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Empowering Nurses for Success in Traveling by Leslie Manning RN, BSN

June 9, 2021

By Leslie Manning, RN, BSN

So you have made a decision to pursue the exciting, challenging career path of travel nursing. Or perhaps, you are a seasoned travel nurse about to embark on your next travel assignment. Whatever season of travel nursing you are in, we look forward to assisting you in driving your career forward. 

For over 30 years, Fastaff has been a leader in Rapid Response® travel nurse staffing. Facilities come to us because they know that Fastaff nurses value challenging clinical experiences, are prepared to serve in urgent and crucial situations, and are prepared to hit the ground running when they arrive. Facilities respect Fastaff travelers for their high level of clinical skills but also for the professionalism and flexibility that our brand requires. We take pride in offering high-paying, resume-building assignments with top facilities across the United States.

Your success is our success, and we want you to be as prepared as possible for your next assignment. We’ve identified some tips and expectations that are important to be mindful of prior to travel in these ever-changing times.

  1. Positive Attitude – Let’s be honest, some days as a nurse can be stressful! Coming into your shift with a positive attitude creates a more calming, productive work environment for you and those around you. Research shows that a positive mindset can reduce stress, improve relations with co-workers and patients, and elevate job satisfaction. We all have frustrations and stressors, and perhaps even complaints at times, but it’s important to know where and when those should be shared. Remember that your Fastaff Recruiter is there to listen to any concerns you have, as well as our Clinical Services Team who is there for any clinical concerns that you might need addressed.

  2. Flexibility – While we would all wish for every facility to have a full staff including secretaries, CNA’s, transport, etc., we know that this is not always going to be the case. As Fastaff travelers, we may have to jump in and answer phones and call lights, or take a new admit before other staff have to. It’s important not to consider this a punishment or the typical expectation, but we should expect these situations may happen, try to make the best of it, and to handle as professionally as possible.  Your bedside skills are needed so desperately, and we appreciate you being willing to step in and help the team and the patients by responding to other those tasks as needed.

  3. Scheduling – Facilities reaching out to us for travel nurses are often experiencing significant staffing shortages. While some facilities may offer some flexibility with scheduling, it is the expectation that Fastaff Nurses are there to be flexible and fill in the holes in the schedule that the facility has. Fastaff Nurses must be able to work the schedule that is given by the facility, and often are praised by the nurse managers for their adaptability.

  4. Prior experience – We know that different facilities have different ways of accomplishing tasks, and vary in their policies and procedures. Fastaff nurses are expected to arrive with a willingness to learn, respect,  and follow that particular facility’s policies. You might have done things differently at a different facility, and sometimes having a constructive conversation with the right person (like your Unit Manager) might be welcomed. Debating about it with another staff member might not be welcomed.

  5. COVID adaptability – If one thing has been true over this past year, it’s that COVID recommendations have been consistently changing across the country. Practices (including PPE usage and isolation precautions) have differed from facility to facility, and what had been put into practice at the beginning of this pandemic will surely be changing and evolving as we move along. It is expected that Fastaff nurses will continue to work with patients affected by COVID if assigned to them.It has been very exciting to see the COVID vaccine roll out these past few months! We are starting to see more restaurants, organizations and businesses opening back up. We hope that you will see COVID cases starting to calm down on your assignments, but we do not know what might come this fall, or what will happen across the globe. We care about the health and safety of our travelers, and hope that you all have, or will, consider getting the COVID vaccination.

Thank you for choosing Fastaff Travel Nursing as your partner in travel nursing! This is truly the place that you can grow your value and earn your worth, and we believe that you can do anything you set your mind to if you have the right expectations and a positive attitude. We know things can get hard at times, so know that your Fastaff recruiter is here and wants to hear from you, as does our Clinical Team who is there for extra support as well. We wish you the best of luck, and want you to know that you are supported as you continue your travel journey.

Leslie Manning, RN, BSN, is a licensed registered nurse in Colorado and the compact states.  She began her nursing career in Tennessee working primarily inpatient Pediatrics, floating to NICU, then transitioning to primary care pediatrics and nurse recruitment/clinical management in Colorado.  She has been at Fastaff and U.S Nursing for 6 years, currently as a senior manager of clinical services, where her primary responsibility is to support travel nurses in their career development, and to serve as an advocate on behalf of the nurse in times of dispute.  She currently lives in Castle Rock with her husband and two daughters.

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