By ThriveAP Intern and Healthcare Administrator in Training Stephanie Bauer
While most don’t associate nurse practitioners as being “road warriors”, a term more commonly used to refer to corporate jet-setters, nurse practitioners are now traveling more than ever. For instance, there is a growing interest in working in locum tenens positions among NPs.
The term locum tenens is Latin for “holding one’s place” and refers to staffing agencies that place advanced practice nurses in temporary assignments across the country for anywhere from just a few shifts to a few months, or even a year. According to a survey conducted by Travel Nursing Central, nurses most commonly turn to travel positions for a sense of adventure and/or a salary hike. Popular reasons cited for electing to travel include:
- Adventure 38%
- Money 28%
- Independence 16%
- Career Development 6%
- Prevent Burnout 6%
- Avoid Politics 3%
- Relocate 3%
So whether you are traveling across the country for a month-long locums assignment, attending a continuing medical education conference, or simply using your vacation days for some R&R in a tropical destination, we’ve gathered some travel tips from a jet-setting expert to help keep you sane on the road.
1. Pack light but smart
Make sure that packing smart is a part of your agenda. Packing cubes can keep your suitcase organized and easy to access. If you’re the type who brings everything but the kitchen sink, spare down what you pack to just the essentials. Keep a list of what you need (i.e. toiletries, tech accessories, apparel, etc.). Make sure to scan your list each time you pack so you don’t forget anything. Once you’ve left home, if you do realize you’ve neglected to bring an important item, add it to the list so you don’t forget the next time.
2. Make sure you know where you are going and how to get to work
If traveling for work, always check out directions and routes so you know your way around in order to get to work. Websites like Google maps provide trip times with traffic. Check these sites the week prior to your travel around the time you’ll be commuting so you know what to expect. When you check-in to your hotel make sure you grab a business card with the hotel’s address and phone number to slip into your wallet. You never know when you’ll need it.
3. Sign up for travel reward programs
If you are given the flexibility to choose where to stay and which airline and rental car company to use, pick one brand for each, sign up for their rewards programs, and then use them exclusively. By doing this, you’ll earn status faster and the benefits will start flowing! Airlines, for instance, often upgrade passengers with status to first class and waive baggage fees, while hotels give status-holders upgrades that include suites, better views and concierge lounge access. Plus, once you accrue enough miles and hotel points, that vacation to Maui will be much more affordable!
4. Get some TLC on the road
Taking care of yourself on the road is of utmost importance. Eat right, exercise regularly and take time for yourself. Bring emergen-c in case you start to feel sick and pack tea bags for when you want to unwind at night. Little comforts from home can also help to make a hotel more welcoming. Try bringing your own pillowcase and slipping it on the hotel pillow. It’s lightweight, will easily fit in your bag and will make for a much better nighttime snuggle!
A big thanks to Ms. Kimberly Bauer, a busy jet-setting professional in Atlanta, GA for sharing with me her top travel tips.
Interested in learning more about becoming a travel nurse practitioner? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll hook you up!
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