By Aubrey Schieuer
Travel nurses have an incredibly unique and exciting lifestyle. You get to stay in different parts of the country for 13 week assignments and get paid for doing it! The first time, however, comes with a little bit of uncertainty. Here are our top tips for making your first travel RN assignment stress-free.
Before you go, make copies of all the documentation you might need: university degree, CV, state licenses, and medical records. Have these copies somewhere that you can easily access them like on your laptop or in the cloud. Don’t forget to take along the physical documents you’ll need, like your social security card, passport, driver’s license, nursing license, and insurance cards.
Sometimes it’s easier to just buy things there rather than take it with you, like toiletries, cleaning supplies, and food. Usually, your assignment is only going to last 13 weeks. What can you live without? You probably don’t need all of your shoes or a year’s supply of books. Pack only what you need, and you’ll find unpacking that much easier.
At PPR, our goal is to have you in the Friday before your assignment begins. That way, you have time to unpack a little, scope out the area, and get several good nights’ rest before you start. Use that time to make your space feel like home.
Before your first day, do a practice run to the medical facility to see how long that commute will actually take. Figure out where to park and how long it takes to get to your floor. Then you’ll have a better idea of how much time you really need to get there on your first day.
Even if your practice run only took 15 minutes to leave your new place and get to your floor, give yourself some breathing room. There’s no worse feeling than being late on the first day. Make your first impression a great one by giving yourself plenty of time to arrive early.
At the beginning of each assignment is orientation, where you’ll learn the policies and procedures of your new facility and your specific unit. If the charting system is unfamiliar, be sure to ask about it. Also, see what their policy is regarding travelers and floating (floating means moving to another unit temporarily). Orientation is the best time to ask questions, so fire away!
Give us a call anytime. That’s why we’re here! PPR has a team of tenured recruiters and client account managers that love seeing their nurses succeed. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask. Give us a shout!