Nursing Student Thinking About Travel Nursing

Nurse student

Recently I had an opportunity to talk with a young lady who was about to graduate from a nursing program with her bachelor’s degree.  She was contemplating what was next.  During her training, she had been exposed to many different jobs, positions, and specialties.  Many of the jobs were exciting to her and she could see herself filling one of them.  Of course, many new grads can see themselves in the ED, or ICU where you experience action and excitement.

Nursing offers so many opportunities for a nurse which is one reason we choose the field.  Not only are there many specialties but also sub-specialties.  During my conversation, she mentioned she was considering the military because she wanted to travel.   I told her that I had retired from the U.S. Army Reserves. During my career, I had an opportunity to travel to many states and Korea.  We also talked about travel nursing since she had met a couple of travel nurses working in a facility where while doing a clinical rotation.

The View from a Student Nurse

I will call this student Mary.  Mary shared that like many student nurses she rotated from one clinical experience to another.  She had little time to have much of a conversation with the nurses on the units as she watched and trained on her nursing skills.   Each day was a new and different day.  One day she is dealing with substance abuse on a psych unit and the next she might find herself holding a newborn infant in the nursery of Labor and Delivery.

Mary discovered that even though the nurses on these units were both RNs the roles they played were different.  Nurses complete the same training and take the same exams to become licensed but then choose from many specialties.

One Way to Travel

As I mentioned Mary was clear that she wanted to travel once she had her license.  She wasn’t sure that the military was the best option so I wanted to share what travel nursing had to offer.  She did understand that no matter which specialty she wanted to try she needed to do her time as a Med Surg nurse for a couple of years.

I wanted to share why travel nursing was such a good choice for a nurse who wanted to travel.  Besides the obvious flexibility and freedom were high on the list of reasons to travel.  Mary had was the perfect candidate for travel, she was young, single and full of ambition.  She would be able to see the world before she made the choice to settle in one location.

All Mary needed would be to finish school, pass her exams and get her 2 years of experience behind her.  Mary was lucky to have had interaction with me as well as a couple of travel nurses working a unit in one of her rotations.   She had a clear understanding of the perks of being a travel nurse and that was good for a new graduate.

Just Google it

Most student nurses will be exposed to many of the specialties in nursing.  Once they have an idea of what they want to do they can just Google it and find information on the nursing specialty.  Even someone interested in the Travel Nursing industry will find everything they ever wanted to know about travel nursing.

Another great way to get information is to go to the Travel Nurse group pages.  Many of the sites will have job listings or listings of Travel Nurse agencies where job searches can begin.

As for Mary I wished her well and gave her my information so if she had further questions she could reach out to me.  Perhaps you have had a similar experience.

Do you have tips to share for student nurses?

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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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