In nursing school, you laid down the foundation of a long-term career, learning practical skills and absorbing knowledge that you will use for years to come. The true test of your skills comes when you start working in an actual health care setting, meeting patients and working side-by-side with other nurses and doctors. For nurses who want to supercharge their careers, travel nursing can provide unparalleled learning opportunities.
Here’s why life on the road is the perfect post-grad nursing degree:
You’ll be an expert in communication
Professional nurses need to be able to communicate easily with people from all walks of life. They need to be able to have a highly technical conversation with a doctor one moment, and then have an emotional exchange with a patient the next. The ability to easily transition from one mode of thought to the other quickly is a highly desirable trait. The University of Arizona College of Nursing noted that the soft skill of communication is important for nurses to have because, unlike many other professions, nurses need to be able to offer emotional support and comfort to patients. Travel nurses get to speak with people across the country and can develop the ability to effectively communicate with everyone from rural farmers to white collar city workers and everyone in between.
— Sharonlee (@SfxEdu) August 22, 2016
You’ll have advanced technology skills
The health care industry is ever changing. Nurses don’t have the luxury of resting on their laurels for long – over the years, new technologies will come into everyday use, possibly changing the very nature of their work. The pace at which these technologies are adopted can differ from one facility to the next. By moving from state to state, travel nurses get the unique opportunity of seeing different workflows and methodologies.
A study published in Nurse Education in Practice found that nursing students often don’t have sufficient role models for technology-driven medication processes, resulting in increased fear of accidentally committing medication errors. Travel nurses may have an advantage here, as they are exposed to greater numbers of experienced nurses and doctors are may be able to learn more than those who remain at a single health care facility.
You’ll learn new cultures and ways of life
On its own, travel can be a wonderful learning experience. By seeing varied cultures and ways of life, travelers get multiple perspectives on the world. This can lead to greater empathy and emotional intelligence – two important soft skills for nurses to have. Nurses who travel on their own also learn how to be self-reliant. Carrie Miller, a writer who has been a solo traveler for over 20 years, writing for National Geographic Magazine, reported that travel can teach you how to be lonely and how to make friends. For nurses, these skills are necessary because there will be times on the road when there is no one else to depend on but yourself – yet there will also be times when you can meet new people and develop strong, lasting relationships which will help you develop as a person and as a professional.