A Travel nurses works on a contract with a placement agency to provide stop-gap services to fulfill the nursing provisions in understaffed clinics and hospitals or for other reasons.
As nurses form a critical part of healthcare, travel nurses are an excellent alternative asset to many healthcare providers.
If becoming a travel nurse is on your agenda, this article will outline all you need to know from job responsibilities to the steps to be taken in order to become a qualified healthcare professional in this field. Travel nursing agencies vary in benefits, rules, and assignment quality.
How to Become a Travel Nurse?
To succeed as a travel nurse, you must have critical thinking skills and a thorough understanding of the job at hand.
One should be able to take charge of duty immediately, without any additional training, and provide the same level of care, if not better, than the permanent replacement nurse. Some other qualifications include:
- The route to qualification requires a 2 year high school diploma and an associate degree in nursing. There are several schools that offer 3 year online accredited nursing degrees as well which are preferred.
- Obtain a license to practice nursing in the state you wish to serve and renew it from time to time.
- Earn voluntary certifications in your field of specialty like certified pediatric nurse etc.
Travel Nurse Assignments
Travel nurse assignments can be anywhere for eight to twenty six weeks, although an average contract lasts for thirteen weeks. In your position, you have the option to choose your place of work and in what capacity.
You will need to have at least one year of experience in your specialty field to find gainful employment and receive a salary that is above the average pay scale of a registered nurse.
Your main task will be to contribute to the safety of the patient by improving their health outcomes. Working as a nurse, you should be prepared to handle a variety of safety situations. One of those may be working in areas where there is air pollution. Consider having a TAPR mask in case you run into a situation where there is air pollution.
Job Responsibilities of a Travel Nurse
As the name suggests, a travel nurse is required to care for the sick and infirm in a committed way. Travel nurses can provide care over a wide range of specialties, but must include some of the following:
- Assessing the vital parameters of a patient
- Administering timely medications and therapies
- Helping doctors with in-patient care
- Dressing wounds and taking blood samples for testing
- Feeding the patient with the right diet
- Bathing and providing personal care for patients in the bathroom
- Cleaning and maintenance of medical equipment
- Ordering medical supplies
- Using electronic medical records (EMR) to keep track of medical notes and histories.
What to Expect on your First Job
From preparing yourself for the first day to taking time out for breaks, here is what to expect on your first travel nurse job:
- You must have proper credentials before starting your first assignment. Take the expert guidance of a staffing agency to go through the check-list of all you would need.
- The next step is to find a home for your next thirteen weeks. A private studio one room apartment or a two bedroom sharing one.
- Getting to know your colleagues well is a good approach to the first nursing assignment. Dedicate time in the first few days to eat or grab a coffee with the staff.
Additionally, taking on temporary assignments gives travel nurses the advantage of having a wider range of potential employers and potentially more upward mobility in their future. So if you need more information on travel nurse salary, you can check this comprehensive article on how much do travel nurses make with deeper insight into factors that influence a travel nurse salary.