I am currently writing this blog on Atlantic Beach in Jacksonville, FL in the little notes app on my phone. Something that a year ago I never would have guessed would be happening. So that just goes to show that you can accomplish anything you dream of! You just have to be brave enough to start it and get out of your comfort zone. Now, that is so much easier to be said than done. I know! I probably contemplated starting traveling nursing for at least 6 months.
So, take it from a brand new traveler, don’t waste your time wavering back and forth, just get out there and travel. Enjoy it! I remember reading a quote that said “if you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree” and it stuck with me because it’s so true! We have the ability to travel now unlike back in the olden days you truly were stuck in one location and stayed there your whole life basically. So take advantage of this freedom and go! Travel! Even if it’s only for a few months! Give it a try! I think you’ll like it. Life is full of obstacles but it makes you a stronger person when you overcome them. Here are 3 helpful tips for overcoming these!
Almighty Dollar. Now, this is a real concern for most of my fellow travelers. Rumor has it that travel nursing makes the big bucks but you definitely have to be smart about your budget or it will have the opposite effect on your bank account. However, you quickly understand and figure the ways that will help you make this experience financially beneficial. So, if you’re concerned about not being able to afford it get that out of your head. There are always ways to make what you want happen. I highly recommend you accrue some savings prior to travel nursing because the majority of assignments will pay you on a weekly basis once your assignment starts. However, your bills will continue to roll in no matter what. Travel nursing is not the type of situation where you are able to live paycheck to paycheck. You do not want to be stranded in an apartment that you do not have running water, internet, cable, or even feel safe. This might call for a nights stay at a nearby hotel until the agency can find you an alternate housing which will accommodate your needs. Again, most agencies will “reimburse” you but you have to have the money up front to initially pay. Again I highly recommend having that cash cushion for a peace of mind.
Humble Abode. Now, this plays a huge part in our travel experience. We want the housing to be in the best location and we want to always feel safe throughout our journey. Now, I’m sure there are travelers who really just want to pocket all the housing money and just find a cheap place to sleep. Either way, a large portion of your time will be spent at this particular residence no matter how much exploring you will be doing while on assignment. Right now, Kollin, and I are staying with a friend who owns a house in Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville, FL while on assignment at Memorial Hospital of Jacksonville. It was the perfect situation for our first travel experience. We didn’t have to worry about finding a place to live. You can always find a fellow traveler and be their roommate or just take the housing option that the company offers. Make sure you do a drive by prior to make sure it’s an appropriate spot for you safety wise. Best advice I’ve heard is to just take the housing stipends and find your own place. That way it is under your own control and you get exactly what you like. But again, it depends on the area and you may struggle to find housing in the area that costs under or equal to what the agency is offering. In this situation it may be smart to have your agency place you in housing. We personally don’t have any pets but I can definitely see how this can affect the housing situation search as well.
Nursing Experience. This was a concern for me because from everything I have heard was that once you walk into your unit you are expected to hit the ground running! Now I understand that is a terrifying thought especially since you don’t even know where anything is let alone their specific practices at this hospital. But I can assure you that it doesn’t matter what hospital you are in your main focus will always be what is best outcome for the patient. If you live by that motto you will have no problem with caring for your patients. Each hospital, specialty, and agency has different specifications on how much experience you actually have. Now I personally worked in the operating room for 3 years before I started my first travel assignment. However, I have met fellow travelers who have had only one year of experience in nursing prior to traveling and have excelled at it! So it truly is not uncommon for a nurse to travel after only one or two years of experience.