7 Ways Travel Nursing Can Enhance Your Nursing Career

When it comes to travel nursing, adventure and pay are the two benefits that are most often touted. However, travel nursing has many other benefits, including benefits for your nursing career in general. Here are seven such benefits to consider.

Here are seven ways travel nursing can enhance your nursing career:

Travel Nursing Can Help You Make a Quick Change

If you’re able and willing to make a move, then travel nursing is a quick and easy way to make a job change. You can potentially be up and running with a new job in a matter of weeks thanks to the quick-hire nature of travel nursing jobs. Moreover, you’ll only be committed to your new job for a period of three to six months, so you don’t need to worry about vetting the employer for long-term viability.

It’s no secret that some employers treat their nurses better than others, and it’s no secret that how a nurse is treated has a major impact on job satisfaction. So if you find yourself in a toxic environment, then travel nursing can help you move on quickly.

Of course, you may be happy with your job, but unsatisfied with where you live. Perhaps your current city is too boring and small, or too hectic and big for your liking. Travel nursing can help you get a change of scenery quickly.

7 Ways Travel Nursing Can Enhance Your Career

Travel Nursing Can Help You Determine Your Ideal Setting

Hospitals come in all shapes and sizes. They have different trauma designations. Some are teaching facilities and some aren’t. Some are world-renowned for some specialty or another, while others are not. All of these variables can affect your professional life as a nurse.

As a travel nurse, you can target any type of hospital you’re interested in to get an idea of what professional life will be like in a particular setting. You can move from setting to setting to find out what works best for you.

Travel Nursing Can Help Improve Your Adaptability

Adaptability and flexibility have long been recognized as fundamental traits for success in the nursing profession. Each day may present new patients and new challenges. Moreover, hospitals tend to be a more stressful environment than most which leads to increased volatility. Meanwhile, processes and procedures in the healthcare industry are constantly changing.

As a travel nurse, you’ll move to new facilities on a continuous basis. As a result, you’ll be required to pick up new systems and gel with new coworkers with each move. This process is certain to hone your adaptability skills which will help you advance your career in the long run.

Travel Nursing Can Increase Your Skill Set Quickly

It’s easy to get the impression that nursing is the same from facility to facility. For example, many people believe that working in a StepDown Unit in one hospital is just like working in a StepDown Unit in the next hospital. However, there are often dramatic differences from facility to facility.

For example, the StepDown Unit at one hospital may not take patients with Swan-Ganz Catheters. However, the same unit in another hospital might take these patients regularly. Equipment, computer charting systems, and many aspects of nursing vary from facility to facility. Therefore, your opportunity to expand your skill set will be much greater as a travel nurse by virtue of working with many different facilities.

Travel Nursing Can Enhance Your Process Improvement Skills

"Process improvement" has been a buzzword in healthcare for quite some time. In fact, a 2013 study by Wanted Analytics found that “process improvement” was the second most in-demand skill that employers were seeking in their registered nursing candidates.

This should come as no surprise. It’s no secret that various trends have led to nurses spending more time on non-patient-related activities. Meanwhile, hospitals are now driven by federal payment incentives to improve patient care. As a result, improving processes so that nurses can spend more time involved and interacting with patients has become a priority.

Hospitals are looking for candidates that can help them achieve these goals. As central players in the delivery of care, nurses are able to make major contributions in this regard.

As a travel nurse, you will be exposed to a new set of processes and procedures with each new assignment. You’ll be able to see what works and what does not. As a result, you’ll gain a unique perspective that can help you make major contributions to process improvement the next time you take a permanent job.

Travel Nursing Can Improve The Marketability Of Your Nursing Resume

One of the most common resume tips you’ll hear these days is to tailor your resume to the specific job it’s being submitted for. This is easier said than done. As this article from BluePipes Blog points out, there are many details that prospective employers are interested in seeing on a nursing resume. Of course, if you don’t have experience with the specific items that a prospective employer is seeking, then you can’t rightly add them to your resume.

As a travel nurse, you’ll gain experience in many different settings. You’ll work in large hospitals and small hospitals, work with many different computer charting systems, and care for different types of patients. In short, by expanding the breadth of your experience, you’ll increase the likelihood that you’re able to tailor your resume to coincide with the needs of more employers, thereby increasing the marketability of your resume.

You Can Build an Amazing Professional Network

Networking is the single most effective way to land jobs and advance your career. In fact, you’ll find sources that claim 70-80 percent of all jobs are filled through networking. Moreover, a nurse’s ability to contribute to the healthcare delivery system is greatly enhanced by having a more robust professional network. A strong professional network also helps nurses keep up with new trends and provides a support group that a nurse can rely on during tough times.

Travel nursing may be the single best way to expand your nursing professional network. Again, you’ll be working with numerous facilities over the course of your time as a traveling nurse. You’ll meet new people and develop new relationships everywhere you go. If you seize the opportunity to connect with your new colleagues and use social media to keep those connections relevant, then you will most certainly build a very robust professional network.

By keeping these seven aspects of travel nursing in mind, you can potentially benefit from travel nursing in ways that can enhance your nursing career.

Kyle Schmidt is a Co-Founder of Bluepipes, a healthcare professional networking website that provides features designed to solve the unique career management challenges facing nursing, physician and allied professionals.

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