Transitioning into freelance work can be hugely rewarding—and also terrifying. Without the right strategy, you can easily crash and burn. Crashing, however, doesn’t mean you can’t get back up on your feet. The transition into any freelance role can feel slow going at the start, but as time goes on the steps will get easier until you can’t imagine ever going back to a full-time position ever again.
This is true for any profession, including nursing. Becoming a travel nurse can mean setting your own hours, working with the clients you like best, and, most of all, getting paid well for your efforts.
What is a Travel Nurse?
A travel nurse is a certified and licensed RN or APRN that works where they are needed. There are nursing shortages everywhere, to the point where someone calling in sick or going on vacation can leave a hospital stripped bare. That’s where travel nurses come into play. They are brought on for the day or the week to cover those missing positions. If there wasn’t such a large shortage of nurses, this wouldn’t be a very viable position, but unfortunately, that shortage is only worsening. As a travel nurse, this means there are plenty of work opportunities.
How to Transition into Travel Nursing
To transition into travel nursing you’ll want to follow these steps:
Build a Security Net
You may not find work right away after you quit your primary job to take up travel nursing, so it’s important you have enough money to care for your expenses for at least three months. It shouldn’t take you that long to find work, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Have Your Own Means of Transportation
You simply won’t know where or how far away your next job will be. That’s why it’s important to have your own vehicle so you can always get to work on your own terms. Most will already have this, yes, but for those who have been relying on public transportation until now, it’s finally time to make the leap.
Find an Online Work Resource
You will find your jobs online. A travel nurse Tennessee will go online and search for jobs whenever they are free to build up their schedule for the week or even further into the future. There are many platforms out there, so find the one that is most commonly used in your state. You can’t work out of your state, so there’s no point fawning over a different state’s options. You may even want to sign up to multiple travel job platforms so you have a full list of opportunities near you. You need to research the contents of a travel nurse contract before negotiating travel nurse contracts.
Think About Getting Healthcare, Your Pension, and More
You won’t have access to many of the same perks you did as a full-time employee, but this doesn’t mean you have to go without them. Instead, find and select your favorite perks such as your healthcare insurance, your retirement savings, and even benefits such as access to gyms. There are freelance programs out there designed to help self-employed individuals recreate the perks they lost when they took their work freelance.