Are you interested in long-term care nursing? Do you want to travel throughout the United States? If so, check out what working in long-term care entails and the five steps to becoming a long-term care nurse who travels!
What Does a Long-Term Care Nurse Do?
A long-term care nurse is responsible for working with a team of nurses and doctors to care for patients in a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home. Long-term care nurses monitor patients’ vital signs and symptoms, get them medication as needed and maintain their medical records. They also oversee aids and assistants in making sure patients are fed, clothed, and that their personal hygiene is taken care of each day. Long-term care nurses play a vital role in the lives of their patients because many of the patients are completely reliant on their healthcare providers to make sure their survival needs are met.
Five Steps to Becoming a Long-Term Care Nurse Who Travels
Here are five steps to becoming a long-term care nurse who travels!
Complete Nursing School
First things first. In order to work as a long-term care nurse, you have to complete nursing school. There are a few different paths to a nursing degree that you could take, such as an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. It takes about two years to earn an associate degree and three to four years to earn a BSN degree. The BSN degree, although it takes more time, is the most common path to nursing. After completing a degree program, you also need to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which gets you board-certified as a nurse in the state in which you want to practice.
Make sure long-term care is right for you
Aside from nursing school, you should find a nurse residency program in long-term care to see how you like it. You could also take residency in another specialty so that you have something to compare it to. Long-term care is a very unique area of nursing, as you’re caring for people who live in the facility. Many times, patients in long-term care will have unique needs. They could have physical limitations or mental health-related, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This takes unique training and a special person to deliver care at that level.
Gain experience for at least a year
A critical step in becoming a long-term care nurse who travels is to have at least one year of hands-on experience. Travel nurses must have at least a year of experience working in the specialty of their choice in order to land a travel assignment. This is because travel nurses are typically placed in a facility that is short-staffed. There is little time for training someone the specifics of the job, so it’s important that travel nurses walk in with solid work experience under their belt.
Learn about becoming a travel nurse
You should also figure out exactly what it means to be a travel nurse. Traveling to new places and working for 13 weeks at a time sounds great in theory, but it takes a certain personality type to make travel nursing work. You should weigh out the pros and cons of travel nursing, consider your needs and desires and make your decision from there. Be sure to talk to recruiters during this process. If you want to travel, you should find a recruiter that you really click with and an agency that offers you the benefits you deserve.
Pack your bags
The final step to becoming a long-term care nurse who travels is to pack your bags! Once you find a recruiter you trust and an agency with fair benefits, you’ll be ready to go! It can be intimidating at first, taking that leap of faith, but totally worth jumping for. Traveling can truly change a person and you’ll be leaving a lasting impact on the patients you care for.
There you have it – the steps to becoming a long-term care nurse. Are you ready to travel? Apply today!