personal life on “ getting here ” quickly . Stay focused on the fundamentals of becoming an expert care provider , and you will be better prepared for other unimaginable opportunities .
Things You ’ ll See Travel nursing experiences are as unique as each personality passing through the industry . This can lead to friendships , mentorships , or professional opportunities . The chances to see the vast beauty of mother nature or to experience the bustling energy of unique cities is unparalleled and will become cherished memories . Coordinating travel logistics and personal safety in order to have these experiences will make you a stronger person .
Working in a variety of facilities , you will see various standards of practice and the impact different care teams have on patient outcomes . Being open to different points of view will allow you to learn and grow from each experience . It all provides a great mirror to reflect on your own practice , but you may develop some bad habits if you don ’ t stay mindful of best practices supported by research .
Can You Handle the Challenges ?
Hard Parts of Nursing are Still Hard While Traveling The hard parts about nursing still apply if you are a travel nurse : You ’ ll be caring for patients and families during the worst experiences they ’ ve ever faced . Sometimes they ’ ll be at their best , other times they ’ ll be at their worst . You ’ ll still have to confront the occasional bully or complacent supervisor .
Feelings of inadequacy , stress , and being overwhelmed can make many new nurses question if travel nursing was the right career choice for them . Combine that with the immense burdens placed on healthcare workers today and we ’ re more likely to succumb to things like burnout and compassion fatigue ( Nolte et al ., 2017 ).
There are other challenges unique to travel nursing , like little-to-no orientation , increased frequency of floating , being the first choice for unsafe assignments , and other issues . As you gain more experience , deeper challenges and systemic problems in healthcare will become more apparent . Part of your skill as a travel nurse will be empathizing with that reality and continuing to do your best .
In some cases , a plan to start travel nursing can be a part of your strategy to cope with these challenges . However , if you ’ re only one or two years into the career , you may just be making matters worse by moving into a travel environment with less stability and support . If you don ’ t already have a good toolkit in place for dealing with the trauma nursing exposes us to , you ’ d be wise to learn positive self-care habits .
Conclusion Nursing is harder than ever . We hope students give themselves the time and discipline to fall in love with what they are currently doing . Talk to any travel nurse and most of them will enthusiastically encourage you to give travel nursing a try . The most important thing you can do every day is to stay focused on doing the small , simple things that condition and prepare you for opportunities in the future .
For new nurses , we encourage incorporating travel nursing into your career plans after two to five years of learning in a more supportive environment . As with anything , you need to be able to do an honest self-assessment of your ability to handle this incredibly challenging yet rewarding niche within nursing . In these pages , we ’ ve talked a lot about assessing your readiness to travel . Ultimately , the best way to see if something fits is to try it on . Do your diligence with our advice here , and let the adventures begin . n
Challenges Unique to Travel One significant issue new nurses should consider is how staffing shortages create situations where travel nurses may be asked to care for patients they haven ’ t been properly trained for . Even worse , the allure of money may cause nurses to misrepresent their skill level and experience in order to secure contracts . Nurses put their license in jeopardy if they are taking care of patients out of their scope of practice and training ( Ballard et al ., 2016 ).
36 NSNA IMPRINT • JANUARY 2022 • www . nsna . org