Thursday, November 14, 2013

Do You Have the Personality for Travel Nursing?

By Aaron J. Moore, MSN, RN-BC, travel nurse expert

After many years of travel nursing I’ve met all types of nursing personalities.  There are the outgoing nurses, the shy nurses, the confident nurses, the hesitant new grads, and many more that I can’t even name here.  In my opinion, nursing needs all of these personalities to keep our world/unit happy.

Too many outgoing people could cause some problems, but too many shy individuals would mean no one would ever talk.  A good mix is best, in my opinion.

Now in travel nursing you will have all kinds, as well.  But as a manager looking for a traveler, there are certain personality traits I would be seeking.  For instance, it’s important that a travel nurse always maintains professionalism with the manager and staff.

Travel nurses have to remember that even though you may be the hardest worker out there, your new supervisor and colleagues don’t know you personally.  They could take your easy-going, laid-back attitude to mean you might be a little lazy at work!  Especially considering that your manager meets you in a phone interview, which makes it harder to know what someone is really like on the job.

If you’re dealing with a manager who has had exposure to travelers in the past, however, he or she probably knows exactly what they are looking for.  So don’t be afraid to ask them what their needs are during the interview and then explain how you can meet those needs.

As I’ve often mentioned, travel nurses do have to possess a certain amount of confidence to come into a new place and quickly adapt to a different way of doing things.  But that doesn’t mean you want to come across as pushy and overbearing.  Sometimes being the quiet RN who comes in, does their work and goes home isn’t a bad thing.

If you think about it, the last thing that a manager needs to deal with is a travel nurse who makes others uncomfortable with their attitude, or who doesn’t work as a team player.  Managers have enough personality issues to deal with in their own staff.

So my advice isn’t that outgoing or shy personality types should avoid traveling.  It’s exactly the opposite.  No matter how you are wired, make sure that as a travel nurse you come off as a confident and hard worker who will get the job done and not be a hindrance to the personalities that already exist in any given unit.

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Carolyn Egan-O'Leary said...

a travel nurse sounds extremely interesting. Im planning on becoming a general nurse myself

Courtnie said...

Glad I read this, I graduate in a week and want to do travel nursing so bad but wondered about the personality thing. Im definitely not overbearing and loud but I'm not super quiet either. This gives me hope! Thanks!