So, I have written several pieces about travel nursing, how it has benefitted my family, what I’ve learned. And I am hoping over the next several months and years to be able to expand on this as we have finally been able to branch out on our locations. But I recently went through an orientation with several other travelers and one person’s negative words stuck in my head that evening, and I realized I never want to be that traveler. So here is my biggest piece of advice if you are considering travel nursing, just starting and assignment, or you’re 5 assignments in and forgetting why you started this crazy lifestyle in the first place:
This may sound simple, but it’s so, so important. And I don’t mean just be flexible in your ability to learn new computers, or to figure out how to use the automatic release on the new IV catheters (freaking hate that kind). You have to be flexible about where you’re willing to live, how far you’re going to drive, and how you’re going to make all of that come together and work out to be a positive experience.
Every contract won’t be your dream contract. Chances are, you won’t find your dream job on the road (I was lucky and came very close to staying at one, but I’m not done exploring yet 😉 ). I knew every time I went to that job how lucky I was.
Negativity is just not going to get you very far in the travel life, and if you go in with a negative mindset, it shows. Coworkers pick up on this, and I hate to say it, but we as travelers have a very short time to make an impression. Regardless of my first impressions, my opinions, or my past experiences, I try to walk in with an open mind and a smile on my face the first few days.
As travelers, we carry a lot of extra stress on our shoulders. Housing can be slim in some areas, expensive in others. We may have things going on back home we really hate that we’re missing out on. But we also have a beautiful life in that we don’t have to stay at any one job permanently, we get to explore and see different parts of the USA, and we get to see the way things are done differently all over, which in the end makes us more well-rounded as healthcare professionals.
With love and flexibility,