Fear of Becoming a Travel Nurse? Here’s What You Should Know.


By 2022, more than 1.1 million new nursing positions are expected to be created [1]. For travel nurses, this presents even more opportunities in a field that is already in high demand.

Have you considered working as a travel nurse, but have fears that are holding you back? It’s definitely the time to put them to rest. To help you, here is a quick look at the most common fears associated with travel nursing and what you should really know about them.

Adapting to a new work environment:

When you are working as a travel nurse, you are essentially starting a new job with each move. Fortunately, the basics of nursing care are the same all over the country. This means your biggest challenge will be learning where everything is and the protocols of each hospital. Go into each job with a plan to fit in by being friendly, working hard and making it clear that you are there to help. When you do this, others are more likely to embrace your presence and help you adapt to your new environment.

Adapting to a new unit:

It’s not unusual for travel nurses to be floated to a variety of different floors while on assignment. Thus it is worth mentioning again that the basics of nursing care are universal. If you are considering becoming a travel nurse, it’s a good idea to join the float pool at your current facility. This will increase your comfort level in areas that you may be somewhat unfamiliar with, such as pediatrics, oncology, or postoperative care. When you are working, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, you are there to help, and most other nurses will appreciate that and be glad to assist.

Feeling lonely:

Travel nursing does have the potential to be lonely, especially when you first arrive at a new assignment. Fortunately, once you start working, you’ll start to develop new friendships. Until then, keep busy by exploring the area, working out, reading and doing other things that you may not have the time to do at home. Another way to beat potential loneliness is by traveling with a buddy nurse.  You’d be surprised, there are many traveling groups and forums online specifically for traveling nurses to network which helps tremendously in this area.

Missing family and friends:

There is no doubt that you’ll miss your friends and family while traveling. Thanks to technology, it is easy to stay in touch, whether via phone, text, email, Skype or social media. You can also invite them to visit in your new city. After all, you won’t be working every day, and you’ll have time to explore the city with them.

Finding a place to live:

In some cases, the agency you work with may already have a plan in place. In other cases, you may be given a housing allowance and the opportunity to choose your own home base. Plan ahead, making certain your home is close to your assignment, as well as in a safe neighborhood. Again, many traveling forums give insight into housing options at any given facility or area so you aren’t alone in finding a good place to rest!

The “what-ifs”:

Considering the possible what-ifs can make you crazy. What if you don’t like an assignment? What if you get sick? What if a family member gets sick and you need to go home? In many situations, your agency will have policies in place concerning most of your possible what-if situations. Reviewing those policies may put your mind at ease. In most cases, these potential fears never materialize. Don’t let something that will probably never happen prevent you from a great opportunity.

Travel nursing offers so many potential benefits. Don’t let your fears get the best of you. Give it a shot to see whether or not you are meant to be a travel nurse. Contact Focus Staff today.

[1] According to American Nurses Association.

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