Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I am looking to take a Travel Nursing assignment in California this spring, and originally planned on doing it with my best friend but that fell through. I would really love to travel but I’m a little scared to do it on my own. I’m a 27-year-old woman, have never lived on my own, and this would be my first Travel Nurse assignment. Any advice for someone scared to travel alone? On the other hand, are there any blogs where I can find a traveling buddy?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
When I published my book on Travel Nursing back in 2009, one of the first chapters covered the traits that a travel nurse should possess. I mentioned that if you have never lived on your own or done your own laundry, then travel might be a big wake up call.
There is no doubt, having a support system of family and friends, that might be hundreds or even thousands of miles away, can be a bit unsettling. But I do believe that it is only when we push ourselves that we truly grow. Ever had an extremely chaotic shift at work, with a critically ill patient, where you spent the entire shift just trying to keep your patient alive? While it may have been a horrible shift when you were “in the mix,” afterward you likely learned a few things and grew from the experience. It is the same with Travel Nursing.
At 27, I believe you would do okay if you pushed yourself, but I can respect if it’s your decision to want a companion along the way. Try hitting some of the Travel Nursing sites and post what you are looking for in a travel companion.
Some good Travel Nurse forums can be found at ultimatenurse.com, allnurses.com, and the Delphi forum for traveling professionals (go to delphiforums.com, look for the box on the right that says “Explore existing forums”, type in “travel nursing” and the top result is a group called Travel Nurses and Therapists).
Pan Travelers is also another good site with a forum as is Healthcare Travelbook, which is a sort of Facebook style place for travelers.
And since you asked for some general travel advice, I hate to make this shameless plug for the book, but I truly do believe that I’ve taken all my travel experience and put it in one great place for those just starting out. It’s called the Travel Nurse’s Bible and while I’ve been working on a rewrite for some time now, I’ve had a chaotic last year. But with all the continued requests for the book, I decided to make the 2009 edition available online in the Amazon Kindle store.
While it is a few years old, during the reworking of the book, I was surprised to see how much of the book, has stood the test of time. Plus, I’ve made it available for less than the price of your next meal at McDonalds. It’s a great place to start even if you do have some knowledge about the travel industry.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free programs or apps to read it from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can find it here.
So, try hitting the forums for a travel companion, but if you can’t find one, consider steps toward gaining more independance, or just go for it and take the big step. If you are still a little uncertain, try a Travel Nursing assignment a few hours away or one state over. That way, if you really need to, you could always head home for a recharge on your days off.
I hope this helps and if you need any help getting started with some great recruiters in the industry, I do always offer to set nurses up with the people I use and trust with my travels. Just email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.