So, you’re starting your first healthcare travel job! Setting out on your first travel assignment can be exciting yet intimidating. To ensure you start your new journey on the right foot, you’ll want to start preparing for your assignment before you officially hit the road.
Fusion Marketplace was developed to make your life easier by offering full job, pay, and agency transparency. When you create a profile, you’ll learn and grow during your career as a professional healthcare traveler, and Fusion Marketplace evolves with you.
Do your research
You should know what you’re signing up for. Prior to embarking on your healthcare travel assignment, do your research to thoroughly understand what to expect, as well as what’s expected from you. Like any new or first-time experience, your first travel assignment will come with new routines and habits to learn.
Before you hit the road, spend some time researching and familiarizing yourself with the following:
- Your upcoming destination. As a professional healthcare traveler, you’ll venture to different cities across the country. It’s important to learn more about your new location so you’re not blind-sided by the climate, transportation options, or cost of living.
- The healthcare facility. Make sure you know what the healthcare facility has to offer, as well as the distance from your temporary home. That way, you can properly plan for the time and cost to get to work. Valerie Bacon, traveling RN, told Nursing 2021, “Not only do you find out what you’re getting into, you also get excited about going.”
- Your travel assignment contract. Examine your work contract to ensure you know your schedule, pay, housing options, stipends, and more. Keep in mind your per diem, or allowance for lodging, meals, and incidental expense (excluding tax), differs by state. Thoroughly read through your contract before accepting or signing.
- New traveler friends. Network with other professional healthcare travelers to create personal and professional connections with others in your industry. Consider joining a traveler Facebook group or meet new people while on assignment.
The first leap into a new healthcare travel assignment is often the most challenging, and the most rewarding. While professional healthcare travelers should work with a reputable staffing agency and a reliable recruiter for placement, it’s ultimately up to you, the traveler, to decide what works best for your lifestyle.
Qualifications and continued education (CEUs)
Each state and healthcare division hold different qualifications and requirements for their healthcare travelers. For example, some specialties require you have a minimum of one year’s staff experience prior to travel eligibility while others allow you to travel directly after graduation. The licensing required will depend on the division you work in.
- Travel nurses must work at least one year in a hospital or other healthcare facility before being eligible for a travel job. Once you’ve earned the necessary staffed experience, you must complete the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows travel nurses to have one license that allows them to practice in multiple states as long as you have permanent residency in one of those states. There are 34 U.S. states currently included with at least 13 pending NLC legislation. If you live outside of the 34 participating states, you’ll need to apply for an individual state license for every accepted assignment.
- Therapy. Therapy graduates have the ability to travel right after graduation. The only caveat is before you can land your travel job, you’ll need to apply for licensure in the state you want to work. Luckily, most healthcare staffing agencies will reimburse you for the cost of getting licensed. However, some states can have a longer approval process, so it behooves you to apply for state licenses right away.
- Lab. Medical techs (MTs)/medical lab techs (MLTs) can typically start working right away in most any U.S. state. The only limitation is a handful of states will require you to have a license to practice. Those states are California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
In addition to state licensing, continuing education units (CEUs) are also critical for success as a healthcare traveler. As a traveling healthcare professional, it’s important to grow your skillset and expertise in a particular healthcare niche. That way, you remain licensed and certified to continue traveling, while also opening new doors to your professional career.
Not only do CEUs help advance your career, they also empower you to provide better care for patients. CEUs help you stay up to date on new medications, advanced technologies, and updated protocols, which all contribute to enhanced patient care. The Institute for Health Care Improvement described CEUs as “a vehicle for spreading best practices and how to improve patient outcomes.”
With the rise of coronavirus in the U.S., many in-person learning opportunities came to a halt. Online conferences, webinars, and workshops are all available for traveling healthcare professionals to attend to earn CEUs.
Keep your information organized with Fusion Marketplace
Regardless of where you are in your healthcare travel journey, a Fusion Marketplace traveler profile makes student and experienced professional lives easier by housing important information in one convenient platform. Your Marketplace profile organizes your licenses, qualifications, and other information to maximize your job search, whether you’re starting your very first travel assignment or your tenth.
After you’ve obtained the necessary licensing and completed your Fusion Marketplace profile, you’re ready to find your first placement. You’re in total control as you browse through Fusion Marketplace for job opportunities in your field.
When you find traveler job postings that excite you, effortlessly submit your application using the “quick apply” function within Fusion Marketplace. Your application will be received and reviewed by staffing agency recruiters who will then reach out to get to know you better so they can better fulfill your healthcare travel career needs.
Offering 100 percent transparency to healthcare travel job benefits and pay packages, you can efficiently maximize your job search and find what you’re looking for faster. Making the unknowns known, Fusion Marketplace removes barriers for healthcare travelers so you can start your travel career off on the right foot.
As a professional healthcare traveler, there’s nothing quite like your first travel job assignment. When the pivotal moment occurs to accept your first job, make sure you’re prepared—do your research, identify any relevant CEUs to complete, and take advantage of Fusion Marketplace to gain full control over your travel career.