5 Ways to Become a Successful Travel Nurse

5 Ways to Become a Successful Travel Nurse

Two girls holding up a peace sign at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

Whether you’re a seasoned travel nurse or brand new to the field, you might be looking for a few ways you can thrive as a travel nurse. Inside this article we dive into five different ways to be successful as a travel nurse. From tracking your finances to recognizing the signs of burnout, we’re covering all the bases. 

1. Be flexible and open to learning 

You might notice that the one thing successful travel nurses have in common is that they’re all flexible and open to learning new skills. While you’re moving from one facility to the next as a travel nurse, no environment will be the same. Tawyna, ER Nurse, urges those who are interested in travel nursing to be gracious to the people you work with and open to learning new things. Learning how to be flexible and adaptable to any circumstance will help you excel as a travel nurse. 

Every travel nurse contract might operate differently than the previous one, so it’s important to keep a positive outlook, have patience, and be willing to learn. “You need to have patience. The first few days can be challenging. They often won’t have your badge ready, your computer log in, etc. Just take a deep breath, smile, and introduce yourself. It’s important to work well with others” says Med Surg Nurse Tammy. Making the most out of each assignment can make all the difference. So, as you pick up new skills at various facilities, you will strengthen your travel nurse resume and advance your nursing career.  

2. Know what qualities to look for in a travel nurse recruiter 

If you’re looking to secure more assignments a good way to do so is to maintain a solid relationship with your travel nurse recruiter so they can understand your skill set and what type of travel nursing contracts you’re searching for. Psychiatric Nurse, Rebecca, explains “a good recruiter will work just as hard for you as you do for them,” so you will want a recruiter who is knowledgeable, has good communication skills, and pays attention to detail. 

A knowledgeable travel nurse recruiter will be able to answer all your questions while guiding you in the direction of your dream assignment. Communication skills are also important when looking for a recruiter so you can ensure that they will be there for you every step of the way. Lastly, a recruiter’s ability to pay attention to detail is important to help you understand the fine print of your travel contract. Korenne, OR Nurse, says that one thing she couldn’t live without while traveling is her recruiter, Sally. “I could not do this without her continued kindness and support!” Once you find a recruiter who suits your needs, it’s key to stay in contact with them so they can stay up to date on what you’re looking for in a travel contract. 

3. Stay organized with the latest apps 

As a travel nurse it can be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Luckily, there are a few apps you can use to stay organized. Our first pick is Adobe Scan which can be used to quickly and easily scan any documents you need. With Adobe Scan you have the power to access your scanned documents from your phone, tablet, or computer because they are kept on Abode Document Cloud. 

The next app we recommend for traveling nurses is called Evernote, which has all the features you need to keep organized. Stay on top of things by creating fully customizable to-do lists, adding events to your calendar, and syncing your information across all your devices. Evernote provides you with the tools you need to stay organized, all in one app. 

Our final must-have app is for the travel nurse who loves to get out and explore. FourSquare City Guide makes it easy to find things to do and places to eat in any city. Simply select what you’re looking for, whether it’s the trending excursion in the area or a local coffee shop. FourSquare City Guide delivers exactly what you’re looking for in just seconds. The best part about each of these apps—they’re free for Android and iOS users. These apps will make you a travel nursing pro! 

4. Keep track of your finances 

The first step to successfully keeping track of your finances is understanding what your salary is, along with any pay policies that might come with your travel assignment. A travel nurse salary differs from a permanent staff nurse, so it’s important to understand hourly, overtime, on-call rates, and any tax-free stipend for housing and meal expenses so you can calculate your take-home pay.  

Once you have a good grasp of your travel nursing salary, you can establish a budgeting routine. Be sure to include everything from monthly subscriptions to rent to ensure you still have money to put into savings. A handy budgeting rule you can use to stay on top of your finances is the 50/30/20 rule. This rule recommends you allocate 50% of your income to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings. You can find more tips about budgeting for travel nurses on Favorite’s blog here

5. Know how to avoid burnout 

Being constantly on the go can get tiring, so it’s important to know the symptoms of burnout so you can avoid it. Some telltale signs of burnout include lack of motivation, emotional exhaustion, and the inability to focus. Working long shifts, having high stress, and being around sick patients are all components that can lead to burnout in nursing.  

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid burnout. It’s important to take time for yourself, so don’t be afraid to take breaks between assignments and say no to offers if you feel like burnout is possible. Another way you can avoid burnout is to keep your physical and mental health a top priority. Find someone you can talk to and who will be your support system throughout your journey. Once you’re ready to get back on the road and pick up your next travel nursing contract, Favorite will be here for you. You can view our full list of travel nursing jobs here

Travel nursing with Favorite Healthcare Staffing gives you the opportunity to advance your career, develop new skills, and experience new things. Take a look at our open travel nursing jobs and start exploring the country with Favorite today! 

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