Seven Steps to Success as a
Travel Nurse with Advantage RN
You’ve FINALLY decided to make your dream of combining your professional experience with the adventure of travel a reality and you are ready to begin. Here’s a quick list of steps to get you quickly started toward a wonderful and rewarding travel experience.
Step 1. Complete an Application – The first step in getting started with Advantage RN is to complete an application and your appropriate skills checklist. You’ll find both of these items when you select “Apply Now” from any page of this website. The Application will help us learn more about you and better understand your career path. The Skills Checklist/s will allow us to evaluate your qualifications and match you with assignments that call for your particular skill set and experience. The Reference sheet you are asked to fill out will give us names of people to contact about your work and performance history. All travelers need at least 12 months of current experience in your specialty area (two years current floor experience) and be a graduate of an accredited professional program in the United States or Canada.
Want to get a jump start on the position of your dreams? We work with nearly 500 hospitals and our positions open and close daily, so it’s critical to have your paperwork processed and ready to go to ensure YOU don’t miss out on great opportunities! The best positions DO move quickly. Being an American Heart certified nurse (or OR Tech) with excellent clinical references (click here to learn more about managing references), an active license, and current medical requirements will help you not only land that dream job but also land it more quickly.
Step 2. Say Hello To Your Recruiter – Once your application is received (or perhaps before filling out your application), you’ll be assigned an Advantage RN Recruiter. He/She will work with you throughout your travel nurse career to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Do you want to see certain areas of the country? Build your resume by working in a prestigious facility? Cross train in a new specialty? Talk to your Recruiter about what you’d like to accomplish as a nurse traveler, so we can ensure your continued success.
Are you a new traveler? You may want to ask your Recruiter to put you in touch with one of our seasoned travelers who can give you a bird’s eye (or butterfly’s) view of the world of travel nursing. Armed with first-hand accounts of travel nurse experiences, you’ll feel more comfortable about your future; you’ll also soon realize that your Recruiter is more of a confidant and coach than you ever thought possible.
Step 3. Review Potential Assignments – With your specific needs in mind, you and your Recruiter will explore assignments that best match your skills and preferences. Do you want to stay close to home or travel across the country? Looking to work overtime? Do you prefer beaches and sun or the mountains and snow? Your Recruiter will explain the licensure process in each potential assignment state and the length of time it could take to obtain the licensure. Then you’ll work together to compare potential assignments and evaluate pay and job requirements to determine which openings best suit your needs. Remember that floating to another unit where you are qualified is usually expected. Being flexible and receptive to suggestions is a sure way to increase the number of potential fulfilling assignments available to you.
Step 4. Interview Potential Hospitals – Ok, you’ve narrowed down your choices. Some of the openings your Recruiter tells you about sound interesting to you. The next step is for the Recruiter to send your profile to the hospital. Once the initial hospital contact screens your profile it will be passed on to the department in need. Again, your profile will be reviewed, and as a potentially strong candidate, you will be called for a phone interview – typically with the Nurse Manager. Your Recruiter will prepare you for the interview and provide you with questions to ask that will help you choose the right opportunity. Here are some of the questions and potential issues to ponder before your interview. Trust us: the more you know about the job and what is expected of you ahead of time, the more comfortable you’ll feel when it comes time to working at the facility. After all, finding an assignment within your comfort zone means more than simply picking a location or a facility. It means asking the right questions to be sure you are choosing the right position.
After the interview, call your Recruiter to let him/her know how it went. Occasionally a Nurse Manager will make a job offer to the right candidate during a phone interview. Most of the time, however, this doesn’t happen, and you won’t know if an offer is being made until after you talk to your Recruiter.
How long does it take between an interview and an offer? That time varies from hours to even weeks and depends on the hospital, the position’s start date and the hospital’s sense of urgency. But don’t worry — your Recruiter is as eager as you are to find your optimal placement!
Step 5. Accept the Position – Let’s say you asked a ton of questions and built a great rapport during your interview and within 48 hours you get an offer! Congratulations! Your Recruiter will send you written confirmation of your job offer and once you review and sign it (within 24 hours), you are “locked” into the position. By signing your Nurse Confirmation you are making a commitment to work at the facility. Our signature indicates a commitment on our part (and an investment of time and money) to ensure you are ready to work at the facility.
Step 6. Say Hello to Compliance and Housing Departments – Once your Confirmation is received, a flurry of activity begins. You’ll be assigned your very own QA coordinator and Housing coordinator to help ensure your future facility has all it needs from you to safely begin your assignment and you have a suitable and safe home-away-from-home.
Many hospitals require skill competency and OSHA testing. Advantage RN will set you up with the appropriate tests. A little worried? Don’t be. Our QA Clinical Education Coordinator (Missy, she’s our friendly and helpful on staff RN) is trained and ready to get you confident and ready for the test.
Background checks and drug screens will be ordered for you. The background checks screen out sexual predators, nurses with criminal histories and those who have been convicted of Medicare/Medicaid fraud. Drug screening prevents the placement of nurses who have substance abuse problems. Advantage RN must perform these tests to ensure the hospital that our nurses can deliver the professional care they have been hired to deliver. Being Joint Commission-certified opens the doors to more top-notch facilities and means more thorough examinations to safeguard our nurses while ensuring the safest and most secure healthcare environment for our hospitals and their patients.
Your Housing coordinator will be talking a lot with you as well to find your new temporary home. She’ll be arranging for utilities and coordinating your furniture delivery and getting your housewares in order. Bringing a pet? Or, traveling with a friend? Be sure to share all the details with your Housing Coordinator. Keep in mind that the probability of meeting all of your housing demands will vary depending on the location’s average cost-of-living and other variables.
Step 7. Pack Your Suitcase and Get Ready to Embrace Your New Adventure – It’s time to kiss your old life goodbye and jump start your new one. Need a packing list? Click here and get one! Want to read an upbeat account of what one of our nurses in Alaska packs before she leaves for an assignment? Click here for that! And don’t forget to contact your new city’s Chamber of Commerce for information on things to do in the area as well as practical information such as the public transportation schedule. One of the first things you’ll want to do after you unpack is to take some time to locate your new hospital or health facility so you can figure out the best way to get there from your new home.
Have the new-person-on-the-block jitters?
Read our President’s tip sheet (Fitting In Quickly At Your New Assignment) before you begin Orientation. It’s full of tips that will help you on Day One.
Once you feel even more comfortable in your new position, you’ll likely want to take advantage of all of the activities your new location offers. Click here for some helpful suggestions on accomplishing that.
Your Recruiter will contact you on a regular basis to make sure everything is just right and your experience with Advantage RN is a pleasant one. If you experience problems, you can call us 24/7 for assistance.
Well, you’ve done it! Take a deep breath. Exhale. Getting ready for a travel assignment can be a fast and furious process — but it’s well worth the effort! You’re living the adventure you dreamed about only a short while ago. New friends, new opportunities abound. Chances are, if you are a new traveler, you’re going to wonder why you didn’t travel sooner! Welcome on-board! And thanks for traveling with Advantage RN!
Come travel with us!