Whether you have a travel nursing job lined up, or you are still considering your options, hitting the road on your first assignment is both exciting and a little nerve-wracking. After all, not only are you moving to a new city, but you’re starting a job and meeting new people all at once. That’s a lot of changes.
To lower stress, there are several things that may help. Consider the following suggestions before you start your first travel nursing job.
Expect that you might be a bit nervous
Starting a new job causes a bit of apprehension. Moving to a new city is also a little stressful. When you combine both, it’s normal to be nervous. But as you get familiar with your new surrounding and meet a few people, it will ease your nerves. Remember, you got this!
Confirm details before you arrive
Although your travel nursing company may be organized and helpful, it’s best to confirm details to be on the safe side. Lines of communication can sometimes get crossed, or things can fall through the cracks. Few things will add more stress to your move then having things go haywire. For instance, you don’t want to arrive at your new housing and be told it’s not quite ready.
If possible, about a week before you are scheduled to arrive, confirm your move-in date, along with utility setup. Double check when certifications, such as CPR or ACLS, expire to make sure you’re in compliance with the job. You want to make sure you meet all the hospital or facilities requirements.
Organize everything at home
You don’t want to worry about anything back home while you are away on your first travel nursing job. If you have a roommate, you won’t have to worry about securing your home or what to do with mail. But if you don’t, make sure you have a plan. For example, find someone to take care of any home maintenance and keep an eye on your place while you are away.
Arrive a few days before your travel nursing job starts
If possible, plan to move into your new place a few days before you are set to start work. Ease into your new surroundings. Spend a day or two unpacking and getting to know your way around. Go on a dry run to your new workplace to make sure you know the route. But don’t arrive too far in advance. You don’t want to have so much time on your hands that you become homesick. A few days is just right.
Take a bit of home with you
Although it can vary, it’s not uncommon to be a bit homesick on your first travel nursing job. Regardless of how exciting it is and how much you love your new city; no place is like home. Ease homesickness by bringing a little piece of home with you. Pack some framed photos, a few favorite pillows, and scented candles that remind you of home to make you place relaxing.
Go in with an open mind
You might be stepping outside your comfort zone by starting a travel nursing assignment. Try not to have too many preconceived notions. For instance, think about the places you want to visit, but be open to new things. Consider getting to know as many people as possible, not just the usual types you gravitate towards.
Do a little research before you go
Find out what you can about your new area. It is helpful to find out and information about your new city. Research local events and activities. For instance, if you are a runner or hiker, develop a list of the best places to check out. If you plan to take public transportation to work, get the schedule. Download an app for travel nurses. Whether you want info on where to take your pet or meet other travel nurses, there are several helpful apps to consider.
If something is amiss, contact your travel nursing company
Hopefully, everything goes off without a hitch on your first travel nursing job. But if something is not what you expected, such as your housing arrangements, contact your staffing agency. Keep lines of communication open to correct issues as soon as possible.
Enjoy the travel nursing life
Life as a travel nurse is a lot of things. It can be exciting, busy, and maybe even a little stressful. But make sure you take time to enjoy the experience. Spend some time exploring your new city and getting to know your co-workers. Go off the beaten path a little and find hidden gems in your town. Time flies and 13 weeks go by pretty fast. It might seem like you just got there, but soon you’ll be packing your bags and hitting the road again!