We have all been there. It’s a hospital you haven’t heard of, but your recruiter insists that it is top-notch. You reach out to your network, but you can’t find many insightful travel nursing tips from other healthcare providers. Despite your uncertainties, you say to yourself, “It’s just 13 weeks. I can do anything for 13 weeks!”
Before you know what happened, you are back from your first shift, and the illusion of an exciting career challenge is shattered. 13 weeks feels more like a life sentence. How did this happen? How could you have avoided it?
Here are three things to consider to make your next contract the best yet.
Whether you are a new nursing graduate or an experienced healthcare provider looking to become a traveler, these tips can be applied to anyone in the healthcare industry that’s considering a new opportunity. Keeping these three preliminary aspects top of mind will ensure a smooth transition into your new role.
The first thing healthcare workers want to know when they land a new contract is what the hospital is like. Many professionals start by perusing the many travel nurse hospital reviews scattered across every corner of the internet, including websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, message boards, Facebook groups, and chat threads. While this is a good place to start to get an idea of a company’s culture and how it performs, sifting through these review outlets & finding actionable insights can be very time-consuming.
Outside of indirect online resources, harnessing the power of your personal network can be advantageous, especially if any of your contacts include future coworkers or employees who previously worked for the hospital. Ask them about the pits and peaks of their organization, or if they’re a staff healthcare professional that’s no longer with the company, pick their brain about why they decided to leave.
Scrubstr is another resource specifically designed for nurses. Their mission is to add transparency and ease confusion within the healthcare industry. Think “RateMyProfessor” or “Yelp”, but for travel healthcare professionals. This service gives you the good, the bad, and the ugly of hospitals and healthcare staffing agencies across the nation.
You can visit their website or download their app, create a free profile, and see reviews from over seven thousand hospitals and clinics across the nation. Pay it forward by adding reviews of organizations you have had experience with to help the platform grow!
Outside of hospital reviews, Scrubstr has an excellent collection of tools and resources for new travel nurses. Visit their blog to learn the ropes of the industry and also utilize income calculators that will ensure you get top-dollar for your future contract and make it the best yet.
After researching your hospital, the next pitfall we see with most nurses is compliance. This is a necessary evil, but often tedious and time-consuming. Luckily, there are some great resources out there to make life easier.
Kamana is more than just the best free resume builder for healthcare professionals. It makes it easy for healthcare professionals and travel nurse staffing agencies alike to keep up with licenses, certifications, and compliance. Our easy-to-navigate dashboard holds and displays all vital information in one place.
We also encourage you to check out our other articles, which provide additional advice & insights directly from established healthcare professionals across the industry.
Flexibility is the name of the game in travel nursing.
Every aspect of a new job won’t be exactly what you think, your housing might fall through, your car could get a flat, a last-minute cancellation may occur, and the list goes on.
It is imperative that you go into each contract realizing that things won’t always be perfect, and your experience will likely be different than you imagined. This is all normal! Travel nursing pays well for a reason, even if it comes with a headache or two along the way.
An excellent tip for relieving some stress is to have an “escape fund.” Put enough money in savings so that if everything goes wrong and the contract falls apart, you have enough money to get back home and figure things out.
It is highly unlikely that all these pitfalls will happen at once, but being fully prepared for any unexpected outcome will prepare you for the worst and have an established game plan in place for when unfortunate circumstances inevitably occur.
Travel nursing has been life-changing for many healthcare professionals and is often the change that many in the industry need. Try your best to smile and enjoy the ride. With proper research, planning, and the right knowledge derived from these travel nursing tips, everything tends to work out in the end.