6 Key Points in Nailing Your Travel Nurse Interview 

6 Key Points in Nailing Your Travel Nurse Interview 

6 Key Points in Nailing Your Travel Nurse Interview

Are you interested in working as a travel nurse? Nailing your travel nurse interview is the key to your success! But how can you do that? What are the critical points in answering an interview for this position? 

How to Prepare for your Travel Nurse Interview

Your travel nurse journey begins when you pass your travel nurse interview. Here are helpful ways to do that:

1. Conduct your research about the healthcare facility.

The first thing you must do is research the company, health care facility, or clinic interested in working as a travel nurse. For a potential employer to be interested in you, you must also show them that you share the same sentiment. 

Reading about the facility before the interview helps you know the kind of nursing services they offer. It will also give you an idea of what they are known for (ex., if they specialize in treating cancer patients, care for the elderly, etc.) and if your skills match what they are looking for. It is also essential for nailing your travel nurse interview on your first try. 

2. Get a grip on what travel nursing is.

As a nurse, your primary concern is to take care of patients. However, as a travel nurse, your contract is a bit different. Your first travel nurse job may vary from the usual staff nurse duties. Having a broad understanding of what this job is about can help you nail that interview. 

For your first interview, you must show your ability to organize and prioritize tasks even with few instructions. Your ability to adjust to different settings and willingness to float is essential to let your future company know. 

3. Ask your travel nursing agency for help.

Use your travel nurse agency if you want to pass the interview on your first try. A good travel nursing agency will help you go through the process of your initial onboarding [1]. They can walk you through what you need to know and how you can answer the health care company or facility correctly. 

Your recruiter is familiar with the clients, personalities, and even the staff. They can fill you in with that, so it is easier for you to answer questions.  It is also your recruiter’s job to act as your career coach. They can help you create a better resume and even schedule mock interviews. This way, you are fully prepared for the travel nursing interview. 

4. Create an ideal interview setup.

Understand that there will be times when the interview for your travel nursing job will not be face-to-face. Of course, there will be instances when you will be asked to come for an interview. But most of the time, it could be via video chat, phone, or video apps like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet. 

Whether you are asked to come for a face-to-face interview or video call, you must wear clothes suitable for the interview. Wearing appropriate attire for this interview is a must. The right clothes help, of course. Keep in mind that you are a professional, so you also have to dress to impress. It will also show how confident you are. 

If, by chance, you are asked to do a video call for an interview, make sure to check your setup. Ensuring that your mic is working correctly, the audio is good, lighting is enough to light your face, the internet connection is excellent, and your camera is working correctly are essential in helping you land that job. 

5. Be ready to answer their questions.

During the interview, make sure to take the time before answering the question. Ask your travel nursing agency if they can give you an idea of the questions that companies usually ask potential nurses. Since they know the clients better, agencies can provide you with some tips on what is expected during the interview. Here are some common yet essential questions that potential clients will ask you:

  • Why do you want to be a travel nurse? – this is the part where you can “sell” yourself about your interest in becoming a travel nurse. Show your excitement and eagerness in this field, and why you chose this path, they might consider you for the job. 
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as a travel nurse or a nurse in general? – if you decide to answer this question with a weakness, make sure to follow it with your strengths. Be sure to emphasize this strength and tell them how this has helped you in your career as a nurse. 
  • How are you in your current nursing position? – reflect on your current work status, your education, and credentials. Tell them if you have any plans for additional education or certifications in the future. 
  • Can you share or describe an experience where you have handled a difficult patient? – in this question, share any experience that you may have when it comes to handling unruly patients. Did you have a good experience? If yes, explain how it went and what you learned from that experience.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask your questions as well.

An interview is not a one-way street between you and your potential employers [2]. It would be best if you also asked questions to show them that you are genuine in your interest in working as a travel nurse. 

It is always good to be ready with your questions once you set foot in the interview room. Your questions will help you determine if this is indeed a suitable travel nursing contract to pursue or not. 

What are the most common questions you can ask your potential employer? Here’s what we have gathered:

  • What is your policy or policies regarding floating?
  • Do you use any type(s) of charting? 
  • What kind of onboarding or orientation would be available to me?
  • How long does onboard briefing take?
  • Can you describe the culture of the unit/management?
  • What shifts are available, and what are your scheduling methods?
  • Is call available? If yes, is it required?
  • What are your overtime policies?
  • Do you frequently offer extensions for contract assignments?
  • Why are you bringing in travel nurses? 
  • Why do you continue to bring in travel nurses?
  • What are the nurse-to-patient ratios?
  • Do you require a patient ratio?

You can also add your questions to our list. If you don’t have any in mind yet, this would be a great way to engage with the potential employer. 

Your Takeaway

Being a travel nurse is ideal for nurses who want to avoid hospital politics and enjoy working and exploring in different locations. If this sounds like you, it would be best to contact a travel nurse agency for an assignment. 

Before you sign a contract, an interview is conducted to see if you fit the position. Coming in ready and confident for the job is a must. Hopefully, our post gave you an idea of what to expect during the interview. So, break a leg and nail that job interview! Good luck!

 

EP. 172: 5 Skills for Better Nursing Communication

EP. 172: 5 Skills for Better Nursing Communication

5 Skills for Better Nursing Communication

Better nursing communication is essential in patient care, but it is also as important when communicating with colleagues and other healthcare professionals. What makes an effective way of communication? And what can you improve to be better at communicating? Here are five skills that you must learn. 

Better Nursing Communication is a Must

Communication with friends, family, and coworkers is crucial for success. It gets your message across to others and allows you to understand what others need and want. Without proper communication, personal progression is impossible. It’s just as necessary for the speaker to get the message across as it is for the listener to understand. 

1. Non-Verbal Communication

Communication begins with nonverbal cues. How often have you looked at someone and known they were open to a conversation, or even that time someone seemed that they didn’t want to be bothered. The nonverbal cues are the first things we notice. 

Nonverbal communication is used throughout a conversation; think about:

  • Eye contact
  • Tone
  • Posture
  • Body language
  • Facial expression 

 

2. Active Listening

Listen to understand, not just to respond. Really think about that because often, when someone is talking, we are already thinking of a way to respond. This leads to missing the whole picture or the other person not feeling understood.

It’s good to repeat a portion of what the person is saying to ensure that the intent is clear and that there are no misunderstandings.

Not everyone is coming to you for a solution sometimes, people just want to be heard and understood, not told what to do in response. 

3. Inspire Trust

Keep your word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, no matter how small. People tend to remember you for your best actions and for how you didn’t follow through with what you said. 

Be honest; don’t say you can if you can’t do something.

An excellent way to build honest trust is to be open with your flaws. Share your mistakes and show your vulnerability. We are all human.

This is important when speaking with management. You might not see them every day, but it is essential not to sugarcoat things and really talk about how you feel about the unit environment.

4. Cultural awareness makes better nursing communication 

People come from all walks of life, even your coworkers and managers. Don’t judge them on what they do. Don’t be ignorant, be open. Instead of judging, ask to learn about the things you don’t understand. 

5. Verbal Communication 

Verbal communication is the most important. It’s the primary way we get our message across. 

Know what you are going to say and why. Is it going to be a serious conversation with a manager, or are you just catching up with a friend? 

The most important thing to remember is to just talk to people. Talk to your coworkers and make them more than just a body to help you with turns. Share with them things about you and your stories, and ask them questions.

Do you want to learn how to communicate better as a nurse? Click on the full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
01:12 Episode Introduction
02:43 I. Non-Verbal Communication
07:13 II. Active Listening
12:37 III. Inspire Trust
16:51 IV. Cultural Awareness
27:03 V. Verbal Communication
33:49 Wrapping up the episode

6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

Becoming a successful nursing student does not happen overnight. It takes time, practice, and of course, dedication. To become a successful nursing student, you must have discipline and apply it every day.

Be a Successful Nursing Student

Do you want to graduate on time? Of course, you do! Do you aim to be one of the best nurses in the field? If you answered yes, you must start developing good habits early on in nursing school.  Here are the habits of successful nursing students. 

Time management is the key.

One of the most crucial keys to passing nursing school with ease is to manage your time efficiently. Whether you are working on your BSN, MSN, or ADN, you must know how to balance time and make it work. To do this, you must break your day into blocks and decide what activity or school work fits where.. Know how much time you need for each activity so that you can manage your time more closely and allow for non-nursing-related things.

Your schoolwork takes most of your time; tests, exams, papers, assignments, reports, clinical – all of these require a lot of dedicated time. The best action to take is to plan around your study hours and remove anything that could block or affect your focus and time to study. 

Study smarter, not harder. 

Some people can miss a lecture and still ace an exam, but in nursing school, you must focus on each topic and understand how it is applied in the healthcare setting. Keep in mind that nursing exams are not always A or B, it may seem as if there are multiple correct answers but always think about the priority.  Plus, some questions can even be selected all that apply. 

When studying it is good to memorize content but also understand its function and learn how it pertains to a certain situation. Think of nursing as cause and effect, if one thing happens how does it affect the rest? 

Now don’t get frustrated with the exams if you don’t always pass them. When you find yourself in a tough situation always remember to change or add a study method to study more effectively. . How can you do it? 

For one, You have to know which subjects give you the hardest time or what areas take you the longest to learn. Don’t just study the same material for hours; instead, divide them. Let’s say you have allotted four hours of studying.

You can separate each hour into one subject that way you can study multiple areas and it may help you understand how each concept affects another. . It will be a lot easier for you to understand the topic. 

Avoid having distractions. Stay away from things that are not part of your studies. Turn off your phone for a few hours or put it on silent mode. This way you won’t get distracted by a text or social media.

Review your notes before you go to class. See if you have retained anything from the last lecture. Try practice tests too, this will help sharpen your test-taking skills and help you remember questions when you take the actual exam. 

Lastly, give yourself enough time to study. As a student, you must learn how to estimate the time it takes to understand a topic, finish a report, or complete an assignment. It will also help you open up room for some free time. 

Keep your focus.

Back in the day, social media and smartphones were not a thing, so they didn’t keep us distracted. When it’s time to study, you need to have your full attention on your notes and textbooks. Unfortunately studying rarely comes without any distractions.

While technology is helpful in many ways, it is also the source of major distraction. It is so easy to get off-track and be distracted by a text or social media, before you know it you’ve spent the 30 minutes on your phone. 

Turn your focus back to what you are doing. Eliminate distractions by organizing your space. Turn off your phone or tv when you are studying. When you stay focused, you can finish quicker and have more time to do other things you want to do. 

Join a study team.

Another good tip on how to study better is to join a group that you can learn with [1]. You can also find a study partner if you prefer a one-on-one study buddy. One advantage of studying with a group is listening to different perspectives while discussing a subject or topic. 

Learning how other people think and apply their knowledge helps you develop critical thinking and test-taking skills. Remember, critical thinking skills are developed in nursing school and are key to a nurse’s success. It will help you when it comes to taking exams and answering different types of questions. Joining a study group or team can help you with a lot of your struggles. 

Develop a study strategy.

Be honest with yourself; do you prefer studying with others or by yourself? One of the good habits of a successful nursing student is to not only know how you like to study but also what time of the day you learn best.

Do you like staying up late? or do you prefer studying early in the morning? The truth is there is no correct time to review; it is all about personal preferences! 

To be successful with your study habits, create a calendar to determine the hours of studying. If you do not plan your time, it’s easy to get sidetracked because the majority of things take longer than expected.

The best plan to have is to block out study time during your most productive hours, this way you are setting yourself up for success.

Reward yourself, as you should.

I’m not going to lie; nursing school is hard work. I have been there, and I know how it goes! So when you have done everything you needed, reward yourself [2]. Get ice cream or a froyo. Buy those shoes you have been eyeing for a while – in short, you deserve a reward for studying long hours and for keeping yourself from distractions. Get into the habit of doing something nice for yourself after all that stress. You deserve it!

You Can Do It

Yes, nursing school is not an easy path, but if others made it, so can you! You can do it, you too can become a full-fledged nurse, but to be one of the best, you must start early. Developing these habits of a successful nursing student will guide you through, not only a nursing school but through life. Start planning your way up to the top today; good luck!

 

EP 144: What to do After You Graduate Nursing School

EP 144: What to do After You Graduate Nursing School

Things to Know After Nursing School

Life, after you graduate nursing school, seems a bit overwhelming but with proper guidance and helpful tips, you can manage it too. Where do you want to work? What are the key takeaways from nursing school? What do you need before you step into the unit? It can be tricky to find the right opportunity. To ensure you are happy with your first decision, take your time and explore the market to learn about the types of opportunities that will be best for your career goals.

Understanding Different Opportunities

Finding a hospital to work in after you graduate nursing school, is often the main goal of many nursing graduates to start their careers. A common misconception for new graduates is that hospitals are the only options available to them. 

Healthcare settings can include:

  • Home care
  • Long term care
  • Clinics

Other career opportunities (non-bedside): Legal Nurse Consultant, Hospice Nurse, Public Health Nurse, Occupational Nurse, Dialysis Nurse, Nurse Educator 

Research the facility you will be applying for to learn more about the role you’re applying for. Answer the following questions:

  • What are the facility’s mission, vision, and values? 
  • Do you know what is the facility’s designation? 
  • What population do they serve? 
  • Do you know if they have been awarded or recognized?

Different Units – What Unit Do You Want to Work On?

  1. How would you describe yourself? 
    1. Lead the team?
    2. Do you love to collab?
    3. Do you work best alone?
  2. What does your ideal workday look like? 
    1. Consistent, likes to plan ahead?
    2. Something new every day to keep you on your toes?
    3. A mix of this and that?
  3. Who is your ideal patient?
    1. Elderly, acutely ill, new mom and infant, children?
  4. When it comes to patients, the best way you can help is?
    1. By training and educating other nurses
    2. Face-to-face interactions

When you land your first job after you graduate nursing school, it might be your ideal unit. You can use this opportunity as a stepping stone to advance internally up the specialty ladder. For example, starting in Med/Surg then working up to PCCU and then ICU. Other managers and supervisors can notice you and help you cross-train to their unit. 

Utilizing your Network and Resources 

Since you can’t rely on years of professional experience to land your new gig, using your network to get your foot in the door is your next best option. After you graduate nursing school, many nursing schools have a network as well to help with different employment available for you before making the decision on your first job. While doing clinical rotations you can also inquire about opportunities. 

Build your support network early on, as they can offer advice, guidance, and job leads. You can start by getting all your classmate’s and professors’ email addresses. 

Job fairs are another great way to look for opportunities. At a nursing job fair, you can meet with dozens of prospective employers in a single day, instead of sending out stacks of resumes and waiting weeks for a response

If you’re unfamiliar with which facilities are hiring you can consider major job boards such as Indeed, Linkedin, and Simply Hired. 

Tips on using jobs board effectively:

  • Make sure your Linkedin profile and resume are congruent. 
    • Adding new responsibilities and new volunteer opportunities you’ve taken
  • Be attentive to the language you’re using in your profile resume
    • Mirror the language of job listings that interest you in your profile and resume/
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out directly
    • Most job boards won’t list direct information to employers but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out with a follow-up email about your application. The human connection can be the deciding factor.

Clean Up your Social Media Account

  • Have appropriate profile photos on all accounts
  • Edit the biographies, headings, and descriptions to reflect a professional manner.
  • Run a google search on your first and last name. Make sure all photos are appropriate. 
  • Change your privacy settings to private if you do not want potential employers to view your social media profiles and photos. 

Preparing for Your Interviews

The purpose of the interview is to determine if they like you and whether you’re a good fit for their team. Nursing is a team effort. They also want to see if you’re as good as you seem on paper and can help them reach their goals as an organization.

Tip: Treat the interview like a conversation where both candidate and employer have a shared goal of getting to know each other. 

You’ll be spending a lot of time at work, so make sure your core values align and it’s an enjoyable work environment – not just tolerable. 

Prescreen phone interview for nurses – Usually the first step of the hiring process. The goal is to reduce the number of candidates and invite the best-fitting candidates for the next step. 

They’ll ask basic qualifying questions about:

  • Education
  • Employment status
  • Clinical experience
  • Goals

Tip: Know your availability, as the goal is to invite you for an in-person interview. Also, ask about the next steps, don’t get off the phone and wonder what’s next? 

The Interview 

This will be your first opportunity to meet the hiring manager or the unit. Ultimately, they are determining if they personally like you. No one wants to work with a negative nancy. This includes a number of things:

  • How they feel about you
  • How you’ll fit within their unit
  • Your level of enthusiasm
  • How your strengths can help them reach their goals

During this time or maybe for the next interview you will undergo a panel/peer interview which will include multiple people, usually from the unit to help the hiring manager pick the best candidate. Our advice is to maintain good eye contact with everyone, engage in conversation with the entire group, share your personal stories, and smile. 

Before the interview make sure you understand yourself. Your strengths and weaknesses, the experiences you’ve had in clinical settings. 

  1. What is your 5-year goal? 
  2. Teamwork: Talk about a conflict within your healthcare team. What was the conflict and how did you handle it?
  3. Patient care: Tell me about a time when a patient’s family was dissatisfied with your care. How did you handle that situation? 
  4. Time management: Talk about a time you worked in a fast-paced setting. How do you prioritize tasks while maintaining excellent patient care?

Tip: Be a storyteller. Storytelling is powerful and memorable. Most importantly, it provides evidence to support the assertions made in your resume. It gives the employer a glimpse at the type of nurse and human being you are.

What to Buy Before You Enter the Unit

  • Click pens
  • Penlight 
  • Nursing scissors
  • Good scrubs
  • Right shoes
  • Stethoscope

Giving End of Shift Report

An end-of-shift report is a detailed report of your patients and their overall care and medical status. End of shift reports includes medical history, recent procedures, lab values, medications, head-to-toe assessment, pain management, and plan of care. 

Episode 115: Goes in-depth about the end of shift duties and gives report

After you accept your position, remember that getting off orientation is not a race

If you are hired with other new graduates, it is common to look at them and feel like you are competing in the race of who can be the best new grad nurse. Who can take care of higher acuities quicker? Who will be let off orientation earlier? Your work culture can bolster this, especially if your manager starts making comments that make you feel like you’re behind. 

Tip: You must focus on your journey and fill in the gaps you need. It’s not about winning a race. 

Don’t forget about self-care days

Treat yourself, take yourself out, get massages, buy yourself something nice. Get those feel-good endorphins pumping. The Self-care culture is at an all-time high with talks about the pandemic and burnout.

 

6 Qualities of a Good Nursing Student

6 Qualities of a Good Nursing Student

6 Qualities of a Good Nursing Student

To become a successful nurse in the real world, the qualities of a good nursing student must begin early. These qualities must be second nature to you as well as these can help determine your success in your career as a nurse. So what are these qualities? Read on for more. 

Must-have Nursing Student Qualities

1. Must be Goal-Oriented

As a nursing student, you must have goals in mind and drive to meet those goals. Successful nursing students must set goals for themselves. Your goals could be anything; it could be your desire to find a career in the nursing world that suits your skills or simply wanting to make a positive impact in the lives of your patients. As a nursing student, you must understand that setting goals will determine how you reach them. 

2. Must be Organized

During your time in nursing school, you will face all kinds of activities and things to do. Managing time is a must-have skill for nursing students. Being able to manage time is a must-have skill for any nursing student. This way, burnout is avoided, and you have time to relax and study. Keeping a handy planner with you will help you organize the activities on your end and stay in tune with the load of schoolwork. 

3. Must Have a Caring Nature

As a nursing student, you must be someone who is caring by nature. You did decide to become a nurse, so it is a given that you have a caring and empathetic personality. Being compassionate and sensitive are two crucial requirements nursing students need when caring for people dealing with medical issues. You should know how to comfort others, especially when you are dealing with upset or scared patients. This quality will also help you handle patients’ families and make it easier for you to lead a long-term career in the future. 

4. Must be Emotionally Stable

Living the nursing student life is stressful. You will be facing challenges every day, not to mention the exams, hospital duties, and many others. That said, nursing students must be able to handle their emotions when under extreme stress. Keep in mind that you will also deal with patients who are coping with fatal conditions. Being emotionally stable can get you through all that [1].

5. Must be Able to Communicate Well

Your communication skills matter even if you are only a nursing student [2]. As a nurse, you will talk to many people, and communication is key to successful patient care. Effective communication makes it possible to give proper care and help patients get back on their feet again. 

6. Must be familiar with Nursing Code of Ethics

As a nursing student, you must have a good understanding of the nursing code of ethics. You have to respect the dignity of the patient and must be honest at all times. It is also your duty as a nurse to improve the conditions of the healthcare environment, so all patients receive the best care possible. And so, while you are still in nursing school, it is crucial that you understand the nursing code of ethics for you to provide proper care for all of your patients in the future. Owning this quality is just important as having the others. 

To complete your nursing degree, you must possess the qualities of a good nursing student. Owning these characteristics will make nursing student life more manageable, help you choose the nursing specialty you like, and turn you into an excellent professional nurse in the future!