Are you a healthcare professional searching for how to get nursing experience?
If you’re a nurse (or if you’re training to be one), then you’ve already made a very smart career choice.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupational outlook for nurses is much higher than average.
Over the next eight years, the demand for nurses in the U.S. will increase by approximately 16 percent.
There are a number of reasons for this.
An aging population will create more demand for healthcare professionals. And, we’ll see an increase in people suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma.
If you’re a smart, aspirational nurse—and we know you are—you’re looking for how to get nursing experience that sets you apart from the pack.
By doing so, you can position yourself as a top candidate that every employer would be lucky to have.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Over the next 8 years, the demand for nurses will increase by 16%! #rnjobs #travelnurse” quote=”Over the next eight years, the demand for nurses in the U.S. will increase by approximately 16 percent.”]
So how does becoming a traveling nurse fit in with all of this?
Well, it gives you the opportunity to gain experience by enhancing both your soft and hard skills.
SEE ALSO: 15 Outstanding Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse
How to Get Experience for Nursing by Traveling
Consider how a travel healthcare job can undoubtedly enhance your nursing experience:
1. Become more flexible in different settings
Everyone who’s worked a day as a nurse knows that flexibility is key to doing your job effectively.
In any nursing job, you’ll work with different doctors, nurse practitioners, other specialists, and an ever-changing group of patients.
There’s rarely enough time to “get used” to change—you just have to dive in and do your job.
As a traveling nurse working in different settings every 13 weeks, you learn to become extremely flexible.
Honing your ability to adapt to new settings and working efficiently with new teams will set you apart from the candidate pool.
SEE ALSO: 9 Reasons Travel Nursing Employment is the Right Choice
2. Enhance your cultural competency
Every organization has its own culture—a set of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors all employees share.
Cultural fit is key to being successful in your job and feeling engaged with your employer.
When you’re a traveling nurse, you have to learn to understand the company culture of each specific organization you work in and adapt your own attitudes.
The same goes on a larger scale for the locations where you’re working.
Lifestyles in New York are very different from the Seattle way of life—and they’re different than that of New Orleans!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Cultural fit is key to job success, and feeling engaged with your employer. #travelnurse #jobs” quote=”Cultural fit is key to being successful in your job and feeling engaged with your employer.”]
Remember, cultural competency in nursing is bigger than simply fitting in with the company for which you work.
Because nurses see patients from many cultures, having a deep understanding of cultural practices ensures you provide the best care.
Wondering how to get experience for nursing when it comes to cultural competency? Traveling is the answer.
SEE ALSO: How to Strengthen Cultural Competence in Nursing Practice
3. Gain more independence
Moving from place to place will teach you independence.
Being independent can be scary, but it’s also liberating and can provide you with an opportunity to truly evaluate what you want out of your career and your life.
This rings especially true when you are considering how to get nursing experience after graduation. Travel nursing provides a wide range of opportunities to foster your independence and self-confidence like:
- Living in new cities
- Meeting a wide variety of people
- Experiencing different cultures and traditions
The MAS community believes that traveling doesn’t have to be lonely and stays in touch with you throughout your entire placement.
SEE ALSO: 8 Best Places to Live as a Nurse on Travel Assignment
4. Enhance your people skills
One of the most valuable aspects of gaining additional nursing experience is enhancing your people skills.
From scared patients to worried loved ones, you’ll encounter a lot of people in a lot of stressful situations.
Learning how to establish trust and be supportive is hugely important for your nursing career.
When you think about how to get experience for nursing, oftentimes you think only of the medical techniques. In truth, the ability to work well with people plays a huge role in nursing and enhancing this skill set is crucial.
It is inevitable that nurses will encounter a variety of people during their shifts, but the fastest way to amplify your people skills is to gain experience as a travel nurse.
5. Acquire new skills and specializations
Since you’ll be working in different types of settings including specialized hospitals and clinics, you’ll have to learn new techniques and procedures.
As a travel nurse, you’ll get more access to the latest methods in some of the most progressive healthcare facilities—invaluable nursing experience!
Imagine the skills you will gain when you have access to new learning opportunities. The potential for additional certifications and hands-on experience are sure to keep you at the forefront of nursing.
6. Explore different specialties
If you haven’t yet decided on a career focus, being a traveling nurse gives you the chance to spend time with a range of specialties.
For example, you might want to work in a burn unit, an addiction treatment center, or an ER.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you don’t have a career focus, being a #travelnurse gives access to a range of specialties!” quote=”If you haven’t yet decided on a career focus, being a traveling nurse gives you the chance to spend time with a range of specialties.”]
This is also a bonus when you’re considering how to get nursing experience after graduation.
While you may have a career focus in mind, traveling and gaining experience in a variety of specialties will help solidify your path.
7. Work in a broad range of professional settings
From private clinics to general hospitals, healthcare facilities are as varied as the people they serve.
You’ll experience nursing under constantly changing conditions and with different management styles.
SEE ALSO: Where Can Nurses Work for the Best Overall Experience?
8. Get nursing experience at top healthcare facilities
One of the main advantages to being a travel nurse is that you can spend time at some of the nation’s top healthcare facilities, like the Dana Farber Clinic in Boston.
If your main interest is how to get nursing experience, consider the positives that come with working in top healthcare facilities.
Not only do these facilities provide you with ongoing learning opportunities, but having them on your resume is a huge bonus.
9. Build your network further
The more you travel, the more people you’ll meet.
And that can be extremely useful throughout your career.
For example, a contact you meet today might alert you to your dream job three years from now!
[clickToTweet tweet=”The more you travel, the more people along the way to build a network! #travelnurse #RNjobs” quote=”The more you travel, the more people you’ll meet along the way to build your network.”]
The saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is common for a reason. Networking is beneficial in every profession, and healthcare is no exception.
The larger your network, the more opportunity you have to grow. It’s that simple!
SEE ALSO: 21 Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City or Town
Traveling gives you a wide range of opportunities for how to get experience for nursing—opportunities you won’t get in a permanent position.
In addition, it gives you the chance to travel around the country while getting paid great money to do so.
Plan to work with a travel nursing staffing agency that understands your career objectives, and can help you find the temporary positions you need to advance your career!
If you could work anywhere in the country, where would it be?
Share with us in the comments below!