Hitting the road as a travel nurse has been an adventure and a true learning experience for thousands of nurses. Seasoned FASTAFF travel nurses and their Recruiters recommend that nurses new to taking their career on the road take the following steps. These steps will help ensure that nurses start their assignment on the right foot.
1. Bring A Piece of Home With You
When packing for your assignment consider taking something along that will help you feel comfortable in your new accommodations, for example a favorite blanket or coffee cup. Such items will help bring a sense of familiarity to a new place. You may also want to take a picture of your family or friends with you as well as a pre-paid long distance calling card so that you can keep in touch.
2. Pack the Basics
You''ll also need to pack the basics: scrubs, clothes, comfortable shoes and enough of them. You may not have the opportunity to do laundry or go shopping for a few days but if you pack the basics you''ll be prepared.
3. Leave Valuables at Home
Do not bring anything that is valuable or irreplaceable to your assignment. For example, don''t bring expensive jewelry or excessive amounts of cash. These items are not safe in your room or your car. In fact, for our drivers, we recommend that you not leave anything in your car whether it''s valuable or not. Thieves will break into your car to judge the value for themselves.
4. Be Financially Prepared
Travel with a card credit and/or $200 in cash in the event that you encounter an unexpected expense during your travels. For example if your flight gets cancelled and you need to spend the night at a hotel near the airport. Also having a credit card and/or cash on hand also allows you to have financial resources for the first week of your assignment prior to receiving your first paycheck.
5. Develop a Family Emergency Plan
Develop a family communication plan. The plan should address what family members should do in the event of an emergency as well as the names and phone numbers of each family member. This would be extremely helpful for you should an emergency situation arise while you are on assignment. Being prepared allows you to quickly reach your loved ones.
6. Arrive Ready to Work
Nurses are required to bring their nursing license for the state they will be working in, a copy of their employment file and perhaps other documents required by the facility they will be working in. Your Recruiter will carefully review with you all of the paperwork/items that you will need to bring with you so that you are ready to work.
Traveling can be a rewarding and memorable experience when plans are made and precautions are taken in advance. Unexpected surprises and even inconveniences don''t have ruin your travel nursing experience. By being prepared you can make the most of your travel assignment and start off on a new adventure on the right foot.