The life and work of a travel nurse can be very alluring. If you’ve spoken to a traveler about the profession, they can easily tell you it takes a certain personality. Here are a few characteristics that most travel nurses seem to share in common (see if they fit you):
Loves change… aka gets bored easily. This may seem like a derogatory characteristic, but to the contrary, it’s perfect for travel nursing! A travel assignment is usually 13 weeks in duration, sometimes less. Those nurses that crave the thrill of changing their lifestyle often make fantastic travel nurses.
Flexible. Usually a new traveler has an exact location to where they want to travel to first. Honestly, it’s not always that easy. You may not get your ideal location until a few assignments in, so it’s best to be open to other cities. Often, locations that you really want are also wanted by other travel nurses, perhaps those that have been traveling longer than you.
Timeliness is also an issue. Assignments come and go quickly. If you aren’t proactive about being submitting for assignment, there’s a good chance someone will beat you to the punch. Being flexible will help you to consistently obtain assignments. Those that are picky often complain of unemployment. Don’t worry, it may take a few times, but you’ll eventually get to where you want to go. Plus, the more assignments you take and the more flexible you are, recruiters will take note and submit you for assignments first.
Able to adapt, fast! Usually loving change and adapting easily go hand in hand. The stress of learning a new facility, new staff, new rules and new “correct” ways of doing things in less than 3 days are a norm for a travel nurse assignment. Those that do not adapt well will most likely not enjoy the travel lifestyle.
Social and motivated! Many times you are traveling alone to at least a few assignments a year. It’s tempting to sit in your apartment on your days off and be lazy, but you know that you could have done that at home. You’re in a new city, get out and explore. In order to fully enjoy your assignment, you must be able to meet new friends easily, not only for the companionship, but so you get the 411 on the best local spots. Usually word of mouth is the best way to seek out the tastiest restaurants, the most fun bars and noteworthy city sites.
Whether or not these characteristics fit you, trying something new is always a suggestion for life. It makes you leave your comfort zone and grow as a person. The only way to know if travel nursing is for you is to get out there and try it for yourself! Happy Travels!