Are you considering becoming a first-time travel nurse? As with anything where change is involved, it can be scary.
But it doesn’t have to be – just follow these nine tips for the first-time travel nurse.
1. Check Out The Company You Want To Work With As A First-Time Travel Nurse
How long have they been in business?
Do you have any friends who have traveled for them who can supply you with a recommendation?
Are they true to their commitments to their travel team?
Are they financially strong (you want to get paid)? Do you share a common mission?
2. Make Sure Your Recruiter Understands You And Your Goals
Your recruiters should know what is important to you and what you want to achieve as a first-time travel nurse. Additionally, he or she should be accessible and personable (someone you can relate to and feel comfortable discussing anything with).
TIP: If you work with a different recruiter every time you call the travel company, you might want to find another company. Your recruiter is a vital part of your experience. They will follow you and coach you throughout your assignment to ensure you are prepared and are a success.
3. Once You Are Hired, Make Sure You Know Where You Are Being Submitted
You should approve every submittal and know not only the hospital and floor assignment but as much information about the assignment as possible.
4. After The Submittal, Your Recruiter Should Contact You
Once again, your company recruiter will provide you with as much information as possible and will contact you to let you know that you will be receiving a phone call for an interview.
Not only will the hospital representative ask you questions but, this interview will be your time to ask questions as well.
At Fidelity On Call, we always provide “tips” for our first-time travel nurses on how to handle the interview.
5. Review Your Contract Before You Accept An Offer
When you accept an assignment, you should receive a written contract that spells out all the terms including your pay, tax free allowances, bonus, etc. You want to make sure that you thoroughly read and understand everything in your contract as you are responsible for adhering to all the provisions that are in it.
TIP: If your pay sounds too good to be true – it probably is.
Many travel nurses have received a small hourly pay with a very large “tax-free” allowance. Tax free allowances need to be paid in accordance with government guidelines for housing, meals, and travel.
You don’t want to end up having a huge tax burden at the end of the year because you thought you were making tax free money.
6. Prepare For Your First Day On The Job
Before your assignment starts, make sure you know the route to the hospital, where your floor is at, etc. Be prepared so you are never late.
7. When The First Day Of Your Assignment Comes, Remember Attitude Is Everything
Many hospitals have experienced traveling nurses who were not properly vetted and were a huge disappointment. But that is NOT you.
You have the skills, the knowledge, the love of patients, and the right attitude to get the job done.
Smile . . . you are there to help.
Once they see your skills, you will be a welcomed part of their team.
8. With The Right Travel Company And Recruiter, You Are Never Alone
They are there to support you throughout your term of employment.
9. You Should Always Know Your Contract Status
Your travel company and recruiter should also be there before your contract ends with information on whether your contract is extending or on other opportunities that you may want to look at.
Ultimately when you pair yourself with the right company, being a first-time travel nurse is not scary at all.