Starting your first travel nursing assignment is an exciting time. There is a lot to look forward to from learning new things to making friends. To decrease any stress associated with moving and starting a new job, there are several things you can do. Consider the following tips before you hit the road on your first travel nursing assignment.
Although your staffing agency takes care of a lot of the arrangements for your first travel assignment, it’s a good idea to confirm everything. Check the expiration date of your CPR card and make sure it will not expire while you are on assignment. Review your immunization record and determine if you are following your hospital’s requirements.
If you are getting an out of state nursing license, make sure it is processed before your start date. Confirm your move-in date and utility set up for your housing. Making sure everything is organized and ready makes starting a travel nursing assignment less daunting.
Most travel nursing assignments are 13 weeks. Since it is your first assignment, you may be unsure of how much to pack. Find out if your apartment is furnished. What is included in a furnished apartment may vary, so ask for a list to be sure.
Depending on how far you have to travel to your assignment, it might be easier and cheaper to buy some things when you arrive. Packing lightly is less time consuming, easier to move and gives you an opportunity to shop and add a little local flavor to your place.
Travel to Your New City a Few Days Early
Try to arrange your move-in date at least a few days before your travel nursing assignment starts. It is less stressful to tackle unpacking and getting organized before you have to go to work. Ideally, three or four days is probably enough time to unpack and get familiar with the area. Arriving too far in advance might give you too much time on your hands and lead to homesickness.
Treat Your Travel Job Like a Permanent Position
Although your travel assignment may only be temporary, it’s still important to give it your best effort. If you go in with the attitude that you will be gone in 13 weeks, it might show. Take opportunities to learn new things, be flexible, and do your best to make a good impression.
Enjoy the Experience
Although it’s common to be a little nervous before your first travel nursing assignment, try to enjoy the experience. Step outside your comfort zone a little and try new things. Allow yourself some downtime to walk around your new city and just take it all in.
Your first travel nursing assignment may go by faster than you expect. Before you know it, it will be time to pack up and get back on the road. While on assignment, slow down a little and enjoy the time!
What was the best tip you received before you started your first travel nursing assignment?