Changing Nursing Jobs? Overcome 6 Top Fears
By Aaron Moore, MSN, RN-BC, travel nurse expert
Recently I was talking to a young nurse who had accepted a new ICU nursing job in Dallas. He was very excited, but at the same time worrying about where to live and how much money he might make.
Change is hard, as we all know, and taking a new nursing job can cause a series of changes to unfold.
6 common fears when changing nursing jobs
I’ve learned that travel nursing can help overcome the things nurses fear most about changing jobs:
1. The job hunt itself. When you put yourself out there, will hospitals and employers appreciate all you have to offer? What if you don’t find the right nursing job? Travel nurses get to work with a nurse recruiter who takes care of the searching, submits your applications, shares career advice and much more.
2. Starting over as the novice. Patricia Benner’s nursing theory on Novice to Expert shows that the movement to different jobs within our profession can be stressful and change our level of expertise. To return to the learner stage can be hard. Luckily, travel nurses will start each job with an orientation and a recruiter that has their back. Many facilities also assign short-term mentors to help you get acclimated. Plus, learning new best practices from new colleagues is one of the best parts about travel nursing!
3. Moving to a new city. For some, leaving your hometown can really mess with your sense of security. You no longer know where to park, the best commute, places to eat, and even where to chill after a long shift. Your recruiter can get you connected with resources in your new location and may even have other travel nurses in the area you can talk to. And just think of the fun you’ll have exploring!
4. “Can I afford the move?” Nursing salaries vary across the country, as does the cost of living, so both need to be considered. [See: Where Do RNs Earn Top Dollar?] The good news: travel nursing salaries tend to be very competitive; they are also contracted up front, and supplemented with travel reimbursements and free housing; some travelers even qualify for bonuses. Travel RN jobs can be a great way to live in an area you might not be able to afford otherwise, or to sock away some extra cash!
5. The need to find/establish a new home. You definitely have to find a place to live, then you will need to furnish it. But if you are taking a travel nursing job, you will be able to choose from free, furnished housing provided by your travel nursing agency, or a housing stipend that allows you to find your own accommodations. The company option gives you one less thing to worry about.
6. “What if I don’t like my new nursing job?” The thought of uprooting your life and putting in all that work moving to a new place brings a lot of “What if...?” questions. Sorry, there are no guarantees. However, travel nursing assignments are usually 13 weeks or less, which means it won’t be long before you can move on—if you want to. (Your recruiter may be able to help, too.) If you DO like your assignment, you may be able to extend your contract.
Travel nursing is such a great option to take the stress out of changing jobs. I’ve tried it both ways and, take it from me, it’s much easier to take travel jobs and let someone else take care of the details.
So why not give travel nursing a try the next time you are ready for a new nursing job?
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