Whether you are new to travel nursing or are a veteran there are steps you should always take when preparing for a travel nursing assignment. The goal is to be efficient and to learn what works best for you. The steps listed below are a guideline for traveling nurses to follow. As you go you can adjust the steps to fit your preferences.
Deadlines Must Be Met
Accepting a travel nursing assignment will kick things into high gear. In order to keep up, you will need to complete the necessary steps in a timely manner. You will need to get the company you are working with everything they need, which will vary company to company, but usually includes things like tax forms, ID, testing, proof of licensure and other various sets of paperwork.
The list will be lengthy and if you do not get them what they need, in the timeframe they dictate you will not be allowed to head to your travel nurse assignment. Missing deadlines could also hurt any future chances you have of being given a travel nurse assignment.
How to be Sure you Meet Those Deadlines
- Using either a folder or a binder, collect all of the necessary paperwork that will be needed for any given assignment. Having all your important papers in one place will make it much easier to get the proper documents to the company you are working with, hitting those deadlines.
- Communication is going to be key. Keeping the agency rep. you are working with apprised of what you are sending and what you have scheduled is very helpful. You should also ask him or her what else they need from you. Keeping the lines of communication open to make it much easier to keep everyone on the same page.
- Be sure that whatever you agreed to verbally is included in the paper contract. And be sure that nothing extra was put into the paper contract. The best way to do that is to carefully read through the contract and discuss any discrepancies with your recruiter as soon as possible.
Getting Things in Order at Home
Before heading out on an assignment, and after your file has been deemed compliant you need to get things in order at home. Getting things in order will look different for each person. Some people spend time with family and/or friends others go out to eat dinner at their favorite restaurants. When preparing to head out on a travel nursing assignment you may want to think about the following things:
- Do you have pets, you need to decide if you are taking them with you? If you don’t, who will be watching them or where will you board them? Should you have pets, do want to take them? Then be sure to discuss that with your recruiter. You will need to find out if your housing arrangements are pet-friendly.
- Have you stopped your mail? Forwarded it? Or are you having someone pick it up for you?
- If you have a permanent residence will someone be keeping an eye on the place while you are gone? Does your home need to be winterized? Does the lawn need to be mowed?
- All things to consider before you head out.
Make a List
As you complete more travel nursing assignments you will learn what you need and what you don’t need. Start keeping a list of the essentials, for you. Each person’s list will vary, depending on his or her preferences. Remember try to pack as little as possible. The less you have to pack and unpack the happier you will be.
If you can buy a lot of it once you get there you will save yourself trying to pack up an entire house. For example, food, plates, cleaning items and trash can. While more expensive items might be worth bringing, like, electronics, vacuum, clothes, blow dryer and crock pot.
It may seem a bit overwhelming the first few times you are preparing for a travel nursing assignment. However, as you become more experienced you will create a system that works for you and your individual situation. The above suggestions are just that, suggestions to help you get started.