Working as a travel nurse, your career path is bound to be unique in terms of where you work and what that means for the rest of your schedule. Finding new placements and jobs across the country can be one of the greatest ways to gain experience and continue expanding your opportunities — and yet there may come a time when a nursing hiatus is in order.
Whether you’re taking a break to raise a family, pursue another life-long goal, or possibly explore other career options, returning to the world of nursing is something that may require a bit of preparation in order to get it right. While it may seem a bit overwhelming, returning to your field is possible with a few general considerations!
1. Keep up with Your Credentials
Depending on how long you’re planning a nursing hiatus, you’ll want to consider how you can maintain your credentials in order to make finding another travel nurse job as easy as possible. If you live in a state where you are required to earn a certain number of continuing education (CE) credits, it’s important to keep track of your progress so you’re not covering the same ground.
Another great way to stay in the industry loop is by attending conferences and seminars — even just watching some TED Talks or reviewing online resources can make for a great way to remain linked in. That said, making real life connections at nursing events can be highly effective and open up opportunities that you wouldn’t find otherwise.
2. Stay Involved Locally During Your Nursing Hiatus
Even if you aren’t traveling, or even working as a nurse for that matter, holding a membership with a local, regional, or even a national nursing organization can help you maintain a network of professional contacts. This is also a good way to stay up on trends, as well as new challenges or legislation affecting the industry which could ultimately aid in your decision to return from your nursing hiatus.
Generally speaking, joining a nursing organization will provide newsletters and other useful information to ensure you’re keeping your professional edge. You may even want to consider joining a board or serving on a committee if you’ve got the time!
3. Keep up with Social Media
If you can’t stay active in a local organization, the next best option is to connect to social media outlets with up-to-date nursing news and industry topics. This could even be a great excuse to start a blog on your “life beyond scrubs,” detailing how your nursing hiatus has been going! And yet if nothing else, try to maintain an active LinkedIn profile, stay active on Twitter by following industry leaders, and connect with others in the field to make reentry as easy as it can be when the time comes. Facebook can also be a great platform to find local events and groups to discuss nursing topics, just be sure you set some professional time aside from your leisurely browsing!
We know that taking a travel nursing hiatus is sometimes just what you need to refocus your professional life. Even after your break from the industry, Travel Nurse Source will be ready to help you find more great opportunities across the U.S. We’re ready when you are!