What It’s Like Travel Nursing for the First Time

Jan 7, 2020
Erica Miller, RN

If you're just starting to think about travel nursing, I highly recommend you read this Travel Nursing Guide. It covers everything from how to become a travel nurse to how to maximize your pay.

My First-Time Travel Nursing

After signing my first travel nurse contract, I felt like I was jumping off a cliff with my eyes closed without really knowing if a parachute was going to open or not. Thankfully, things turned out okay, but I wish I had known about Trusted when looking for my first travel nurse assignment to help me feel more informed and confident about jumping into the wonderful world of travel nursing!

Working with various companies prior to Trusted, I always felt a little uneasy and incredibly rushed by recruiters to make decisions quickly and blindly trust them that everything was going to be great. As much as I try to tell myself I am a go with the flow kind of person, ultimately I’m a planner with a hint of control-freak. 

I like to do my homework and make informed decisions. With the other travel nurse companies I worked with, it was never easy to do my research, see what jobs and hospitals were available, and what the expected pay rate would be without talking with my recruiter who would often make me feel so pressured. I loved the travel nurse life, but hated the process. 

travel nursing for the firs time woman on plane looking out of window

Fast forward a few years—and travel nurse agencies and recruiters later—and I am obsessed with Trusted and want all my fellow travel nurses and especially aspiring travel nurses know that Trusted is the answer to all the uneasiness and frustration you might experience your first time traveling. They give you the power to make decisions that you feel confident and excited about instead of having that gut feeling that you’re being taken advantage of.

Trusted replaces recruiters with Nurse Advocates who do just that… advocate for you! They are nurses themselves who understand you and your sometimes-crazy schedule (looking at you, night shifters), whether it lasts 13 weeks or just the short term. Since the setup of Trusted is a little different, let me give some tips to help make your first of hopefully many assignments a positive one!

Your First Travel Nursing Contract with Trusted

  • Get to know your Nurse Advocate. They are registered nurses just like you and want to genuinely get to know you, what you like, and what you are looking for in a travel assignment. Share your concerns and ask them questions- they want to talk with you! They will never make you feel pressured and want to take the time to make sure everything feels right. The better they know you, the better they can help and support you with your next travel nursing job!
  • Ask those questions! Seriously. If you are unsure about something, your advocate will be happy to talk you through it. Just like us nurses have a gift for being able to patiently re-explain everything to the sweet 88-year-old patient that didn’t understand a single thing the doctor said, your Nurse Advocate will make sure you understand everything as well. There is no reason why we should make sure our patients make informed decisions but not expect the same for ourselves!
  • Plan ahead! This shouldn’t be too hard to ask of all you type-A nurses out there. Jobs can go quick, so especially if you have a very specific location and start date in mind make sure you start the conversation early with your advocate. They will help you get all the steps done on your end that are required before you can request an interview. Then when you find that perfect assignment posted, you can jump on it without any delays increasing your chance to score an interview and get the job.  
  • Utilize the amazing content Trusted has put together for you. They know travel nursing comes with a learning curve and can seem scary and confusing. They have taken questions from travelers and compiled easy to access content so you can start doing your research, digest the information on your own time, and then reach out to your advocate when you are ready for more information or clarification. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know, which is why having this resource is the perfect starting point and a useful refresher to use throughout your travel career. 
  • Be honest. No need to lie to your advocate if you still have concerns or are considering other options. They won’t shun you from the company, make you feel like a terrible person, guilt you or ghost you (this isn’t tinder after all). They will help address your questions and concerns, and support you in making whatever decision is best for you!
  • Many of the Nurse Advocates were once first-time travelers themselves. Ask about their experiences! They will be happy to share their stories and experiences, can relate to what you’re going through, and have a whole network of Trusted travel nurses they can connect you with as well. No need to feel like you are walking (or cliff jumping) into the unknown… but rather, you can make an informed decision and feel confident about it!

Good luck to all you current and future travel nurses out there! May your next assignment be filled with new adventures, experiences, and -- most importantly -- good vibes.

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