Travel nurses can experience homesickness and loneliness while working in new locations. However, these feelings can be minimized with socializing and a robust professional network.
One of the most significant benefits of traveling nursing is meeting people from all walks of life. Whether they’re coworkers or friends from home, the connections created during an assignment can be lasting.
Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Travel nurses work at different hospitals throughout the country, which builds their professional experience and enhances their resume. They often have a unique opportunity to learn skills from other nurses and patients, gaining experiences that staff nurses may not get in their regular roles.
Travel nursing agencies offer housing and other expenses in their nurse compensation packages. This allows nurses to take on assignments closer to home or in their preferred region. This makes travel nursing ideal for nurses who want to build a career around family and other personal commitments.
However, traveling nursing is not a good fit for those who prefer to build long-term relationships or cannot commit to the short-term nature of travel nurse contracts. The constant being the new nurse can be challenging for those who thrive on building close relationships and can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation if not appropriately managed. To avoid this, it is recommended that travel nurses always travel with a friend or spouse and try to find coworkers with similar interests and hobbies.
Take Advantage of Your Time Off
With housing stipends and travel reimbursements, it’s easy for nurses to earn more than they would at their permanent staff positions. In addition, most supplemental staffing agencies offer non-taxable healthcare benefits, making it even more lucrative for nurses to take up this career option.
Top travel nurse job locations are available nationwide in various specialties. Whether you’re hoping to work in New York City or are a beach lover who wants to experience the sun in California, there’s sure to be an assignment that fits your desires.
Moving from assignment to assignment, you’re exposed to many different hospital systems and cultures. This allows you to build a broad professional network that significantly impacts your career and well-being. A good recruiter will encourage you to contact fellow travel nurses at your assignment sites and local organizations supporting the medical industry. These connections will help you to grow your community and create a supportive network that can be invaluable as you advance in your profession.
Build Meaningful Relationships
Travel nursing allows nurses to expand their professional network by gaining experience in various healthcare environments and facilities. In addition, they often gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies involved with their assignments and develop a more well-rounded resume.
Traveling nurses can also use their free time between assignments to explore new cities and towns. Whether they are traveling with a significant other or friends or even on their own, it can be a great way to create memories that last a lifetime.
Those who choose to travel nurse with a partner may be able to take advantage of housing, transportation, and meal stipends. Additionally, most travel nurse agencies offer one-bedroom apartments that can accommodate a spouse or significant other. This can make it easier for couples to continue their relationship even when they are between assignments. In addition, teams need to maintain consistent communication to make long-distance relationships work. Sending cute texts or scheduling phone calls can help keep your significant other in mind. And planning a romantic getaway while you are apart can make it worth it.
Learn New Skills
The healthcare industry is constantly changing, and travel nurses can use this. Working at different facilities can teach you new skills, like how to work with diverse staff and patients, as well as the latest equipment and processes. This can be an invaluable experience to add to your resume.
Nurses often choose their profession because of the desire to help people in some of their most vulnerable moments. Travel nursing can amplify that impact by taking you to places needing skilled medical professionals.
Travel nursing also allows nurses to avoid burnout by avoiding negative workplace culture and politics. Because they only spend an average of 13 weeks on an assignment, travel nurses can quickly move on if the hospital environment isn’t ideal. This can keep them refreshed and ready to return to patient care with renewed enthusiasm. This is an added benefit of travel nursing that many nurses appreciate. It helps them stay fresh and motivated, avoiding the symptoms of compassion fatigue and burnout that are so common in permanent positions.
Develop Active Listening and Empathy
For travel nurses, developing active listening and empathy skills is integral to providing compassionate care. These skills are needed to help patients overcome communication barriers and provide comfort, which can lead to positive outcomes in patient satisfaction and health status.
In addition, travel nurses need to learn to recognize nonverbal cues and how they affect the patient experience. This includes the body language, facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice that convey a patient’s emotions and needs.
A final benefit of travel nursing is the opportunity to work in different settings. If a nurse has always dreamed of working in a large NYC hospital, they can take a contract in that city. Or, if the nurse wants to explore the West Coast, they can choose an assignment in that area.
Ready to start your journey as a travel nurse? Contact an enrollment counselor at WGU today! We support your career dreams and offer various educational opportunities to help you get there. Click here to get started!