As a nurse, you know that no two days are the same. You might begin your workday anticipating one thing and end up working longer hours, treating different patients, or doing something completely unexpected.
This is why flexibility in nursing careers is a must. And no one knows this more than travel nurses.
Those considering travel nursing care should expect the unexpected. Adaptability and flexibility are crucial qualities to have when you work in different locations and facilities. If you’re up to the challenge, travel nursing can be an incredibly interesting and rewarding career.
What Does Flexibility Mean for Host Travel Nurses?
Seasoned travel nurses know that they’ll have to live with a little uncertainty before each new assignment begins. They also know how to adapt to a constantly changing work environment. But for first-time travel nurses, the lack of certainty can be unsettling. The key to success is to stay patient and open-minded.
Travelers may spend a few weeks working without access to resources such as glucometers and Pyxis access, so it’s important to remain flexible throughout the process once you’re on your assignment. Some key things you should keep in mind include:
- Orientation schedules may change
- Placements within your assignment can change
- Managers might change
Preparing yourself for these potential changes can make them easier to navigate.
Does Flexibility Depend on Your Nursing Specialty?
There are nearly 100 different registered nurse specialties to choose from. Many of these are in demand and offer unique opportunities for travel nurses with specific skill sets.
However, flexibility in nursing is a must across all nursing job specialties. Travelers should always be prepared to adapt to the needs of their employers.
How Does Host Facilitate Flexibility in Travel Nursing?
Host Healthcare understands the need for flexibility as a registered nurse. We also know that it’s tough to go somewhere new and deal with uncertainty. This is why we have a clinical team made up of nurses with 50-plus years of experience to help our travelers learn how to navigate the process.
The Host clinical team can provide guidance for:
- Reviewing offers
- Going through credentials
- Navigating clinical concerns
- Understanding how the process works from both sides
Though your recruiter is your main point of contact, the clinical team is always available for additional support when you need it.
Tips for Remaining Flexible as a Travel Nurse
Nurse and nurse practitioner flexibility takes practice, especially as a travel nurse, but with these tips, you can master the skill:
- Be prepared for last-minute instructions – When you’re a traveler and you have an assignment starting on Monday, you can expect to receive instructions on when and where to report the Thursday or Friday before.
- Don’t expect special treatment – Travelers are assigned to a specific place because there’s a need for their skills. However, no facility wants to work with someone who is difficult. The more flexible you are, the more valuable of an asset you are. Try to relax and go with the flow, and you’ll get much more out of your assignment.
- Don’t be afraid to pose questions to your travel nurse recruiter – As a travel nurse, your recruiter is your main source of information. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when needed. As you ramp up, it can also be beneficial to reference your travel nurse onboarding checklist.
- Know that other nurses are helpful resources – Both travel nurses and staff nurses at your assignment can be valuable sources when you have questions about your new state or the job. They can also give you advice on future assignments that may be good fits for your skills.
Should You Have Limits to Your Flexibility?
It’s completely understandable that you can’t be flexible all of the time. However, the more open you are, the more opportunities you’ll have. That being said, there are a few things you can do to set some boundaries, such as:
- Ask your recruiter to facilitate a blocked schedule request for your hours
- Add specific non-negotiable time-off requests to your contract
These can help you have a little more control over some aspects of your travel experience while still ensuring that you’re meeting the needs of the facility.
The only time travel nurses should not demonstrate flexibility is if it pertains to a patient safety issue—reach out to your recruiter and they will connect you with the clinical team in this circumstance.
Host Healthcare: Your Resource for Travel Opportunities
Travel nurses in particular, must be able to adapt to unexpected changes on a daily basis. If you’re able to do so, you might be a perfect match for a number of travel nursing jobs.
If you’ve always been interested in a travel nursing career but weren’t sure what to expect, start with Host Healthcare. When you complete your travel nurse application with us, we match you with the opportunities that best suit your skillset, goals, and availability. As a bonus, you’ll get to travel while working at a job you love.
Apply today, and let us help you start on your travel nursing journey.
- Gaines, Kathleen. “What Are All the Types of Nurses? the Complete List of Nursing Careers and Specialties.” Nurse.org, https://nurse.org/education/types-of-nurses/