Happy New Year! Will 2020 be the year you decide to take the leap and become a travel nurse? If you’ve been holding back on starting your travel nursing career because of what-ifs, worry no more. Here at PPR, we’re here to help you achieve your goals. Below you’ll find the 5 most common mistakes first-time travel nurses make and — more importantly — how you can avoid them:
Many nurses decide to become a travel nurse for the adventure and the pay. Just remember that money and location aren’t everything. For example, an assignment in a rural town might not be as exciting as, say New York City, but the work environment there could be less stressful. During the interview process, make sure you ask questions to get a good sense of what the job will be like. If you have weird vibes about a job, it’s OK to pass on it and wait for a better fit.
Sometimes, travel nurse contracts are cancelled, and when that happens you could find yourself in a tough spot. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a Plan B in your pocket. That plan may be different for each individual and situation — it could be an emergency fund, a month-to-month lease, or another assignment near your current location. Whatever you decide to do, just remember to plan ahead and hope for the best!
This is easily one of the most common mistakes first-time travel nurses make, and for good reason. After all, it can be hard to know exactly what you’ll need on that first assignment. So, take a Marie Kondo approach to packing, and if the item in question doesn’t bring you joy or you don’t need it, leave it at home. Keep in mind if you forget something essential, you can always buy a replacement on the road.
Traveling for work can be demanding. Once you’re off the clock, you might be tempted to go home and sleep or watch TV. While some downtime in between shifts is crucial to your well-being, don’t be afraid to explore your new surroundings.
You could take a scenic drive, go hiking, or plan a day trip to a neighboring city or town.
All work and no play makes for a frazzled travel nurse. Plus, according to the U.S. Travel Association, in 2018 more than half of Americans (55%) did not use all their paid time off. And while most travel nurses don’t get paid time off through their employers, you should still consider taking a break between your travel nursing assignments. Going on vacation or even taking a “staycation” can help you avoid burnout and give your overall mental health a boost.
Now is the perfect time to make your travel nursing career a reality! Let us help you find your first travel nursing assignment and make your dreams come true in the new year.
By Elena Barker