Nursing has suffered a lack of understanding by the general public, who often can see no further than stereotypes of heroin, harlot, harridan, or handmaiden. These have colored nursing’s development as a profession. For some nurses, the routine and stability of working in a long-term position in a hospital or other health care organization are highly desirable. But, that preference is not right of every person working in the profession.
Do you love your career as a nurse, but feel like you could use a change of scenery? Are you one of those people who cannot stay in the same place for long without feeling restless? You are not alone. Today, nurses have more options than ever before to allow for a career to be tailored to a professional’s personal preferences.
For the most part, the life of a travel nurse seems to be for nurses at the dawn of their careers before they have relationships, families, and other responsibilities that force them to find permanent employment. The additional time that many nurses become interested in an occupation as a travel nurse is towards the end of their careers, after their children move out of the house, leaving their parents free to pursue nomadic whims. A career as a travel nurse can vary dramatically based on your personal goals and preferences. Whether it is a short-term or a long-term career choice, taking on this role can allow you to gain valuable experience while living in new areas of the country and even abroad.
It happens, especially to the younger nurses, that they are working at a travel nurse assignment and find that they fall in love with the city they are in, adore their co-workers, or find the job so rewarding they want to keep it.
When a nurse finds an assignment that they don’t want to give up, one considers the contract they signed with their nursing agency. If they signed a deal with a timeline, it would be challenging to get out of the contract immediately and accept a permanent working position. Nurses with long-term binding agreements with an agency will probably find that they have to work as a travel nurse long enough to fulfill their contract. Once they have worked out the terms of their agreement, they can go back to the hospital or medical facility that they enjoyed and seek a permanent position.
Sometimes, travel nurses will find out that the temporary position they are currently filling is just that, temporary. For whatever reason, the job may be on a one-time basis, and no matter how badly the travel nurse may want it at a permanent position, it just isn’t possible. When this happens, the travel nurse has two options. They can decide if it is the hospital they like working at, or maybe really want the city, or perhaps click with their current batch of co-workers or feel that the job they are doing is tailor-made for them (and it really might be). If they look at all their options and decide that it’s the hospital or the fellow nurses that appeal to them, they can apply for a permanent position in the hospital. If the travel nurse decides that it isn’t necessarily the hospital, the staff, or the job that appeals to them, they might want to consider looking for a hospital in a similar location.
If, after you have looked at all the options and decide that it is the position that is making you consider exchanging your nomadic shoes for a more permanent pair, talk to your nursing agency. Even if you have a long-term, binding contract, the agency will be able to keep and look for similar positions. If you are at a point in your life when you can accept a permanent position, look at other hospitals. Just because the hospital you were working at only offered the area temporarily doesn’t mean that other hospitals won’t have the position available permanently.
The main reasons that younger travel nurses give up their careers as travel nurses in favor of more permanent positions are because they are tired of traveling are ready to start a family, or other family members need them at home.
When it’s time to find a permanent position keep an optimistic attitude, you’ll find the right spot.