January 18, 2011
By: Lindsay Manes, Senior Recruitment Specialist
Starting your career as a travel nurse takes a lot of preparation, and unfortunately it doesn’t stop with what to pack. You find yourself making a list of questions to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. You wonder how much will I get paid…what type of benefits will I get…where will I live…will the agency have a job for me at the end of this assignment? Just as you think you have nailed down all of the essentials, you start to realize that you also need to be prepared mentally. Having the right mindset as a traveler is essential and is the key to a successful contract. If you start your travel career off with false perceptions of your role, I can promise that your first travel contract will not be what you expect. Below are 3 key mindsets that every traveler must learn to adopt when starting a travel nursing career.
1) Flexible: You must learn to be flexible. Your assignment lasts only 8-13 weeks and you are expected to give up the “staff” attitude and become as flexible as possible. What you have to remember is that you are there temporarily to fill a need. A hospital relies on you to arrive and be as flexible as possible to relieve their shortage. Your managers need you to be flexible so they can orient you in a short period of time and rely on you to get the job done. Trust is a huge factor in this business and by showing the hospital that you are flexible and willing to do what is needed to get the job done, you will quickly be able to earn the trust of those around you.
2) Open minded: Becoming a travel nurse is very different than your staff role. You have to be open to a new hospital, new staff, and new policies and procedures. One of the most exciting parts of travel nursing is the aspect of change and the challenges you endure while on assignment. However it’s vital that you stay open minded to the newness and uniqueness of a different hospital. No two hospitals are exactly the same and if you start your new job as open minded as possible, you will be successful. Not only will you be successful, but you will also learn and grow in your career.
3) Be Positive: The last and one of the must crucial mindsets in becoming a traveler is adapting to change with a positive attitude. Your expectations are never reality and making the most out of every new challenge is important. Sometimes it will be difficult to be positive, especially when something doesn’t go the way you want. However if you learn how to combat the negativity and rise above, you will make the experience so much better. Not just for yourself, but for your peers and co workers.