Tips On Choosing A Travel Nurse Specialty

While travel nursing can differ quite a bit from traditional nursing, a few things will still remain the same. One of those commonalities includes choosing a specialty.

Just as with traditional, full-time RN roles, additional certification is necessary to specialize and subspecialize in the travel nursing world. But how do you choose?

If you need a bit of guidance you’re not alone. We’ve included a few tips to help you sift through the sea of specialties:

1. Become a float nurse
A float nurse is someone who moves (or “floats”) from one department or unit to another based on staffing needs. For example, hospital float nurses may be sent to several units within the same building to cover shifts or breaks, to adhere to the required patient-nurse ratios.
If you can snag a travel assignment as a float nurse, observe all you can and ask the staff what they love about their job (and what they find to be the most challenging). If you don’t feel that a particular unit will work for you, trust your gut and move on to the next.

2. Consider your lifestyle
We completely understand that everyone has a different lifestyle. And we recognize that how you spend your spare time is sacred. Maybe you’re a mother with two little ones at home. Or perhaps you’re an empty nester who is ready to see a new place and become a clinical leader. Maybe you’re just starting out as an RN and want to expand your career beyond your full-time role in a small-town hospital. No matter which direction you choose, it’s important to know that obtaining a new specialty will require education and certifications beyond your RN. Of course, that will vary based on what you choose – online classes, additional clinical hours, and probably a final exam.

If you’re ready to dive in to a tough yet rewarding specialty that’s fast paced, then you might consider telemetry.
Telemetry nurses work in a stressful, challenging environment. It is also one that offers huge rewards in terms of the life-saving impact this specialty has on patients.

If you feel drawn toward caring for mothers during and after their pregnancy, you might consider becoming a
labor and delivery (L&D) nurse. This specialty is always in high demand, because, you guessed it – people love having babies.

3. Utilize social media networking
You’re surrounded by experts. And with the help of technology (particularly social media), you can connect with other clinical professionals within seconds. If you don’t
personally know nurses who hold the specialty that you’re considering, join a few Facebook groups. If Facebook isn’t your thing, pivot to LinkedIn. LinkedIn has groups that cater specifically to nurses – the largest group being the American Nurses Association, which boasts more than 85,000 members. Additional LinkedIn groups to consider joining: Oncology Nursing Society, The RN Network, Critical Care Nursing and Emergency Nurses Association.

Curious about which specialties are in high demand? Check out this
Travel Nurse Guide

At LeaderStat, we have thousands of travel nursing assignments open at any given time, across multiple states. Our most common specialties are: ER, OR, ICU, NICU, PICU, Telemetry, L&D and Med Surge.

If you’re wondering what’s out there for you as a specialized nurse, the answer is “endless opportunity.” Ready to listen to that voice inside your head telling you to take the leap?

LeaderStat has been a trusted staffing partner by healthcare organizations across the country for over 21 years. As a Joint Commission accredited staffing firm, we are committed to supporting nurses as they work to provide excellent care and pursue their career goals. If you’re interested in becoming a LeaderStat travel nurse, take a look at our 
job board to see the exciting opportunities available now!

Travel Nurse Job Board

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LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.