By December 7, 2012 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How do I gain cross-training experience?


hospital settingAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi David, I have been traveling since January 2012 as a circulating RN. I plan to continue traveling through around September 2013. I desperately need to gain some scrub education and experience as not having this experience is hindering finding work at some sites I would like to travel to.

Any suggestions on how I can quickly gain these skills to make myself more marketable?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Unfortunately, the best way to gain cross-training experience would be in a staff position. It’s very hard to gain any experience in other areas as a traveler because they are just hiring you for a short period of time and only to fill a specific need. So, the opportunities to branch out are VERY limited.

You could always ask your unit manager while on assignment if you were to resign for another 13 weeks, or longer, if they would be willing to train you to be of more benefit to them. I am currently seeking an assignment at a heart hospital and will be letting them know that I would be happy to take a balloon pump class prior to starting if it would be of more benefit to them.

Just communicate your desires to your manager. Other than that, I’m afraid you might need to sign on as staff somewhere that is willing to cross-train you.

Hope this helps.


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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