By October 2, 2014 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How do I know if I’m ready to try Travel Nursing?

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Ask a Travel Nurse: How do I know if I’m ready to try Travel Nursing?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I’ve worked as an RN going on four years — one year on medical-surgical and now going on my third year in ED. In the last two years I’ve really considered Travel Nursing, but fear of the unknown and wondering if I’m ready is holding me back.

How do I know if I’m ready to try Travel Nursing?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Judging when you are ready to start Travel Nursing that has to be an individual assessment. However, there are some things you can ask yourself in deciding.

Are you pretty independent in your practice? Do you take the initiative in directing your patient’s care, or do you simply let things unfold? Are you proficient in your basic skills such as IV, Foley, and NG/OG insertions? Do you feel as though you have good organizational skills, or are you always one of the nurses who is staying behind an extra 15-30 minutes to get things done? Do you still seek out others for a second opinion on what is going on with your patient or if you should call the doctor?

You must be VERY independent as a Travel Nurse because the facilities are expecting a proficient nurse who can hit the ground running. For some people, this is not anything over which to be concerned. For others, it may be a little too uncertain an environment.

If you’d like to test yourself, I always tell nurses to apply at a local agency or registry and pick up a few extra shifts at other hospitals in the area. If you can go in and function independently as an agency nurse, then Travel Nursing shouldn’t be an issue (because at least with Travel Nursing, you are most likely in the same unit throughout your contract, unless of course you take a float position).

I’m sorry to say there is not any concrete way of knowing when you are ready. But feeling confident enough in your practice as a nurse, is likely half the battle.

I hope this helps you decide.


Posted in: Ask a Travel Nurse

About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

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