Despite the high pay and opportunities to mix with many different cultures, many traveling nurses have low job satisfaction. This may happen for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the low job satisfaction is because they don’t get assigned to places they want to go or they have to wait longer than they want between assignments. In order to maximize your job satisfaction as a traveling nurse, it is important to learn how to get the most out of being one.
For some people, the unstable or unpredictable work situation is just too different to tolerate. You have to be the type of person who can be content in a variety of situations. You have to be able to patiently wait for the right opportunities. You also have to do your part to make good things happen. You need to take part in the process of your assignment. Getting the most out of a traveling nurse position means taking an active part in the search for each new placement.
You need to be ready to prove you’re the most qualified person for the next assignment at all times. Make sure you have current copies of all of your nursing related licenses and certifications. You should have copies of your resume on hand, even though you’ve already turned in your resume. Be ready at all times to show evidence of your experience, education, and specializations. If you can’t quickly prove you’re qualified when a new opportunity comes along, don’t be surprised if you are quickly passed over.
You should be aware of the types and locations of opportunities as they become available. Be on the ready to pounce on them at a moment’s notice. Be sure to inform the placement agency of your preferences. Let them know if you prefer a teaching hospital or if you prefer a rural clinic. If you make your job placement preferences clear early on and reinforce them regularly, you’ll be thought of as soon as such an opportunity comes along.
You should also keep your placement agency aware of how long you want to stay in your placements. Most traveling nurse placements are for three months, but there are shorter and longer placements available. Make sure you keep your schedules in alignment so that you can move from one position to the next smoothly.
You need to keep in mind the correlation between pay rates and general job desirability. If one job pays significantly more than another job, it is likely because something about the job makes it significantly less desirable than another job. It is supply and demand at work. You need to balance what you want to make with where you want to work. The work may be much harder, the location much less desirable, or the job environment much less hospitable in a high paying placement.
As always, be sure you comprehend the entire job contract before signing it. Don’t get involved in a job without a written contract. If there is anything you don’t like about the contract, negotiate. The contract is just as much your business as it is the business of the company that hires you. Make sure the contract is suitable and acceptable to you.
If you’re completely prepared, you will get the most out of the opportunity to be a traveling nurse. Empower yourself to get the positions you want. This should be a fulfilling career opportunity for you, not just a set of jobs you have to do. Get the best possible experience out of every assignment through proper preparation.