The life of a travel nurse is a dynamic one, to say the least. You get to move from town to town and experience vastly different places, people, and job sites for short periods of time while still doing the job that you love – nursing.
If this is something that you feel drawn to, reach out to us at Ventura MedStaff, and one of our agents will help you with onboarding as well as with choosing the best location for your first posting.
That being said, even experienced travel nurses sometimes find themselves at a loss. Where to go next? Which posting to go after. Here’s a sneak peek at our method.
What You Should Start With
As recruiters, we’re often in communication with newbies who don’t really know where to start. When they see the wide selection of postings and locations that are on the lookout for hard-working travel nurses, they find themselves a bit overwhelmed.
That’s where a good recruiter will help you, guide you through the process. Let’s start with the reason why you’re looking for a travel nurse posting. Are you more interested in compensation, the experience, or the actual destination?
Nurses looking to earn big are the easiest to manage. We simply filter out the job postings with the highest earnings that correspond to their specialization, and typically manage to find them a posting in a short time.
On the other hand, if it is the adventure that you seek, we’ve got our work cut out for us. Let’s break it down.
A Matter of Geography
Travel nurses who put more emphasis on the location than on pay are quite common, especially with new recruits. Simply put – they’re in it for the adventure and the experience as much as they are interested in the work itself. We have found that the longer someone works as a travel nurse, the more refined their search parameters are and they typically opt for a type – some look for big cities, some are more after the picturesque nature or something else entirely.
But if you are still new to the whole process, think about the climate that you would be able to tolerate. Ventura MedStaff offers great postings in Alaska, but it would be foolhardy to offer it to a person who really prefers the summer heat of Texas or the beaches of Hawaii.
Technical Barriers Traveling Nurses Face
Another hugely important thing you will need to consider is the technical and bureaucratic obstacles that you may encounter. As an RN or a BSN or any other qualified nurse, you are probably acutely familiar with the certification process in your state. What you may not know is that your nursing certification is only valid in your state – a significant obstacle to an aspiring travel nurse.
Fortunately, things are looking up in that regard, thanks to the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, or the eNLC – an agreement that enables residents of the compact states to work in other compact states without having to re-apply for a nursing license in those states. This agreement is currently valid in over 30 states, and more are considering joining.
If, however, you are registered in a state outside this compact or want to apply to work in a state that is not a part of the compact, there is a lot of red tape and paperwork in your way. Your travel nurse agency recruiter should point out these things to you before offering you a job posting in these states.
A Matter of Choice for Travel Nurses
Whether we like it or not, we can’t always get everything we want. There are certain compromises and realities that we just have to accept. The same rule applies to travel nurse postings. You may not get everything you want in your posting, which is why you need to take in all of the facts before you accept a job.
The principal factors you should take into account when choosing a posting are the length of the contract, the earnings, the location, and the shifts you will be expected to work. These should all be presented to you clearly before you decide to accept the job.
In most cases, you will not be offered the ideal package – there is always something that you may not be happy with. Maybe it will be the night shifts, maybe it will be the distance from the facility to the provided accommodation. Maybe it will be the financial compensation.
What you need to do as a responsible and professional nurse is pick your battles – things you can accept and those that you consider a deal-breaker and accept or reject postings accordingly. This will help you manage expectations from your posting, as well as signal to the recruiting agency that you are dependable and professional. Over time, you may be able to find better conditions for yourself.
One of the best pieces of advice ever given to a travel nurse is to always learn something from your posting, be it good or bad. Here at Ventura MedStaff, we strive to give you the best travel nurse experience. Find out why we’re the best.