Travel Nurse. Just hearing these words evokes certain emotions and trains of thought. Our minds automatically wander to certain locations we would love to have a travel assignment, whether it is the beaches of California, the mountains of Colorado, or the city streets of New York. We all have dreams, and if we are going to give up our permanent jobs, family and friends shouldn’t we at least be able to go wherever we want?
As Travel Nurses, can we be picky about the jobs we take? The automatic answer is to say, “OF COURSE WE CAN!” But is it really that simple? Is it possible that maybe our perspective is all wrong? Do we close ourselves off to great opportunities by limiting ourselves to “the ideal location” for a travel assignment? And does it limit how much we work?
I asked Robin Clark, Senior Recruiter for The Right Solutions, her thoughts on this subject.
Me: “Robin, do you honestly think that a travel nurse should be picky about the assignments he or she takes?
Robin: “I certainly do think that a nurse can be selective about the assignments they take, but if their only consideration is locale then I think they are in for a bit of disappointment. I have had a few travelers over the years that got the ideal location they wanted but they never considered the facility and whether the situation would be a good fit. They had the location they wanted but were overworked and stressed because they didn’t take the time to find out that the facility was extremely busy and under staffed.”
Me: “Does being picky about where a traveler wants to work, limit how much they work?”
Robin: “Absolutely! As a recruiter we may not be able to always get a nurse that dream assignment they want. We certainly work to meet our nurses’ needs and try our best but it doesn’t always work that way. I can’t always get a nurse the assignment they want the first time around but when they are ready for the second assignment I can.”
Another Senior Recruiter, Virginia Johnson, says that “A successful travel nurse goes where the jobs are.” When I asked her what she meant by the statement, here is what she had to say:
“A travel nurse that is open to going anywhere the jobs are has the greatest opportunities because they continually hone their professional skills, work in all kinds of situations making them well rounded and capable in any situation, and allows them the chance to learn and work alongside other highly skilled professionals they might never have had otherwise.”
In conclusion, I think as travel nurses we should change our perspective. We should be open to consider the environment we will be working in and what we can glean from any assignment rather than just focusing on an ideal location we have always dreamed of visiting or living. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe it is okay to desire to work and live in beautiful California, or wherever our ideal is, but when given the opportunity to take an assignment, we should consider the job itself and whether the facility is a good match. In the words of Robin Clark, “If the facility is a good fit, work it!” We also need to be realistic about how often we need to work. The perfect opportunity may not present itself right away, so we should consider other assignments until the one we want becomes available. Taking another assignment might surprise us and be invaluable in the lessons we learn, the skills we hone, and the people we meet.
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