So you think you want to be a travel nurse? My goal is to keep it real with you so you may make a realistic decision about your career goals. Travel nursing is a very unique lane of bedside nursing and because of its uniqueness you are required to "walk in ready." Take a look at my top 5 signs that you are ready to be a travel nurse TODAY!
1) Competent- The requirements state you need 1 year in your specialty to travel but I'm not about to lie to you and say that's all you need to be ready. What I will share with you is each nurse has its own journey to competency. While some of us might be strong enough to hit the road after one year in as an ICU nurse, our peer might need 18 months before they show competency to hit the road. The bottom line is YOU have to be honest with YOURSELF and pay attention to your skills. When the time comes to work, you will be thrown out there with the wolves.
2) Risk Taker- The thrill of spontaneous spending, vacationing, or investing sounds like the average risk taker. If you wake up in the morning and randomly find yourself at a car dealership purchasing a new car you are a risk taker. Maybe that's not you, but you could sure go for a vacation to Italy next week so you wake up book your flight and hotel. Some people love to take chances and those same nurses are ready to hit the road.
3) Social Butterfly- Being a social butterfly simply means you have strong people skills. You are the one who love to be in the mix with everyone at school, church, work, or even the doctor's office. If your friends and family describe you with, "Kim sure can light up a room." I'm pretty confident that means you are the life of the party no matter where you go or who you are with. This is a great trait to have in travel nursing. If you don't mind building new relationships you are ready to hit the road.
4) Bossy- Being assertive is what some may call this trait. Are you bossy enough to call a doctor with a firm request or recommendation that is best for your patient's condition? Do you get really nervous when its time to speak up? Being bossy just means you are a natural born leader before your professional career. As a patient advocate we all have to have the bossy trait to be successful and get out patients what they deserve. But in order to be bossy one must be confident. Let's hit the road.
5) Baby Genius-This is our quick learners in the nursing practice. If that wasn’t you, don’t give up. But for some, you reached childhood milestones sooner than others. When cellphones made their debut you was the first one to know how to use them in your household. The reasons for these scenarios is that you must be a quick learner to be successful in travel nursing. I didn’t realize there was so many different IV pumps until I started travel nursing. If you can handle the various gadgets and protocols, you are ready to hit the road.
Meisha Amia, MSN RN