Becoming a travel nurse can effectively build your resume and experience, but how do you stand out in a competitive market? We asked our recruiters to share what gets our clients noticed, how they continue to grow themselves and their careers, and why it is essential to stay connected.
The journey begins when you find a travel nurse agency and recruiter with whom you connect. If you’re unclear if they’re a good match, read our article Healthcare Red Flags and Green Flags. In this piece, we share tips like recruiters following boundaries of when and how they contact you when to beware, and the importance of researching the agency’s online reputation. We know there are a lot of places you can go, and finding the right agency is the start of standing out in a competitive market.
Ways to Stand Out as a Travel Nurse
Becoming a travel nurse requires 1-2 years of shift nurse experience. For other tips and things to know, read our Travel Nurse FAQ and other publications on our blog. If you’re ready for a different experience in life, it’s time to get organized and make a move!
Moving from shift nurse to traveler means moving multiple times a year, being away from loved ones, and constantly being the new person at work. While the lifestyle is challenging, it is also rewarding at the same time. How you organize and manage your life can have an influence in getting offered a contract you like versus one you love.
- Polish the Resume – As you complete a contract, update your resume with new skills, certifications, and accomplishments. That way, you’re ready for the next job opportunity. Include specialized training that sets you apart, such as previous travel nurse experience and experience in settings like those for which you are applying. Keep a digital copy handy so you can send it quickly. Remember to spellcheck and grammar check before sending and update contact information as needed.
- Showcase your Flexibility – Our recruiters tell us you have a higher chance of getting a travel contract if you’re flexible in your location, shift schedule, and pay. Be open to learning new systems and floating to other hospital areas to fill gaps. Remember that as a traveler, you will likely not be able to make changes, but offering feedback, if asked, to your on-site supervisor may be helpful.
- Obtain Specialized Certifications – Set yourself apart by pursuing specialized certifications related to your specialty. Popular or preferred certifications include Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). It shows you take the initiative and have the training to work in other (related) areas; it gives your recruiter more options to share your resume with our clients.
- Highlight Cultural Competency – Working as a travel nurse means you are likely working in diverse communities with varying patient demographics. If you have experience with this type of work, highlight it on your resume and in conversations. Managers want to know you can provide patient care that respects and values cultural differences. Working for Indian Health Services (IHS) or Corrections Facilities are two areas that need experienced medical professionals.
- Ace the Interview. It (literally) pays to prepare for the interview. Your travel nurse recruiter can support you in this process. It helps to review your own experiences and research the facility and location beforehand. This will help you prepare thoughtful questions and emphasize your eagerness to contribute to the team.
- Build Strong Relationships – Connection is key to standing out in a competitive market as a travel nurse. Begin when you contact your recruiter. At AB Staffing, our recruiters are available to you before, during, and after your contracts; ask them anything related to your job. Connect with the travel nursing community to understand where there are job opportunities and needs in communities. Take advantage of agency bonuses when referring friends. Lastly, stay connected with friends you meet via social media and connect in-person when working in their hometown.
You’ve made a smart decision to become a travel nurse. We know you will do well and are here to support you in your career and travel journey.