The nature of travel nursing is an adventure in itself - from frequent location changes, caring for a wide variety of patients in different hospitals, and adapting to constant change. Travel nurse jobs provide experiences in different locations throughout the country while maintaining a stable career and income. Contracts are typically 8-13 weeks long, which gives adventurous nurses plenty of time to explore new locations while getting paid. Travel nursing isn’t suitable for everyone. You have to learn to be comfortable living and exploring on your own while working in unfamiliar surroundings. The more you do it, the less awkward it becomes. Travel nursing opens the door to incredible new opportunities and adventures for those that are willing to give it a try.
Choose assignments based on your preferred location
Create a travel assignment bucket list! Make travel nursing fun by working through your top desired destinations. Pick travel assignments based on where you want to explore.
Locations may vary depending on what kind of experience you are looking for. You may want to search for an assignment in New York City or New Orleans to experience the culture and nightlife or decide you want to explore mountains, beaches, or national parks in locations like Utah, California, or Florida. Utilize travel blogs to help you discover adventures in your desired city or surrounding areas.
Utilize your travel recruiter’s services to help you obtain an assignment in your preferred location. The best part about travel nurse jobs is that you can start all over again in a new place in just a few weeks!
Adventure in your new city or town
Maximize your adventures by doing a quick search of your new location. Make a list of activities you are interested in, such as museums, hiking trails, parks, tourist sights, beaches, or new restaurants. Try to check off one activity from your list each time you are off. Talk with new coworkers about hidden gems and the best spots to visit. Locals will have great recommendations and you might even make a new friend who is willing to show off their city.
Consider joining a church, gym, or volunteer group that will allow you to participate in group experiences and meet new people. Turn to social media and look up fun things to do in your new area. Join Facebook groups for local travel nurses in the area, they may host local meet- ups. You can also try to Google “best restaurants” or “ Top 10 activities” in your new location. You might want to contact tour companies or Airbnb experiences to participate in activities led by locals such as hiking, kayaking, sailing, food, or photo tours.
Search for weekend trips close to you and take advantage of other states or cities that are nearby. Each contract can lead to the ability to visit several cities per assignment. Being prepared with a list will help you maximize your time instead of wasting days off wondering what to do.
Take advantage of your free time while on contract
There is always a high demand for travel nurses; use this to your advantage to leverage the schedule you want. Request to work three-12- hour shifts a week stacked together so that you can take advantage of the other four days off to explore your new surroundings. Use the time off to explore your surroundings, or take a short road trip to a nearby city that you have always wanted to visit.
Plan adventures and me-time in between contracts. Take advantage of your current job location and allow time before or after you begin your contract for more options to explore. Immerse yourself in a culture and community that you normally wouldn’t be a part of. Some of the best adventures will be between contracts whether you take a week or a month to visit sights in the area or travel abroad before your next assignment.
Adventure safety tips
Traveling solo can be intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from exploring. Follow these tips to ensure that you are safe no matter where your adventure takes you:
Research the area ahead of time. Ask coworkers and locals about areas you may need to be cautious about.
Always share your location with a friend or family member. You can do this via an app on your phone.
Make it a point to tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
Befriend a new coworker so that you have a local point of contact for emergencies.
Participate in group activities- sightseeing tours, hiking, and fitness groups.
Don’t go to unfamiliar places at night.
Keep an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra clothes, emergency cash, and maybe even mace.
Ask security to walk you to your car if you are feeling uncomfortable.
Always be aware of your surroundings and go with your gut.
Travel nurses have the unique ability to help patients all over the country while simultaneously assisting fellow nurses with their staffing needs. Travelers must be up for the challenge of constant change in assignments and locations. They may be working in the ER in San Francisco one month and their next assignment may be servicing a clinic in the rural mountains of Montana. Travel nursing forces you to get out of your comfort zone both personally and professionally. Nurses have the unique opportunity to experience many new adventures throughout the course of their travel nurse careers.
Join Health Carousel Travel Nursing in improving lives and making healthcare work better. We place traveling nurses in top-paying travel nursing roles in all the major specialties. Check out the On Demand App, our state-of-the-art technology platform for travel nurses to find and apply to travel nursing jobs on your own, or with the help of one of our recruiters!
Lauren Rivera is a nationally certified neonatal intensive care nurse with over 15 years of experience. She serves as a nurse expert offering support and educational classes for women from preconception through childhood. Lauren is also a freelance writer with works published on several nursing sites. She develops and curates content for various healthcare companies, and writes continuing education modules for other healthcare professionals.
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