As a new year approaches many of us are becoming more interested in the travel nurse lifestyle and are on a search for travel nurse tips. The twist and turns of the travel nursing experience can sometimes have us scrambling and losing sight of what it is we rightly want or need. Not that these shake-ups are negative, but that they could veer us into a direction we may not have been thinking about taking. As we have hit the new year running, we may as well take this time to start organizing and coming up with realistic goals that we would like to set for ourselves this year.
The marvelous thing about contemplating what it is that we want is that it can be completely tailored to ourselves. This comes in especially handy when travel nursing assignments have us moving around, making alternate incomes, establishing ourselves in different healthcare facilities and periodically sending us spinning. As a result, how can we prepare our 2023 as travel nurses?
Hooray for the New Year! Check out our Travel Nurse Tips to Prepare For 2023
Travel Nurse Tip #1 – Think About 2022
A considerable way to identify what you need in this New Year is to reflect on everything that happened in the past. What were some parts you really enjoyed? What are some parts that need revisiting and readjusting? Or what are some things you wish you did then and can now work to do this year?
Do this by simply taking out a pen and notepad and ponder. Write down everything that enters your mind and spend some time slowly dissecting it. This doesn’t have to be a one-time sit-down-and-be-done task, so take your time and be honest with yourself about what you would like to repeat and what you’d like to get rid of.
Travel Nurse Tip #2 – Set Your Goals
Once you have your mind around what it is you do and don’t want, you can get into the fun part. As mentioned earlier, as a travel nurse your goal setting can be eccentric, intriguing and sound downright crazy. But as a unique position and role, it’s the best part of the job.
Ask yourself what you truly want for this year. You can start with the following:
- Income: either overall income or how much you would like to make on each assignment. You can check out our Top 10 Highest Paying and Best Working States article for more ideas.
- Travel: what states you would like to try or if you’d like to stick to city life, rural life or coast life?
- Specialties: would you like to work on getting into a specialty this year? Or would you like to strengthen the specialties you already have by sticking to assignments that expand your skill levels in those fields?
- Demographic: what type of patients would you prefer to have experience in caring for? Kids? Elderly? Low income?
- Time off: we all recognize we have the choice to take some time off between assignments, but how much time do you want? Would you like to do some jobs back to back and take a longer break in between, or go for a ratio of 13 weeks on and 2 weeks off?
While listing your wants for 2023, be sure to set realistic goals. How much can you make? Where can you in fact go? You can set measurable timelines and map out your journey for the year. Then spend the following months crossing them off one at a time.
Travel Nurse Tip #3 – Update & Organize Your Credentials
As you’re stepping into new assignments – and maybe even elevating your assignment choices – it’s important to keep everything up to date. This means updating your resume, licensing (read more on the Compact Nursing License here.) and even your LinkedIn profile if you have one. This will allow you to add any achievements or accomplishments you’ve had throughout the year and ensure that you aren’t missing anything or needing to scramble last minute for an assignment. This way, potential employers are seeing everything they require to see in order to select you for the job.
Travel Nurse Tip #4 – Purchase Any Items You Need
With the needs of others always on a nurses mind, it’s crucial to be doing things that help ourselves. This can come in the form of new shoes, scrubs or medical instruments, appliances or gadgets that make life a little easier or even health products like supplements that can help you with boosts of energy, vitamin or mineral deficiencies and help with anxiety. Now is a great time to get yourself set up so there isn’t any need to think about it for at least the next 3 months. If you’d like some help understanding what you may need and where you can find them, read our Top 10 Easy Gifts For Nurses!
Travel Nurse Tip #5 – Having Your Documentation In Order
We don’t need anything to pull us back from our desires this year, so making sure you maintain all of your documents, and have everything updated and ready to go will benefit you immensely. This can be in the form of your license, passport, or any other document that will assist you in not only getting your foot in the door but helping you walk through the door confidently.
There have been many studies that have shown the mental health benefits of having and consistently using a journal. University of Rochester Medical Center states that journaling is beneficial in improving mood and alleviating our symptoms by:
- Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns.
- Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them.
- Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors.
If there is one major purchase you make as a self-care tool to aid in your mental health, let it be a journal!
Preparation can be extremely helpful in a position where you are needing to be adaptable and not everything may flow as easily as it should. But that’s okay, what’s life without a little adventure? If you can hone in on what it is that you want this New Year and what goals you would like to achieve as a travel nurse, you can push yourself in the right direction of change, expansion and growth. Let travel nursing in 2023 be the year for you! If you’d like to join in on the benefits of travel nursing, feel free to find out more information with us at TheraEx Staffing Services