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6 ways travel nursing benefits your new career

by Lindsay Wilcox

Brittany Paiva, an ICU nurse from Connecticut, wanted more opportunities after working three years as a nurse. When she saw the travel nursing benefits her friends were enjoying, she was intrigued.

“I saw how much fun my friends were having and everything they were seeing. When you only work three nights a week, there’s so much you can see on your days off,” Brittany says. “I decided to give travel nursing a try, and I love it!” Here are 6 specific ways that travel nursing is helping Brittany grow professionally and personally.

1. Gaining experience quickly

Though Brittany is on her first assignment and only has two months of travel nursing experience, she says it has helped her grow professionally. Among the many other advantages you get, travel nursing benefits you by giving you early exposure to new systems, procedures, and facility types.

“I started my career as a float nurse, and I think travel nursing kind of encompasses that. You have to float to different units, and every three months you’re going to a different facility,” she says. “I’m getting a lot of exposure to things I wouldn’t see where I’m from.”

2. Setting yourself up for the best assignments

Brittany was most surprised by the amount of paperwork required when she accepted her first travel nursing job. She recalls a lot of work and phone calls before finally heading to Florida to begin her assignment.

“You have to validate everything and get all your documents in. The last two weeks before I left, I was doing something for my travel nursing job every single day,” Brittany recalls.

On the other hand, Brittany says her daily work as a travel nurse is closer to what she expected.

“It’s something new almost every day, and you don’t really know what you’re going into initially — which is pretty exciting,” she expresses. “Travel nursing is not for everybody, but I definitely enjoy it.”

6 ways travel nursing benefits your new career - image of RNnetwork panelist Brittany Paiva

RNnetwork panelist Brittany Paiva (L) at live Q&A

3. Facing new experiences with more confidence

The hardest part of travel nursing for Brittany is being away from family and friends and living in a brand-new city. She misses talking to family face-to-face after work but says her job has helped her become a stronger person.

“It was definitely very scary moving 1,300 miles away on my own, not knowing a soul down here and not really knowing what I was getting myself into,” Brittany says. “However, I now know when to put my personal feelings and opinions to the side and just do my job.”

Brittany says it’s important to have self-confidence, especially as a new travel nurse, so you don’t feel lost in a new place.

I found myself second-guessing everything the first week or two, because I wasn’t used to the equipment and the computer system,” Brittany says. “Once you realize you know what you’re doing and the patients come first, you’re fine. Ask questions and remember that it’s OK to not know something. You’re in a brand-new environment.”

4. Doing your homework before you travel

It’s important to research the area where you’ll be living and learn more about the hospital’s electronic health record system before you leave, Brittany says. She also recommends asking questions about housing. RNnetwork’s recruiters and housing teams work hard to make sure that your needs are met, but they depend on you to tell them about what matters most to you.

“I ran into a problem initially, because I didn’t know certain parts of the town I live in were not as good as others,” Brittany recalls. “Do your research about where the best housing is. It’s also beneficial to see what you can do on your days off.”

5. Building bonds with a recruiter who knows you

A friend referred Brittany to her current RNnetwork recruiter, Samantha. Though they’ve worked together for only a few months, Brittany says Samantha has made the process much easier. A good recruiter takes the time to understand not just your professional goals, but also your personal needs and preferences.

“Working with Sam has been nothing short of amazing. She’s been on top of everything,” Brittany said. “I told her the area I wanted to go to, and there was literally one opening. Sam pulled it off and got me the job somehow. She was kind of like my recruiting mom.”

6. Setting a clear path to make your goals attainable

While living in Florida has been great, Brittany’s ultimate goal is eventually going to California and Hawaii. She says there was no better way to see the coast than becoming a travel nurse.

“I left Connecticut looking for my place in the world. I didn’t think there was anything else there for me,” Brittany says. “I wanted to expand my knowledge in nursing and see everything else all over the country. I know traveling can definitely bring me down that path, and I can see new friends and new places.”

Travel nursing can open doors to exciting new life experiences. It’s a career path that gives you the chance to grow professionally and personally, and also gives you the power to fit your work life around things that are fulfilling to you. Talk to an RNnetwork recruiter today to see if travel nursing is for you.

About Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a healthcare writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.

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