First Travel RN Job? How to Overcome Your Jitters
By Katelynne Shepard, contributor
Travel nursing has become increasingly popular as nurses realize it's a way to put their skills and experience to use while also getting a chance to explore the country and work in new environments and different types of patients. But it's also normal to have some nervousness as you head out on your first travel RN job.
4 Ways to Overcome Your Jitters
1.Be prepared and excited to meet new people
While taking an assignment in a new location can be exciting as you explore the sites and get a feel for the local culture, it can also be an experience outside your comfort zone. In this case, being proactive instead of reactive is a great strategy, focusing on putting yourself out there and making the effort to meet — and connect with — new people. MeetUp is one way to connect with like-minded people, and you can also take advantage of professional development groups that can put you in touch with other RNs in the area.
Keep in mind that where you're working is also the perfect place to find new friends who can show you the city and help you acclimate to the facility. Make a point to introduce yourself and ask for recommendations on the best local coffee shop or where to live for a few hours like a local.
2.Push aside travel RN job insecurities with a support team
If this is your first travel RN job, you may be wondering if this setup is even a good fit for you. However, you can put some of these fears aside because most programs still have an orientation process — although it will likely be much shorter than a traditional job — and your recruiter is there to help you. They work hard to ensure that you and the specific job are a good fit and are available throughout your assignment to listen to and advise on any concerns that come up. Setting yourself up with a mentor who is a seasoned travel nurse can ensure you have support when you have questions or just need to vent, and studies have shown that having a nurse mentor can increase job satisfaction.
3.Keep job opportunities open by networking with recruiters
While the freedom and flexibility that come with a travel RN job are two of the biggest perks, it can also be a little scary to leave behind the world of traditional long-term employment. It's normal to be worried about what's going to happen when this contract ends or if you will be able to get another job afterward. However, the very act of travel nursing improves your resume by giving you valuable experience. You'll gain confidence in your skills as you apply them in new situations, and you'll be able to show prospective employers that you can work independently and as part of a team, even when you have to just jump in and get to work.
Keeping in touch with your recruiter can also help ensure you have another position lined up when it's time to move on, as they can keep searching for your next job while you're on your current assignment or help you find out if your current contract could be extended.
4.Fight housing hesitations by staying informed
When you take a travel RN job, you can choose between agency-provided housing or a housing stipend. If you choose agency-provided housing, you may worry about whether the place will be nice or in a good neighborhood. However, company housing is always vetted for security, and even if there is an issue, recruiters can and do make changes after you're on assignment if necessary. If you opt for the housing stipend, you may want to visit the city beforehand to look at apartments so you know exactly what you're coming home to. Keep in mind that you can invite friends and family for a visit, and some housing situations allow pets, which can make you feel more safe and secure as you settle in to your new surroundings.
DON’T hesitate, start your next travel nursing assignment today with us!