The question of selecting a travel nursing assignment location comes up often in conversations with travel nurses. With so many staffing agencies offering travel assignments all over the country, nurses who are new at travel nursing might feel overwhelmed with options.
Generally speaking, most nurses already have an ideal location in mind for their first or next travel assignment. These are mostly places that they want to visit and try out living in for a temporary period of time.
Unfortunately, despite a large number of medical facilities hiring travel nurses at any given location, it’s not always a guarantee that your staffing agency will be able to get you the location of your dreams, especially if you’re competing against more experienced travel nurses.
The good news is that you don’t always have to get the right location right away. When you’re looking at travel nursing opportunities, it’s best to keep an open mind.
When a reporter once asked the late great actor Dennis Hopper how he chose his roles in movies, he quipped that it depended on whether he was, at the time, building a house or a career. You should channel your inner Dennis Hopper and ponder about this with every new assignment that comes your way. Keep this at the back of your mind as you look at travel opportunities. Are you building a house—meaning is the money all that you’re concerned about—or are you building a career?
Both are perfectly good reasons for selecting a travel nursing assignment but understanding what your goals are will greatly impact how you choose.
Ask yourself what your primary needs are in taking on a travel assignment. Is the city a must-visit as far as you’re concerned or are you looking for a facility that will help add weight to your resume in terms of training and job experience?
The good thing about travel nursing is that most assignments run thirteen weeks on average. This means you can do three to four assignments a year. So, you don’t have to hit your ideal location on the first, second or even third try. You can take the “scenic route”, so to speak, and visit other places first until you’ve gained enough experience to get the assignment you wanted in the first place.