Have you never travel nursed but are wondering what it’s like? You came to the right place! We have been connecting healthcare professionals with fantastic job opportunities since 1999 and have helped over 2000 Canadian nurses live the life they’ve always dreamed of through temporary travel nursing positions. We understand that it is a big decision to become a travel nurse. It’s a great idea to research the pros and cons of travel nursing. This article will give you a better understanding of what it is like being a travel nurse.
Why be a travel nurse
If you’re considering going on the road as a nurse yourself, here is what our travellers in 2019 had to say.
The Impact of Travel Nurses on Communities
It is often challenging for remote communities to recruit the doctors and nurses that they need to effectively serve their population, leaving them direly understaffed.
As a result, some remote communities — often First Nations or Inuit — have no resident physician or nurse practitioner and are many kilometres from the nearest hospital. In British Columbia, one solution to this challenge is remote nursing practice. This is where nurses work autonomously within a prescribed scope of practice while periodically consulting with physicians or nurse practitioners. Remote certified nurses provide primary care including treatment of acute illness or injury, health promotion and illness prevention.
For registered nurses that are interested in travel nursing and practicing a higher level of medicine, remote nursing can be the perfect fit. It is an extremely rewarding career path, knowing you have such a significant impact on the health of your whole community. Often, these nurses are the pillar of health care within the region.
The Impact of Travel Nurses on Facilities
We often receive thanks from the nurse managers who work with our travel nurses and see the impact they have. Recently, our client care specialist met with one of our nurse managers in Northern BC to ask about her experience with Select Medical Connections for nurses wondering what it’s like being a travel nurse.
“Travel nurses have been a great asset to our facility for the most part and we’ve had consistently great relationships with them. They seem to enjoy it here. We’ve had a few that came from larger centres who thought we should be doing things the same way they do in larger centres but it really is a very different line of work when you don’t have all the bells and whistles within your facility.”
What are the Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse
Self-Care on the Road
There are so many benefits of travel nursing! Haleigh Gorrell, one of our RN-Medical/Surgical travel nurses, recently wrote a blog post on self-care for nurses who are out on assignment. Her advice provides an authentic glimpse into the reality of life on the road.
“Once you are settled in, it’s so easy to get into a routine! You will get your schedule and then you can start planning ahead. Use your days off for exploring your new town, hanging out with fellow travel nurses, catching up with people back home, grocery shopping and meal prepping. Take advantage of the calm moments in between the busy ones.”
In terms of personal growth, Haleigh notes that:
“You’ll be shocked at how much more independent you’ve become. I find myself growing constantly and being self aware and practising regular self care helps with that immensely. You will learn to love yourself more and all of this is because you practiced proper self care techniques from the start! Changing your self-care routine while on assignment will have an impact on you when you return home and it will help you to stick to those habits each and every day.”
Retired Nurses Choose Travel Assignments
Travel nursing can be a great way for a retired nurse to explore Canada while helping make lives better. One of our experienced travel nurses, Sandra, gave us insight into why she chose to take travel assignments during her retirement.
“There’s so much to do! Checking out a local craft show, seeing a live concert, going to the movies, visiting Regina. One of my favourite things to do on assignment was to go for a walk with my neighbours and grab some dinner. I think the biggest surprise was just how easily I settled into things. I had worked at the same facility my entire career and was expecting the transition to be a little more challenging than it was, but I discovered I’m highly adaptable to change and everything went very smoothly. Also, the ICU department manager is phenomenal and I’ve enjoyed working with them. It’s pretty amazing how much I’ve learned on my assignment as well — I got to study International Trauma Life Support, which has added so much value to my career.”
Where Should You Travel Nurse?
That’s where our career consultants come in – they’re the experts that can help match you up with the ideal travel assignment for your experience and goals. They can also talk to you about the pros and cons of travel nursing and answer any questions you may have.
Here are a few of our travel nurses’ top-rated travel destinations.
Each year we send numerous travel nurses on assignment throughout the province and their stories give us excellent insight into its best and most beautiful parts, and we’re excited to share a few of those top highlights with you.
Manitoba boasts a diverse range of places to visit while travel nursing, whether you’re looking for urban excitement or a relaxing natural setting. For example, if you love lake-days, there are over 110,000 lakes in the province for you to enjoy — and they’re breathtakingly beautiful. Go on a Northern Safari to kayak alongside beluga whales and see polar bears in their natural habitat; whether you’re looking for a rugged trek or luxurious lodging, there’s an option for you.
One of the most common pieces of feedback we hear is that Saskatchewan far exceeds our nurses’ expectations. In fact, one of our most seasoned travel nurses recently commented on the liveliness of the province.
With more than 30 travel nursing assignments completed over the past five years in various locations throughout Canada, at least half of his contracts have been in Saskatchewan – and according to him, they have been his best ones yet! What keeps bringing him back? The atmosphere of the nursing teams, the social scene, and the outdoor activities beat any of the other provinces he has travelled to.
The East Coast
Are you eager to explore Canada’s east coast? If so, a travel nursing assignment on the east coast may be the perfect position for you!
There is no shortage of coastal destinations in Newfoundland and Labrador, but there are several that catch our attention every time we hear our nurses’ travel stories. Fogo Island & Change Islands offer a unique cultural heritage experience as well as a modern eclectic vibe, and they currently serve as a haven for contemporary artists. Bonavista, the site where John Cabot discovered North America in 1497, is one of the province’s top historic sites, with a mixture of old and new homes providing a beautiful backdrop as you learn about the country’s history. To take in icebergs and go whale watching, Twillingate is an absolute must-see. No matter where you are within Newfoundland and Labrador, you aren’t far from breathtaking views.
Interested in learning more about what it’s like to be a travel nurse? Email our career consultants to get answers to all your questions, even if you’re not ready to hit the road now. Prefer to call? Contact our toll-free number 1-877-525-3870