If you are looking to switch careers and enter an exciting and engaging role as a travel nurse, this blog is for you. Travel nursing is much like general nursing but with varied assignments, diverse work locations, and the potential for changing schedules. With a bachelor’s degree in any field, you can qualify to begin an accelerated nursing program and earn your nursing credentials in a short amount of time.
Read on to learn about a typical day in the life of a travel nurse.
What is a Travel Nurse?
A travel nurse is an essential part of the health care workforce because they frequently fill temporary assignments when health care agencies have specific staffing needs. Not every travel nursing assignment is short-term, but most travel nurses enter a contracted nursing position with the knowledge that the job assignment will not be permanent. Once the assignment is fulfilled, a travel nurse will often take on a new contracted role within another health care facility in another location.
What Do Travel Nurses Do?
Flexibility and adaptability are key skills for travel nurses. First and foremost, travel nurses provide excellent nursing care for patients and families while integrating within new organizations and new health care teams. Life as a travel nurse is filled with opportunities to make new friendships with colleagues and connect with patients in meaningful ways.
Below is a list of patient care responsibilities that most travel nurses will complete each day.
- Communicate with other nurses on patient status at the time of shift change
- Monitor patient health conditions at the bedside
- Administer medications
- Assist patients with personal care and repositioning
- Document all nursing care provided
- Counsel patients on health promotion and disease prevention topics
- Clean and change wound dressings
- Teach patients and caregivers how to continue any necessary care at home
Travel nurses are also excellent communicators. Travel nurses need to arrive early to work, especially when orienting and acclimating to less familiar places. Travel nurses also must collaborate with their travel nurse staffing agency to review future work assignments and make decisions about when and where they will transition.
A Typical Day in the Life of a Travel Nurse
Even with an understanding of the typical role and responsibilities of a travel nurse, you still may be left with questions. What exactly is a travel nursing life?
With each new facility assignment, travel nurses are required to learn new policies and procedures. It is essential to be comfortable asking questions and taking notes so you can learn quickly along the way. Once the facility orientation is complete, a travel nurse is often paired with a mentor or nurse manager to learn more about specific protocols and systems used on the unit where they will have their patient care assignment.
In some agencies, the nursing shortage is affecting the nurse-to-patient ratio. Travel nurses and general nurses alike will need to honestly evaluate their time and organize their days to create efficient workflows. As travel nurses enter new care teams, they must collaborate with other members of the interdisciplinary care team and delegate tasks when appropriate to ensure all patients receive adequate care.
Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse
One of the greatest advantages of travel nursing is the ability to choose your location and your schedule. The staffing needs of any facility may change, so the need to be flexible remains. However, travel nurses have time to explore the community and the surrounding area. When working longer shifts, travel nurses may have a few days off in between work time where they have chances to relax and enjoy new scenery.
Another benefit of travel nursing is the temporary nature of assignments. When seeking to positively influence a health care facility during a short-term assignment, it may be easier to set achievable goals because you have a defined amount of time to work in a particular position.
Travel nurses also have the benefit of gaining experience. As a travel nurse, you may engage with a variety of nursing specialty areas and work settings to learn where you are most passionate. If you take a temporary work assignment and it is the right fit for you, there may be the chance to turn a travel nursing position into a more permanent nursing position.
How to Become a Travel Nurse
Even if nursing is not your current career, it is possible to become a nurse quickly. You can complete an accelerated program designed to use your current bachelor’s degree in another field as the starting point for entry into your nursing education. Once you graduate from your nursing program, you will then need to apply for a nursing license from your state licensing agency and achieve a passing score on the nurse licensure examination.
When a travel nursing job takes you across state lines, you may need to obtain licensure in more than one state if you will be working in more than one state. Travel nurses frequently benefit from the nurse licensure compact when their primary state of residence allows the opportunity to apply for a multistate nursing license. You will learn about the process for obtaining your nursing licensure near the end of your nursing program.
Wilkes University Is a Superior Choice for Your Accelerated BSN
Wilkes University is a great option for completing your Online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). The online nursing education programs offer the chance to network with students from across the country and faculty with decades of experience, which opens up a larger network with more opportunities.
You can leverage the cost of your non-nursing education and enroll in Wilkes’ ABSN program with competitive tuition and impressive passing rates for the nursing licensure examination that are consistently above the national average. Clinical placement support is available to ensure your focus remains on your studies. With multiple start dates, you can be fully prepared for graduation in one year, one of the fastest completion times available.
Learn more about Wilkes’ Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.