Now that you have decided to take a travel assignment, what are the next steps? Here are some of the things to consider:
Define Your Goals:
- Clearly outline your career goals and what you hope to achieve through travel nursing, such as gaining diverse experience or exploring new locations.
- Use online resources to write a compelling travel nursing resume and profile.
- Explore different travel nursing agencies, considering their reputation, reviews, and the range of assignments they offer.
- Look for agencies that specialize in your preferred nursing specialty.
- Understand the licensing requirements for the states where you may want to work as a travel nurse.
- Ensure your nursing license is up-to-date and eligible for reciprocity in various states.
Certifications and Skills:
- Identify any additional certifications or skills that could enhance your marketability as a travel nurse.
- Consider obtaining certifications in high-demand areas like critical care, emergency nursing, or specialty areas.
- Evaluate your financial situation and create a budget to determine your financial needs during potential periods between assignments.
- Consider how you’ll manage expenses such as housing, transportation, and licensing fees.
- Determine your housing preferences, whether you prefer agency-provided housing, a housing stipend to find your own, or other arrangements.
- Research housing options in different locations to understand availability and costs.
- Consider your preferences for contract length, shift schedules, and the types of healthcare facilities you are willing to work in (e.g., hospitals, clinics, long-term care).
- Connect with other travel nurses through online forums, social media groups (for example there are many active and useful Facebook groups), or local meetups to gain insights into the travel nursing experience.
- Seek advice from experienced travel nurses on agencies, assignments, and best practices.
- Consider attending a conference dedicated to travel nursing like Travcon
- Identify areas of professional development you’d like to focus on during your travel nursing assignments.
- Research opportunities for continuing education and skill enhancement.
Evaluate Benefits Packages:
- Understand the benefits offered by different travel nursing agencies, including health insurance, retirement plans, and bonuses.
- Compare and contrast benefit packages to find the most suitable option for your needs.
Research Potential Locations:
- Research healthcare facilities and living conditions in potential assignment locations.
- Consider factors like cost of living, local amenities, and climate preferences.
Understand Tax Implications:
- Research tax implications for travel nurses, including state taxes and deductions.
- Understand how tax laws may vary depending on your work locations.
- Develop a plan for emergencies, including healthcare and personal emergencies.
- Know the location of healthcare facilities and emergency services in potential assignment areas.
Timeline and Availability:
- Determine your availability for travel assignments and establish a timeline for when you would like to start.
- Communicate your availability clearly with the travel nursing agency.
- Familiarize yourself with legal considerations related to travel nursing contracts, such as termination clauses, cancellation policies, and dispute resolution procedures.
Health and Wellness:
- Plan ahead on how you will work on maintaining physical and mental well-being during travel assignments including strategies for managing stress and preventing burnout and eating well.
Research Technology Tools for Travel Nurses:
- Apps and digital tools that can assist with travel planning, communication, and documentation.
- Telehealth resources for staying connected with mentors or healthcare professionals.
By considering these points before obtaining a travel nursing contract, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions that align with your goals and preferences.