3 Ways Flexibility Matters in Travel Nursing
By Aaron Moore, MSN, RN-BC, travel nurse expert
Every once in a while I peruse nursing forums and the lists of frequently asked questions, or FAQs, offered up by TravelNursing.com and other websites.
Most of them are the same questions I had when I started considering travel nursing jobs.
I’ve noticed that a lot of these questions have to do with one’s options as a travel nurse, including how flexibility fits in to the travel nursing lifestyle.
So I’m here to address three common questions for inquiring minds who want to know.
Q. Do I have flexibility in choosing my travel nursing jobs?
A. Of course you do! Remember, you’re driving the bus in this adventure.
Rely on your recruiter to find the best travel nursing jobs and guide you to an amazing facility, but before you call, prepare a list of possibilities. My wife and I took turns choosing an area to go to next for my travel nursing jobs.
We based our choices off travel location and not so much facility or travel nursing pay. But make sure your recruiter knows your interests. He or she will help you get to where you want to go.
Q. What about taking pets, families, etc.? Is there any flexibility in housing?
A. Again, yes. There is a lot of flexibility.
Most travel nursing agencies offer free housing that consists of a 1-bedroom furnished apartment. Agencies will aim to get you close to your assignment facility, so how many options you have will depend on the location.
In many cases you can take pets with you, but that can limit your choices in housing.
Just don’t let that stop you from traveling with your furry little friend.
Talk to your recruiter up front about your need for pet-friendly accommodations in your chosen location, including any pet deposits you may need to pay and whether there are any size or breed restrictions.
And if you need more than one bedroom for a family, that is also a possibility, but you will have to cover the difference in cost.
Another option for every travel nurse is to take the housing stipend instead of the company-provided housing. That will allow you to choose your own accommodations; just be aware that it does involve a lot more research and work on your part.
Q. Why do people talk about travel nurses needing to be flexible?
A. We’re obviously not talking about yoga stretches here. Flexibility is a key trait that recruiters and employers look for.
You need to ask for what you want in terms of travel nursing assignments, but you may need to exhibit some flexibility if you are going to stay working consistently. It’s also important to remember you are filling a gap in staffing, so you may have to float, work off-hour shifts, adapt to new ways of doing things, or show flexibility in other ways while on the job.
So yes, be flexible. But also be honest with yourself. What are you willing to do, change or give up?
Knowing yourself and communicating honestly with your recruiter will go a long way in helping you get placed in the right travel nursing jobs, and enjoy them to the fullest.
READ more of Aaron’s travel nursing blogs, or APPLY today to start working with a top recruiter.