Traveler stories

Traveling in an Uncertain Economy

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By Melissa Wirkus, associate editor

Although no one can be certain about the future of the economy, we can all rest assured knowing that nurses will remain a vital part of the health care system. And, as a travel nurse, there are many things you can do to ensure you thrive in your career during this uncertain economic time.

Traveling in an Uncertain Economy 
Travelers who are prepared, open minded and flexible will continue to thrive despite shaky economic conditions.

Staying Flexible

The biggest concern among most travel nurses right now is that they will have trouble finding an assignment. The truth is, there are plenty of assignments out there, travelers just have to be open minded when it comes to choosing their next destination and facility, said Tammy Noto, recruitment manager for leading travel nurse staffing company American Mobile Healthcare.

“It’s really important that travelers are flexible right now,” Noto said. “Talk to other travelers and talk to your recruiter about what areas currently have a lot of jobs.”

Travelers may find that there are job opportunities in places that they have never thought about traveling to before. During tough economic times, the locales with the most open positions may be centered in one part of the country or throughout a specific specialty. Don’t dismiss a great job opportunity just because it is in a location or a facility that you may not have considered working at before—keeping an open mind ensures more opportunities come your way and always opens the doors for new travel adventures.

“Just remember it’s only for 13 weeks,” Noto said. “Next time, you can travel to a place that you have always wanted to visit.”

Being Prepared

According to travel nursing experts, having both your professional life and financial house in order during times like this is essential to overall success. Plus, being organized and prepared reduces stress during times of uncertainty.

Noto recommends applying for state licenses ahead of time, so when a job opportunity arises, you are prepared and ready to hit the ground running. “Getting some licenses in states that you know have plenty of job openings right now is always a good idea,” Noto said.

Expanding your clinical knowledge through continuing education courses and specialty certifications is also a great way to get an edge. Anything that will give you a leg up on the competition is a good idea. features a slew of continuing education courses and the American Nurses Credentialing Center is a great place to learn more about obtaining nursing credentials and certifications.

Exploring Your Options

Another important aspect to a successful travel nursing career right now is signing up with a stable and secure agency—and finding those same qualities in your recruiter.

Do your research and shop around to different travel nursing companies. Make sure you are being offered a competitive pay rate as well as a comprehensive benefits and housing package.

A select group of travel nursing companies, including American Mobile Healthcare, now offer “Guaranteed Pay” programs that ensure you get paid if a facility cancels your shifts. “This really gives a traveler peace of mind during an assignment, especially in this economy.”

© 2011. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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