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Travel Nursing: Where to Live, What to Do, and How to Thrive

Dec 2, 2020
The Trusted Team

During our October 14 travel nursing event we discussed how to decide if travel nursing is right for you and how to land your first assignment, from choosing an agency to reading the fine print in the contract. 

What are the next steps from there?

We recruited three experienced travel nurses to share their insight on how to prepare for that first assignment and how to excel all the way through to the end. Brittany Greaves, Jeri Ford, and Russ Mortland share tips and tricks that will help you thrive as a travel nurse, on and off shift. 

Below, you’ll learn what to pack, how to find housing, how you can confidently navigate a new unit, and so much more. If you’re about to take your first travel assignment, read on!

You can watch the full event recordingfor more details on everything below!


New Nursing Job, New City

brittany greaves RN travel nursing pictures
Brittany Greaves, RN


Travel Nurse Housing

Things to Think About

  • Pricing
  • Roommate
  • Area
  • Distance
  • Transportation

Short Term

Don’t Forget

  • Deposits
  • Fees
  • Payment schedule

And make sure you read the fine print; you don’t want to be stuck in something you can't get out of!

Managing the Move

Packing 

  • Weather, must have, needs to go
  • Focus on minimalism 

Finances 

Getting Around

  • Route to work, stores, fun activities

Prepare with Confidence

First Days

  • Testing, credentials, HR
  • Attire

Orientation

On the Floor

  • Allies
  • Liaison vs. manager

Thriving During Your Nursing Assignment

jeri ford, RN travel nursing pictures
Jeri Ford, RN


On Shift

Learning on the Job

  • Be open to new processes
  • Never say, “At so and so, we did it this way”
  • Be flexible and a team player
  • Take advantage of advanced training
  • Stand up for your skill set
  • Don’t get involved in politics
  • Bullies: kill them with kindness (and assertiveness)

Protect Your License

  • Stand up for yourself!

Exit Gracefully

  • Leave place better than you found it
  • Be prepared for an exit interview
  • Praise staff when you exit
  • Send a nice closing email

Off Shift

General Tips

  • Beware of expectations
  • Combating homesickness
  • Don’t judge based on first assignment

The Art of Making Friends

  • Do not expect people to just walk up to you!
  • Don’t be afraid to be annoying
  • Make friends through groups (other travelers, Facebook groups, Meetup, Bumble, etc.)
  • Say yes to everything!
  • Don’t be afraid to do things alone

Create a Bucket List

  • Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, AllTrails, Trusted Community Guides, Instagram
  • Restaurants, bars, clubs, sports games, concerts, event pages, tourist attractions, historical things, museums, photo ops, parks, hikes, and shopping
  • Take pictures of everything!
  • You truly become an unofficial travel agent!

Thrive Financially

  • Determine your financial goal
  • Easy to blow through all your new found money
  • Get a great points/cash credit card
  • Cannot live paycheck to paycheck as a traveler!

Finish Your Assignment Stronger than You Started!

russ mortland, RN travel nursing pictures
Russ Mortland, RN


More Money = More Freedom

Savings

  • Reserve your cost of living (x3 months) for emergencies
  • Pay your future self!

Freedom to Choose!

  • Wants vs. needs
  • Keep the upper hand!

Extensions

Resume Updates

References

  • Obtain new references 
  • Charge or higher = better
  • Letter of recommendation = key

New Skills

  • New tech/tools
  • Floating
  • EMR

Unit Info

  • Patient population, acuity 
  • Unit size
  • Staff mix

Insurance

Coverage

COBRA

  • Can elect as soon as contract terminates
  • Effective last day of coverage
  • You pay 100% of premium
  • Good up to 18 months

Options?

  • Open Market (browse other options out there)

Looking to Start Your Own Travel Nursing Career?

Create a free Trusted profile to access everything you need—from resume builder to job matches—to get started on your first travel assignment!