Have You Been Giving Thought To Travel Nursing?


Have you been giving thought to Travel Nursing?  Are you ready to make a change and hit the road as a Travel Nurse?  A few days ago while watching the late news here locally they were talking about job opportunities in Alabama.  I was surprised to hear there is a huge nursing shortage in the state.  The commentator was saying that there is a great need for travel nurses to fill so many open positions at the medical facilities and hospitals.

Alabama may not be on your list of top places to work but think about this it is just a short drive to many fun things to see and do.  If sunny beaches are on your list check out Mobile with its beautiful coastline.  Pick a town like Birmingham, it is just a few hours drive to the Great Smokey Mountains.  Alabama has many beautiful lakes for water sports and is a short drive to Atlanta for shopping.  If you think Alabama is where you want to work check out these jobs.

Travel Nursing is a lifestyle for those who have wanderlust.  You can choose where you want to work and play.

So what is the job really like?

The job of nursing brings enough challenges, no matter your specialty. Why would you want the added pressure of navigating unfamiliar hospitals with each new assignment? What is it like getting to a new location and not knowing where anything is? Will the staff be helpful at the new assignment?  If you change location and assignments every 3 or 4 months will you be able to handle that?

Some ideas to make the transition easier:

  • Start out with your best foot forward.
  • Don’t let the unfamiliar territory make you anxious. Keep an open mind.
  • Remember you became a traveling nurse because you wanted a new challenge so embrace it!
  • Get to know the unit secretary. Unit secretaries are like a sergeant in the military, they know where everything is.  They are the second most important person on the floor after the manager.
  • Most of the staff wear name tags but get to know their names. Learn the names of those who will be working with you.
  • If you are helpful to others it will be easier to ask for help from others.
  • When you have a question be courteous and try not to interrupt a busy fellow nurse. Become a team player so that others will not mind answering your questions.
  • Make sure to complete all nursing tasks and documentation.  If something goes wrong staff will naturally look to the new staff member.  Pay attention to detail. As the outsider, you’re the low man on the totem pole. That means when something goes wrong, fingers are going to be pointed at you. Pay extra attention to detail and fill out all proper documentation.

Things not to do:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions to learn the lay of the land.  Be courteous and friendly. Be assertive but not rude.
  • Remember you are a guest in their facility.  They invited you there so remember to follow their rules.
  • Make friends with everyone you meet.  You never know who you might need to call on for help.  Friends never mind helping friends.
  • Don’t wear your feelings on your sleeve.  People may not get to know you or remember your name.  Try not to get irritated or take things personally.  Enjoy yourself. Laugh.
  • You’re a great nurse and you can do this. When starting out in anything, you may experience some degree of uncertainty and novice anxiety.
  • As a nurse, you’ll always instinctively know how to take care of your patient. That nurse-patient relationship is your rock when all else seems unfamiliar.


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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a Registered Nurse and retired US Army Reserve Nurse Major. She has more than 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career, she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and to South Korea. She was trained as an Army Medic during the Vietnam era and later as an OR tec. She went on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and then completed her nursing training as a Registered Nurse. She was then commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and work in other medical facilities. During her career, she had the opportunity to work in several specialties to include, OR, Occupational Health, Hospice, Sexual Assault Team, Forensic/ Correctional Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as a Nurse Entrepreneur.

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