Travel nurses are constantly on the go. You may have learned from experience (ahem, the hard way) why it’s important to stay organized and be prepared. To combat disorganization and keep you ready for your next assignment, we’ve compiled a list of practical things you can do to help your travel assignments run smoothly.
- Keep a “Travel Folder” with you at all times
If you’re working to secure your next assignment, you never know when a Nurse Manager might call to conduct an interview. You might be in your car (pull over, please!), currently on assignment (which can make things a little blurry – you’re in a new place after all!) or on the moon (less likely, but be prepared, nonetheless!). A Travel Folder helps you keep track of your interviews for upcoming assignments anytime, anywhere.
Our advice for the contents of this folder consists of the 5 W’s (and How):
- Who: List the name and contact information of Nurse Managers who call you.
- What: Keep track of what facilities and recruitment firms you’re working with, and for what potential assignments.
- When: Write down when you had the interview (it’s easier than you think to forget!)
- Where: This one is obvious, but you don’t want to confuse the locations of your next potential assignment, so write down where it is!
- Why: As in, “Why do I like this facility and location?” Remembering these details can help you make decisions later on.
- How: Keep a copy of questions you want to ask in an interview along with your resume – this is important in how you can land your next assignment, because it ensures you aren’t scrambled during the interview, and you won’t forget to mention any key points about yourself or the facility!
As Nurse Recruiters, after we submit your name for a job, we don’t get a warning as to when you’ll get a phone call for an interview. You could get a call anywhere from five minutes later to three weeks later. This makes it that much more important to keep your Travel Folder with you at all times so you will never be caught off guard, and always prepared to give a stellar interview at a moment’s notice.
- Keep hard copies and electronic copies of your important documents
Yes, this means it’s time to get a thumb drive if you don’t already have one. It’s also important to keep hard copies because many facilities request that you fax documents, and this way you don’t have to find a printer every time you’re asked to do this.
Here are the documents we recommend having on your thumb drive, as well as stashed in a folder:
- Medical documents, vaccine records, etc.
- Credentialing documents
Being able to access and send documents in a timely manner is huge – it shows potential employers that you’re dependable and can react quickly.
- Make sure your car is maintained
Set aside a block of time to get your oil changed, check the air in your tires, get them rotated, etc., so that your car is in ship-shape before your next assignment. This is an easy task to move down on the list of priorities, but it is important and it keeps you safe. Don’t forget to give your car some TLC and check in on it regularly.
- Take care of all the administrative tasks before you leave
The term “administrative” may already have you snoozing, but these tasks can be done quickly and easily before your next assignment. It will save you headache later, we promise!
- Find out who your utility suppliers are in the new city. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day, flipping on the TV to your favorite reality show (or is that just us?), only to realize the cable isn’t set up yet. Before your next assignment, go to the new city’s website to find where it lists their suppliers for cable, internet, phone, gas, water and electricity. Do this ahead of time, and spend the first week of your assignment soaking up the new scene, not on the phone with the cable guy!
- Be familiar with how to change your address every three months. The USPS has methods of forwarding your mail that you may want to take advantage of.
- Pack smart. Traveling to go on vacation and traveling for a nursing career are very different!
- Make your bucket list for the next three months
Travel nursing has many benefits, and one of our favorites is getting to experience new things in new places. To make sure you don’t miss out, make a “bucket list” of things you want to do in your next city. You’ve got a limited time in your chosen locale, so planning these activities ahead of time can ensure you make the most of your travels!
Now that you’re ready to go, contact our Nurse Recruiters at Cirrus Medical Staffing to get a head start on your next (or first) travel assignment!