The Impact of Travel Nursing on Career Advancement: Elevating Your Nursing Journey

The Impact of Travel Nursing on Career Advancement: Elevating Your Nursing Journey

March 15, 2024

Nurses have begun leaving the healthcare industry in large numbers for many reasons, including burnout and an aging nurse population. As a result, staffing shortages are affecting virtually every healthcare facility in the United States. 

In response to these challenges, many facilities are turning to travel nurses, who make their way from location to location, usually every two to three months, to offer their services to those who need them most. Once their contract is over, travel nurses often have the chance to extend their stay. 

Travel nursing is one of the fastest-growing healthcare job options. It pays very well, with housing and a stipend covered, on top of offering several other significant benefits. If you’re interested in becoming a traveling nurse yourself, you can learn more about how the role presents the chance to elevate your nursing journey below.

A young female nurse holding documents walks down a hospital corridor.

How travel nursing enhances your career

One of the best things you can do to revitalize your nursing career is to choose travel nursing, and that is the case for several reasons. In particular, a career as a traveling nurse provides you with opportunities to do the following:

Expand your nursing skill set

The variety of locations, facilities, and assignments you’ll encounter as a travel nurse will bring you face-to-face with situations you may have never faced before or otherwise. And working through these new challenges will help you build up your skill set. 

In addition, as you travel in your nursing capacity, you’ll have the chance to make use of different equipment from what you’re used to and even work with different electronic medical records programs altogether. 

All of these circumstances stand to make you a better nurse, thereby making you even more attractive to future employers at the same time.

Gain cultural competence

With each passing day, the healthcare industry is focusing on inclusion and diversity, and that means hiring people who understand the importance of cultural competence is crucial. 

When you work as a travel nurse, you’ll get to meet diverse populations, gaining valuable experience in return. You can learn how certain religious beliefs can affect care and how to be able to offer acceptable alternatives to patients. You can then bring that knowledge to future workplaces, which helps other patients as well as other nurses. 

Enhance your resume

If you’ve been working at the same facility for years, you may not have bothered to update your resume. However, getting the chance to travel and change your workplace regularly lets you build up and flesh out your CV. 

You can highlight your qualifications and specialties by showing what you did in your last position in addition to including new skills you may have learned, like becoming proficient in using different equipment. Not to mention, there are crucial skills that travel nursing, in general, highlights, such as the ability to work as part of a team and the skill of adjusting to new situations quickly and efficiently. 

Many times, people assume that you can only gain greater nursing experience if you go to larger hospitals, but that’s not always the case. Going to smaller hospitals, where there may be fewer staff members, can often mean earning the chance to do things you might not have done at a bigger facility. 

Broaden your professional network

As a travel nurse, you’ll constantly be meeting new people in the industry and hopefully making lasting connections that can serve you for years to come. With the help of social media, you can easily maintain those connections, even once you move on to another position. Maintaining such a broad professional network means increasing your chances of getting the positions you’ve been hoping for.

Learn from challenges

Some travel nursing postings will be easier than others. You may have a coworker you don’t get along with or a supervisor who needs things done “just so.” But all of these experiences can help you grow as a person and as a nurse. 

Travel nursing also makes you the “new kid in school” at the facilities you visit, which is always a challenge. That said, you’ll get to learn how to adjust quickly to new locations, new people, and new ways of doing things, all of which can help you gain self-confidence and make you more resilient. 

Expand your interests

You may think you’re interested in one type of nursing or working in one particular type of facility until you find something else that proves challenging and exciting. Expanding your horizons can be crucial in helping prevent monotony from sinking in and leading you to rethink your career or just lose the spark you may have had when you started.

Finding new interests as you work in the healthcare industry can also help you settle on what kind of work you want to do in the future. If you enjoyed working with children in one of your postings, that could be a sign to specialize in pediatric nursing going forward, for instance.

A nurse puts her badge into her bag at the end of her shift.

Begin your travel nursing journey

Travel nursing offers benefits not just for you but for the communities you become a part of, even if just for a short time. By providing the chance to assist facilities that may be struggling because of staffing issues, you’re doing what you do best: helping others. 

If you’re considering travel nursing, look no further than Prolink. Our team of dedicated recruiters is ready to guide you through the whole process so you can get the benefits without the hassle. Click below to create your account and get started today.

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