5 Things Your Recruiter Should Prep You For Your First Travel Gig!
Congratulations! You are ready to pack your bags and hit the road! Maybe you love to travel, have a great sense of adventure, or long to gain some out of the box experience. Whatever the case may be, the fear of the unknown can be the most uncomfortable part.
So here are some quick tips from my veteran travel nurses to help put your mind at ease! You can do this! And with the support of a great recruiter, *cough* me! *cough* you are well on your way!
Without further ado…
1. Put your ducks in a row! Are your licenses up to date? You might not realize just how daunting the credentialing process can be or just how many documents will be asked of you. One thing you will want to have put together is a professional portfolio. Make sure to include the following documents:
* RN License(s)! (hard copy & printed copy from online verification)
* Copies of all certifications! (BLS, ACLS, TNCC, etc)
* Medical Records! (Immunizations, recent PPD tests, recent physical)
* ID! (Drivers License, SS Card, Passport)
* Employment/Education Verification! (Employers and phone numbers for the past 7 years, transcripts, registrar’s phone number)
* Be prepared to spend some time on a computer! Depending on what company you’re applying with, there are always some company specific documents that will require your e-signature, competency tests, skills checklists, etc. Be patient, once these are done you’re usually good to go for a year or more! The important thing is trusting and feeling a connection with your Recruiter!
2. Location is everything! Keep in mind that being away from home for any extended period of time isn’t easy. It might be best to choose a state close to home or nears friends/family to temper the occasional home sickness.
3. Lean on your Recruiter! Ask questions. A good recruiter will prefer that you do. Make sure you understand your compensation package, housing, additional stipends and expenses. Ask about feedback from other travelers who have visited that hospital before. Knowledge is power!
4. Pack Accordingly! Research the weather reports of the climate you’re visiting. Ask about laundry facilities and pack the necessary amount of changes of clothes. Be a minimalist, yet prepared. Be sure to ask your recruiter what amenities will be available to you. Ask specifically about linens, towels, cooking utensils, and cutlery, Grab your bathing suit or snow boots (depending on your location) for your leisure time. Quarters for vending machines, work out clothes in case there’s a gym available. And don’t forget to include something that gives you the comfort of home. Photographs, your comforter, wall art, refrigerator magnets. Whatever suits your fancy, it may be a long 13 weeks and I want you to be as comfortable as possible!
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5. Arrive early! It’s always a great idea to settle in prior to your travel assignment. I generally recommend showing up two days early. This will allow you some time to become familiar with your surroundings. Make a dry run to learn your commute. Locate the nearest grocery story, auto repair shop, etc. Maybe even ask for an introduction with your manager and a tour of the hospital.
And there you have it, folks. A few tips from me to you. If you’re thinking of taking on your first travel nursing contract, or second, tenth, whatever, hit me up! I would love to work with you!