Travel Nursing Schedules: What You Need To Know

Cross Country Nurses
January 23, 2017 15:55 PM (GMT-04:00)
CCN Travel Tips
Are you considering a career in travel nursing?
As an increasingly popular alternative to a traditional nursing job, travel nursing can provide amazing opportunities for both professional and personal growth. However, as you consider travel nursing, you may wonder what your schedule would be like as a travel nurse. Naturally, a job that requires frequent travel to a new town or city will have more unconventional hours than a typical nursing job.
Before you take on a travel assignment, you should understand how scheduling works so you can prepare accordingly. And, though parts of your schedule will not always be within your control, here are some tips for getting a grasp of your travel nursing schedule ahead of time.

Be Assertive in Asking for What You Want

While most nurse managers are mindful about scheduling travel nurses fairly so they aren’t working every night and weekend shift, this isn’t always the case. If you know of a day or weekend you definitely need to have off, it’s a good idea to have it written into your contract prior to your state date. You’ll find that many nurse managers will be willing to work with your schedule as long as you provide enough notice. However, remember that your role a travel nurse is to help accommodate a specific hospital’s staffing needs and be flexible, so be reasonable with your scheduling requests!

Remember Your Start Date is Non-Negotiable

Though there are many aspects of travel nursing that are flexible in nature, your assignment start date and number of hours cannot be adjusted. Assignment start dates are usually based on the specific hospital’s orientation dates, which will likely be communicated to you by the hospital’s human resources department. In fact, some facilities will charge you a fee for changing your state date or cancelling your contract prior to your start date, so always remember that this is set in stone!

Budget for the Unexpected

On a travel assignment, there is always the chance that unexpected circumstances will arise, such as illness or personal emergencies. Keep in mind that most travel nursing companies will not offer vacation or sick pay; therefore, you must be financially prepared for any time you will have to take off during your assignment. Also, it’s recommended to purchase your own accident insurance in the unfortunate event that you get hurt on the job. If you get hurt on a travel nursing assignment, you will not get paid if you cannot work. To alleviate these types of concerns, be sure to evaluate your budget well in advance of your travel assignment.
With any travel nursing assignment, it’s expected that you have a certain degree of flexibility and adaptability. Getting an idea of scheduling expectations ahead of time will help you better acclimate to new work environments and prepare mentally and physically for your travel nursing experience.
If you’re seeking more information about travel nursing, get in touch with Cross Country CCN and let our talent acquisition specialists help you today.

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