They say that hindsight is 20/20. And that’s true, even when it comes to your travel career. How did you get into the travel nursing career? How can you start travel nursing? If you could go back in time and give your past-self career advice, what would it be?
We asked Marketplace healthcare travelers what they would say to their younger selves, and this is what they said:
No. 1: Start sooner
We all wish we could’ve done something sooner in life. For many Marketplace allied travelers and travel nurses, they would’ve started their careers earlier.
“I wish I would’ve started much sooner!” said Marketplace user, Melissa. “I’ve made friends along the way and seen places I never would have. I’ve traveled for two years now!”
Wondering how to start travel nursing? If you’re making the first leaps into their travel career, follow the advice of those who came before you, and start now. Don’t know how to make the first move? Easy—create a Marketplace profile.
Your Fusion Marketplace traveler profile is your golden ticket to a successful healthcare career. Not only does it help you market yourself as a healthcare professional, but it also gives you the ultimate power to take charge of your travel career.
To build a profile, simply add information about yourself, like your first and last name, healthcare division and specialty, and personal biography. Once you’ve entered your basic information, personalize your profile even further and add your specific job preferences. There you can select up to five preferred states, 10 cities, three shift types, three job types, plus your desired pay range to help narrow down your job search to only see options that apply to you.
Once you’ve filtered your job search, compare details of the job results to find the perfect travel assignment for you. With a full commitment to transparency, Fusion Marketplace shows you ahead of time all you need to know about a job, including:
- Staffing agency
- Placement location
- Pay package
- Job type
- Estimated weekly work schedule
- Available start date
- Shift type
- Length of assignment
The more you know upfront, the sooner you can land the job, and pack your bags to that next great destination. Your Fusion Marketplace profile gives you full control and customization over the job search process to help you find your perfect travel assignment in less time.
No. 2: Be open-minded
“Take that leap of faith,” said Marketplace traveler, Carol. “Have an open mind and big heart. I was given advice that has always stuck with me. I was told I would grow and learn personally and professionally—absolutely right on!”
If you want to start your healthcare travel career on the right track, you’ll need to remain flexible. The more flexible you are, the easier you’ll find your ideal travel job. Even if you’re not a first-time traveler, it behooves you to have a flexible attitude.
“Go in with an open mind and the attitude of ‘I’m here to help,’” said Marketplace user, Tori. “Just enjoy the ride, learn, and explore.”
Sometimes it’s scary to go far from home, from the place that’s comfortable and familiar. But that can be part of the fun to traveling. Plus, many healthcare facilities and/or staffing agencies enforce a “radius rule” that requires travelers to live a specific distance away from their temporary workplace. Typically, this radius range can vary between 50 and 100 miles.
Looking for a place to stay? When you use Fusion Marketplace to find your next travel job, you automatically gain easy access to nearby furnished housing units, so you can find your job and temporary home in one convenient place.
No. 3: Stay focused
You already know the level of organization that’s needed for you to be successful in your travel career. From healthcare licensing to professional certifications, there’s an insane amount of paperwork and documentation that goes into the healthcare travel career.
Fusion Marketplace makes it easy for you to store and access your important information at any time through your traveler profile. Once your credentials are uploaded into your profile, you never have to re-enter or repeat your information. Instead, simply edit and add to the documents over time, as needed.
Not only do you need to be organized, but you also must be focused on the job. Remember, you’re a healthcare traveler there to bridge a staffing gap at a healthcare facility. Marketplace user, Jeanette, said it best:
“I am a CNA from Florida with 17 years’ experience and traveling five years. My advice is always to remember that we are there to help not change things! You are there to work and do your job to the best of your ability.”
Traveler, Tori, agreed. She said, “You are in a new place and have to learn how they do things, but also make sure you aren’t jeopardizing your license.”
At the end of the day, you’re there for the healthcare facility and for the patients. Remember your mission and enjoy a nice, smooth ride during your travel job.
No. 4: Ask questions
You’ve heard people say there’s no such thing as a stupid question—and this is especially true for healthcare travelers.
You’re going to have questions when you embark on your travel assignment and you’ll have questions when you reach your destination. Don’t be afraid to ask them! The ability to ask questions is a superpower, so use it.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” said Tori. “I’ve been traveling for four years and the experiences and places I’ve worked have made me a better nurse.”
In addition to asking questions, conduct your own research on the travel agency, the job location, the assignment facility, housing options, plus any other little job details you want information on before you accept the job. Of course, your recruiter will be there along the way to help answer your questions to the best of their ability, but it doesn’t hurt to get firsthand info from other travelers in the agency or to peruse online travel reviews of your next destination.
Knowledge is power. Use it to your advantage.
No. 5: Pack lightly
It’s natural to want to bring all your favorite things, big and small, with you on the road when you’ll be away from home. And it’s one of the most common mistakes travelers make—overpacking.
Obviously, you have those few must-have items that need to come on the road. You know, things like outfits, a travel first aid kit, and your most favorite and coziest blanket. However, the list of what not to bring is much longer.
When you use Fusion Marketplace to find your next temporary home, you can see right away what you’re going to get—furnished or unfurnished. What to pack will depend on if the unit comes already furnished. If not, your packing list is going to be far more robust than if your temporary home comes fully furnished. Regardless, you’ll be away from home for about 13 weeks, so make sure you bring along:
- Proper documentation
- Work and non-work appropriate outfits
- Hair and skin care toiletry items
- Preferred electronic devices
- Bedding, pillows, and blankets
- Pictures of family, friends, and pets
- Books and hobby materials
In addition to the above, if your unit isn’t furnished, you may also want to consider packing:
- Cleaning supplies
- Bedroom essentials
- Bathroom necessities
- Bed, sofa, coffee table, and other furniture
“Start earlier, travel lighter, save more money,” Marketplace traveler, Ramon, summarized.
Although we might wish we could go back in time, it’s unfortunately not yet an option for humankind. Thankfully, we can always take time to reflect on and learn from our past, as well as the past of others.
No matter where you are in your allied or travel nursing career, these five tips and tricks can, not only help you get started, but also help propel your travel nursing career forward. Fusion Marketplace puts you in control and makes the knowns unknown, so you always know what to expect in a travel job from start to finish.