How to Go from New Grad Nurse to Travel Nurse
You’ve turned your tassel right to left and now it’s time to trade in the cap and gown for some scrubs. While it isn’t impossible to go straight from new graduate to travel nurse, it’s much easier to pursue the competitive career path when you have specific experiences under your belt. To set yourself apart, take a look at our timeline for tips on how to go from new grad nurse to travel nurse.
First Month: Prepare for the Job Hunt
First thing’s first: Update your resume. You have a new, well-earned degree to add to your resume as well as notable in-school shadowing or volunteering experiences. As you refine your resume, consider adding the following specifics under your experiences:
- Location, unit, and charting system of the facilities you’ve worked in
- Specifics on unit sizes and nurse-to-patient ratios
- Relevant certifications or licenses you have
- References of the charge nurses or management you’ve worked with
First Year on the Job: Try Float Nursing
Some nurses know exactly what unit they want to work in right when they graduate. Other nurses like trying different units before committing to a specialty. If the latter sounds like you, consider floating as your first nursing role. Float nurses are nurses who move from one unit to the other. They have the opportunity to learn which units they thrive in, connect with a wide variety of patients and healthcare professionals, and gain invaluable experience by adapting to whatever units they’re assigned to work. Remember, as you float, start to land new roles, and gain more experience, update your resume.
One to Two years in the Field: Find Your Specialty
Once you find a unit you enjoy, try to stick to it for at least two years. Travel nurses typically start their career by gaining acute care experience in units they want to work, such as the emergency room, intensive care, or cardiology units. More time in a specialty means you’re seen as an expert in that field and you’re more likely to stand out in a competitive talent pool.
Beyond One to Two years: Make the Jump To Travel Nursing
You can typically pursue your travel nursing career once you’ve been working for at least a year. However, many facilities prefer you to have more than a year of experience in specialty areas like the operating room, neonatal intensive care unit, or the labor and delivery unit.
If you have the right amount of experience and you’re ready to pursue a role that lets you take care of diverse communities, work alongside healthcare professionals in a new facility, and explore a different city off the clock, we can help. HealthCare Support is a premiere, national staffing agency that helps passionate nurses like you make the transition to travel nursing. Our dedicated team will help place you in a role and location that aligns with your goals—personal, professional, and financial.
To learn more about our open jobs and services, please give us a call at 888-219-6285.