explore all that travel nursing has to offer. The possibilities are endless!