Travel nurses travel across the country to assist facilities with their staffing needs. Travel nursing gives healthcare professionals the opportunity to experience new places, grow their careers, and make double their salary versus a staff nursing position. With all of these amazing perks, there are several important skills that can contribute to your success in this role. Here are some of the top skills every travel nurse should have.
Top Skills Every Travel Nurse Should Have: Flexibility
As a travel nurse, your job is to fill gaps in staffing at various facilities and hospitals. One skill every travel nurse should have is flexibility. Travel nursing assignments will have varying schedules, patient populations, and levels of acuity. With that being said, your job is to be a helping hand to the hospital staff. Even if that means floating to a different unit you have experience in, switching your schedule around, or even just picking up an extra shift or two. Being flexible with patient assignments, your working hours and responsibilities will make it much easier for you to acclimate to different settings.
It’s no secret that in order to start your career as a travel nurse, you must have at least two years of experience in your specialty. Strong clinical skills are essential for travel nurses. You should have a solid foundation and knowledge of medical conditions, treatments, medications, and procedures relevant to your specialty. When you start your assignment, there will be a very short orientation period. This usually consists of unit basics, where supplies are stored, how to retrieve medications, and a brief overview of the charting system. Before jumping into travel nursing, you should be confident in your clinical abilities. Confidence is key as a travel nurse!
Top Skills Every Travel Nurse Should Have: Communication
Communication is one of the most important skills you can have as a travel nurse. Effective communication comes in handy throughout all aspects of being a traveler. In order to find an assignment, you must be in clear and consistent communication with your recruiter and agency. When you’re on a contract, communication is crucial for building rapport with patients and hospital staff. Building relationships while you are traveling can not only help you build your professional network, but you might even make some new friends along the way!
Although new experiences can be the perfect change in pace as a nurse, it also comes with unfamiliar territories.Travel nursing often involves encountering new challenges and unfamiliar situations. Strong problem-solving skills enable you to think critically, make sound decisions, and find creative solutions to issues that may arise. Thinking quick on your feet can lead to your success, and maybe save a life or two along the way.
Top Skills Every Travel Nurse Should Have: Resilience
Nursing can be a very rewarding, yet emotionally demanding career. You love helping people and watching them get better. However, you also witness some heartbreaking scenarios on a daily basis. When you have a bad day on assignment, being away from home doesn’t ease the pain. Resilience helps you rise to the challenges of adjusting to new environments, adapting to change, and coping with stress. Prioritizing your mental health as a travel nurse is absolutely crucial. If you need help, ask! Even as a traveler, your facility or agency may have mental health resources available to you when you need them. Even when it gets tough, remember why you became a nurse. Let that motivate you to be resilient and rise to the occasion when faced with adversity.
While every travel nurse should possess these skills, it’s important to remember that these skills develop over time. Throughout your nursing career you will continuously learn new things and never stop growing your skill set. Seeking opportunities to enhance your skills will contribute to your success as a travel nurse. If you’re curious about taking the next step in your career, SQUAD Medical Staffing has a dedicated team of recruiters here to help you along the way. Whether you’re a first timer or a veteran traveler, we have the resources to help you be successful. Check out our job board where we have thousands of jobs available nationwide!