8 Ways Being a Travel Nurse Boosts Your Career

02/14/2020

Travel Nursing Can Boost Your Career

By Anita Wong, contributor

A travel nursing career offers a unique chance to care for patients while traveling and discovering new places. It also provides valuable experience and professional growth. Whether you're a new nurse building your resume or experienced, temporary travel assignments can open the door to exciting opportunities. 

Here are some ways your experiences can help boost your travel nurse career. 

1. Establish a professional network

As a travel nurse, you're constantly meeting new people. Some may become lifelong friends, but others can be colleagues to exchange ideas with, mentors who can offer career guidance and contacts to connect you to new opportunities. Every travel assignment increases your visibility and helps you develop.

2. Build your resume

When you're in a permanent position, your job description is set and you tend to perform the same duties daily, but travel nurses have responsibilities that vary with each 13-week assignment. You may also have a chance to shift into other units or specialties more quickly as the needs of hospitals change.

A travel nursing career gives you a new position to add to your resume with every completed assignment, building your qualifications and experiences with patients more rapidly than if you stayed in one place.

3. Gain experience in different job settings

Carol Weber, former dean of nursing at Regis University in Denver, emphasizes the importance of expanding your perspective as a nurse. Travel nursing lets you work in a teaching hospital, a small community hospital or home healthcare, all in the same year. You can try working in different units, such as pediatrics or geriatrics.

As the healthcare landscape shifts and demographics change, your varied experience gives you more options to pursue later in your career. You may also find a career path you hadn't previously considered.

4. Learn new ways of doing things

Travel RNs have a distinctive opportunity to expand their skill set. Not only are there new colleagues to learn from in each destination, but every hospital operates differently. You can compare practices, procedures and systems and use these new perspectives to make informed choices in your career. The broader your skill set, the more opportunity you have to be hired in the future. 

5. Show employers your determination and resilience

Nurses must be able to handle any situation under pressure. Travel nurses, who are continuously going into unfamiliar environments and quickly adapting, often shine with determination and resilience. As you develop the confidence to step into new situations with ease, you're showing future employers that you have the highly desired skills of versatility and resourcefulness.

6. Develop cultural competencies

By taking travel assignments in different locations, you spend time with and appreciate the needs of people from diverse regions, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Cultural competencies, along with empathy and compassion, are an important part of nursing practice and are valued by employers.

7. Avoid nurse burnout

Nursing is demanding, but it's easy to get burned out when you experience the same stresses daily. This can result from internal politics, bureaucracy, feeling undervalued or tensions among coworkers. Travel nurses know that any difficulties on the job are short term and can avoid the compassion fatigue and emotional burnout that can come with a permanent jobs over time. The more job satisfaction that you have, the more positive energy you put into your work and the better nurse you become.

8. Open doors to your future

Every travel nursing assignment is an opportunity to make an impact in a new facility. Your clinical skills, job commitment and willingness to work as part of a team can make you stand out.

If you've made a good impression, you may be given a chance to extend your contract. Some managers even hire travelers if a permanent position opens. And if you're happy with your travel nursing career and not ready to stay at this time, count the assignment as another place you've established valuable contacts in case you want to return one day.

Are you ready to invest in your future and get started as a travel nurse? Check our travel nursing FAQs and search our travel nursing job board for current opportunities.

 

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