The top 10 things that a hospital should consider when working with Travel Nurses (from a Travel Nurse perspective):
1. Set realistic expectations. Travel Nurses can make mistakes. We are fallible. As much as making a mistake wounds us personally, provide constructive criticism as a means for improvement.
2. Provide a culture of respect. Travel Nurses want to help. We want to help but we do not enjoy being taken advantage of. Giving us the ‘worst’ assignments every day is a sure way to send us packing.
3. Advise the travel nurse of any requirements. Travel Nurses have limited space. If you require a specific uniform color or style, please inform us of this prior to our arrival.
4. Provide an adequate Travel Nurse orientation. Although travel nurses are accustomed to ‘hitting the floor running’ we really do appreciate some sort of orientation.
5. Follow through with your agreements. Just as you (the hospital) expect us to follow through on what we have agreed to…we expect you to follow through as well. If we agreed on a set schedule, particular shift, etc. Please don’t change this at the last minute.
6. No one wants to work in a hostile environment. Make the assignment one that we WANT to extend. Not only will we be more productive and helpful to you, but you (the hospital) can benefit by our extension.
7. Be clear on your expectations. When a hospital is clear on it’s expectations of the travel nurse, both will benefit.
8. Communicate. If there are issues, problems, questions, etc. Please communicate with us.
9. Travel Nurses value a show of appreciation. If we have done a good job, been an asset to the unit or have done something to impress you, please tell us. (This is true of both staff and travel nurses) You can never give too much positive feedback.
10. Hold an exit interview with the Travel Nurse. Be willing to accept our feedback. Hospitals need travel nurses for a variety of reasons. If your hospital is having difficulty maintaining nursing staff, there is a reason. An experienced travel nurse can provide some valuable information and feedback on processes, possible solutions, etc. Use this to your advantage.