The service industry is changing, with most sectors adopting new modes of operations to keep up with the changes in the world. One of the changes can be seen in the medical sector with the fast-growing travel nurse industry. This industry is a concept that was developed to help address the shortage of nurses in certain areas. The industry works by hiring and supplying nurses who travel to work in temporary nursing stations, mostly in understaffed hospitals.
Travel nurses are employed by independent nursing staffing agencies who look for qualified and registered nurses to fill gaps in various health facilities in need of nursing services. Young nurses and even the more experienced nurses are signing up with these agencies to gain new experiences. Travel nurses get to travel to different cities and states within the country. Some can even fly out of the country to offer their services. The average pay for a traveling nurse couple with the traveling experience is one cocktail that is appealing to nurses looking to broaden their experience.
Becoming a Travel Nurse
If you are the type of nurse who enjoys new challenges in their career, exploring new territories and gaining new skills, this is the best option. Travel nurses also get a chance to choose the locations they want to work and when they want to work. To successfully join the ranks of travel nurses, there are a few key guidelines you should follow.
Earn Your Associate of Science in Nursing or Graduate with a BSc. in Nursing
To get an associate degree in nursing, you have to study for at least two years, participating in both in-class instructions and clinical practice. These degrees are generally offered by nursing schools and community colleges. Getting an ASN is one of the fastest and cheapest ways for an individual to become a nurse. Here a student can acquire the technical skills needed to perform the duties of a registered nurse. Upon completion of your studies, you can proceed to get a BSc. in Nursing.
A Bachelor’s degree, however, takes longer, with students having to study for up to 4 years in colleges and universities. This level of education will equip you with both advanced skills and leadership skills to run a healthcare facility. BSN students have access to some of the latest research in the medical field, which is important when addressing new healthcare problems. BSN students major in pharmacology, microbiology, nutrition, public health, anatomy, pathophysiology, mental health and several other science-based programs. All nursing students need to be well versed in both the theoretical part of nursing and practical. That is why as a BSN, you will still be expected to attend clinical rotations to learn the trade from experienced nurses.
Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
Before beginning your practice as a registered nurse, you have to take the National Council Licensure Examination test. The test is a computer-based aptitude test designed to gauge your understanding of the concepts and skills needed to practice nursing. The NCLEX-RN is scored and designed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. This board works closely with various state boards to ensure quality standards in the nursing industry. The test is unbiased and designed to ensure every nurse possesses the same knowledge regarding the concepts and skills needed in the nursing field regardless of where they gained their skills.
To take the exam, you have to graduate from your nursing program then apply for your nursing license. After applying, you will then receive a bulletin that allows you to participate in the test. You can then register to take the test. Most of the test questions are designed to evaluate a nurse’s ability to meet the patient’s needs. The questions vary depending on your answers to the previous questions, his way the board can skillfully evaluate your understanding of the standards set for service delivery.
Keep in mind that you have to pass the test for you to be able to serve as a nurse. You need to take time and prepare for the test going over several study topics that can be tested.
Begin your career as a registered nurse
After completing every stage of becoming a registered nurse, you need to work for at least a year or so in a hospital or healthcare facility to gain field experience. This experience is crucial as a travel nurse as you will be working in different facilities taking on different roles. Working in a high-demand area can significantly improve your chances, especially if you have worked in sections such as the labor and delivery ward, Intensive care unit, telemetry, the operating room or the emergency room.
Pursue professional development opportunities
The demanding nature of a travel nurse needs you to expand your experience before switching. Working in multiple facilities allows you to work in different scenarios to prepare for different roles as a travel nurse. If you cannot switch jobs frequently, you can expand your experience through professional development opportunities such as seminars and workshops.
Volunteer both locally and overseas
Some several hospitals and localities are in need of your professional services. Take time to volunteer at these locations to gain the experience of working in different environments and coping with pressures that come with traveling to different locations to work. You will also learn how to work with colleagues from different ethnicities, backgrounds, and cultures. Being part of travel nursing in Ohio needs you to broaden your experience in rural and urban settings by volunteering at various health facilities.
Connect with Nursing Organizations
Connecting with nursing organizations gives you a chance to network and meet other nurses with experience through conferences and workshops. This way, you will be able to keep tabs on the changes and updates within the nursing industry. These organizations also give nurses a chance to specialize in a certain area.
Apply to a Travel Nursing Agency
Most travel nurse agencies work closely with hospitals, nursing homes, maternity centers and even medical clinics in different parts of the country. As a travel nurse, you should be ready to work for about 13 to 26 weeks in either of these facilities in any given location. Apply for an opportunity to work with one of the several agencies in the country. As a travel nurse, you can either choose to accept the assignment you are offered, or you can decide to turn down the offer. Travel nursing in Ohio is one of the most appealing jobs you can take up if you are seeking to spice up your nursing career.
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