You may have some coworkers in your facility that are travel nurses, or you may even want to be a travel nurse from the start. You might have heard some of the horror stories and common myths that go along with being a travel nurse that has made you think twice about whether you are up for it.
A lot of these misconceptions and fears are rooted in rumors and are in desperate need of clarification. There are a lot of perks in travel nursing, but here is why you shouldn’t let those myths and stories keep you from taking the leap and becoming a travel nurse.
How to Combat Common Fears when becoming a travel nurse
Just like in most cases, the best way to ease your fears is to educate yourself and be prepared. Here are some of the more common concerns we see from our new travelers:
- Moving to a new city: This is a big one for people that have never been to their assignment’s city/location before, don’t know anyone there, or just have a fear of the unknown. In this case, it is best to ask your recruiter for help finding a housing location, they will know the safe neighborhoods and help you find something closer to work. This is a great thing to do for your first few assignments till you get the hang of it. Before starting your new job make sure to research your new location. Most cities are similar; they all have grocery stores, malls, and different activities to do on your days off. It’s just a matter of finding them and picking a place and means of transportation that will work best for your needs.
- New work environment: If you are thinking of being a traveler soon, it would be a great idea to start floating to different floors at your current facility. This will help you get more accustomed to an ever-changing work environment. Most travelers do tend to get moved to different units when they are on assignment. The more you float to different units and floors the easier it will get. It’s important to remember that nurses across the country take care of their patients virtually the same. One of the hardest parts about working in a new unit is finding out where they keep their bedpans, how to get a hold of doctors, and what the door codes are.
- Leaving friends and family behind: Just like going off to college the first couple of weeks of any travel assignment can get lonely, especially if you don’t know anyone in the area. It is important to plan some activities during your downtime. These are great ways to make new connections! You can do anything like; buying a kindle, finding a local gym, joining Facebook groups, or even getting Netflix and doing puzzles; do whatever you enjoy! Just like you did in your current location, you will eventually make connections with your co-workers, neighbors, and other people you meet along the way! A great thing to do is plan for your family and friends to come and visit you. They now have a nice place to stay in a new part of the country!
Myths about Travel Nursing
Like we said before, there are fears that are created from the unknown and misconceptions about travel nursing that need to be addressed. We all heard our fair share of horror stories and travel nursing tales in our facilities, but you may have also heard some of the amazing experiences that people have had due to this amazing career.
Here are some of the most common myths about travel nursing:
- You must change jobs and move every 13 weeks: In reality, you have a bit more control than that! If the facility has the need in most cases, you can choose to extend and stay at that facility if you’d like. If there isn’t a need at that facility and you don’t want to move, your recruiter can work with you to find another assignment in the same city.
- Travel nursing is for young people: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2010 conducted a survey that shows the average age of registered nurses was 47. The facilities that we work with want experienced nurses that know what they are doing and are comfortable in ever-changing environments. We have couples, single nurses, friends, and family of all ages that load up their RV and hit the road.
- Travel nursing isn’t a stable source of income: When was the last time you worked in a facility that had too many nurses? We have been in a nursing shortage for a long time and the high demand for travel nurses is only expected to grow. Becoming and maintaining a career as a travel nurse just requires a little more thought and financial planning than a regular staff position requires. This is really because of the downtime between assignments and the off chance that a contract gets canceled. No matter what profession you are in you should always have more money saved in case of an emergency. Financial freedom and the freedom to travel are just some of the many benefits of having a career in travel nursing.
Just like with any profession, being a travel nurse has its pros and cons. If you are bored with the same mundane routines and are looking for something a little more exciting and challenging, then a career as a travel nurse might be for you! The money is great, but the experiences are even better!
As a travel nurse you will learn and see things that you would normally ever see or otherwise not get to partake in. don’t let the fears and myths prevent you from experiencing your personal and professional life to its fullest! We hope you have found this article helpful! If you are interested in starting your travel med career, reach out to one of our recruiters or visit our jobs board today!