Travel jobs are not just for doctors, nurses, and therapists. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are also in high demand for either temporary or permanent travel jobs. The demand is so high that the nurse practitioner willing to travel usually finds him or herself in a very strong position, financially and professionally.
As a travel nurse practitioner yourself, you know there are some inherent challenges to this kind of work that permanent placement nurse practitioners do not have to deal with. But if you have the right qualities and characteristics, you’ll do fine as a traveler. Below are the three most important qualities travel nurse practitioners can possess, at least in our opinion.
1. Clear Vision
There is always some amount of negotiating that goes with being a travel nurse practitioner. Whether a professional takes travel work temporarily or exclusively, negotiations with staffing agencies and hiring facilities is part of the temporary work environment. Therefore, nurse practitioners with a clear vision seem to do better.
By ‘vision’ we mean knowing what you want out of a given position as well as what you don’t want and what you can live with. You may have one or two non-negotiable things you absolutely will not do without. There may be others you would prefer in a contract but which are not deal breakers. The point is this: having a clear vision about what you do and do not want to puts you in a stronger position when it comes time to negotiate. There is less worry and trepidation when vision is clear.
2. The Ability to Research
One of the most critical character traits of successful travel nurse practitioner is the capacity to do sound research. The nurse practitioner who knows how to research can learn a lot of important things that will be helpful during contract negotiations. For example, what is the going rate for similar positions in the next destination you are planning to travel to?
Research covers everything from salary to the number of open positions locally to the reputation of any facility the nurse practitioner is considering working for. Knowing what you are getting into before you start the negotiation process not only places you in a stronger position but it also gives you the opportunity to back out should your research indicate the job in question is not a good fit.
3. Plenty of Patience
Lastly, every nurse practitioner needs to have plenty of patience on many levels. For example, there are periods when there are just no attractive jobs available. The nurse practitioner must simply pick something to pay the bills until new opportunities arise. The best kinds of jobs will eventually come up.
Nurse practitioners also need to be patient during the negotiation process. It is easy to get anxious and uptight to the point where you’re not willing to stretch out negotiations beyond an initial sitting. That may be okay for a new nurse practitioner just getting started as staffing agencies and facilities expect timid negotiations from new nurse practitioners, but it will not do for the veteran. Once word of a timid veteran gets out, negotiators will employ strategies to get that nurse practitioner to take the first offer regardless of how good or bad it is.
To be successful, the nurse practitioner must be very good at what he or she does in the exam room. But possessing at least a modicum of skill in the business aspect of medicine is helpful to you. The nurse practitioner with clear vision, the ability to research, and the patience to take each contract as it comes is a nurse practitioner who will be just fine.