While many nurses work in a single hospital or another type of primary care setting, others travel extensively while continuing to fulfill their nursing roles. If you are a travel enthusiast, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) who travels is likely a career that is a good fit for you. Below are details of what this career looks like, as well as an explanation of the type of higher education it would require of you.
Filling a Temporary Need
When you are a traveling nurse practitioner, you can expect to fulfill a temporary need at the destination, which can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, the nurse who usually occupies the role might be on maternity leave or be on sabbatical for another reason. Covering for vacation or sick leave are common reasons for a traveling nurse practitioner to step into the position.
In some cases, you may be hired by an organization for temporary work with the possibility of staying on in the long term if you are a good fit for the position. In this case, you may decide that you enjoy the nursing position immensely, and they hire you permanently as you are exceeding their expectations. In this case, you can still travel once you are there long enough to earn vacation time; taking on the position does not have to mean you can no longer explore the world.
As for how you find the temporary job, to begin with, typically, you will work for an agency that will provide you with the placements. You will decide which ones to accept, based on the opportunities in front of you. Because you might be traveling every now and then, being in one place can be difficult when you are trying to get a medical certification for your career. This free online resource will help you get your ACLS certification easily where you can attach the online certificate to your resume and get a job.
Benefits of Being a Travel FNP
As a traveling Family Nurse Practitioner who has graduated from a BSN to FNP program, you can expect to experience many benefits. Firstly, you will have the empowering feeling of deciding which temporary job vacancy to fill, depending on the role, organization, and location.
You could potentially work in any city or state in the US, although you must make sure you meet the nursing requirements in that regional area. In some cases, you might even consider employment in another country. Again, you must meet the relevant regulations there to be considered for the position.
If you are wondering about setting up your life in the new city, one of the first things you will likely worry about is the relocation costs. From moving expenses to where you will live, everyday costs, and transportation, there is a lot to consider here. A big benefit is that you can choose the job based on what the nursing staffing agency who employs you will provide you in return for working for them.
For example, some agencies will pay for some or all of your moving bills. Others will offer a bonus to sign on as a temporary nursing practitioner; this bonus will offset the expenses relating to the relocation there.
Other times, an agency will pay for housing, health insurance, travel expenses, or a combination of these things. You might also be reimbursed for meals, receive funding for education, or have an agreement in place to get paid even if your shift is canceled.
The above-noted benefits from agencies are meant to make the position more attractive to you, and the housing stipend is likely one of the biggest ones you will consider as a travel nurse. Always read the fine print in the contracts before agreeing to the position, so that you know what it entails and what is included, as well as what is not part of the job.
Also, check to make sure that any reimbursement being offered to you is tax-free. Be aware, too, that taking a stipend will come with financial advantages, obviously, but also can involve risks. For example, you might sign a three-month housing contract, and then the nursing job cancels, but your name is stuck on the lease.
As such, always make sure you consider risks versus benefits and take steps to protect yourself as much as possible. Often, the benefits outweigh the risks, particularly if you love to travel and enjoy regularly having a different job setting.
Moving to different cities as a Family Nurse Practitioner is exciting because you have the credentials to work with people of all ages, including seniors and kids. Thus, you have the potential to improve the health outcomes of entire families.
Furthermore, you can work in a range of healthcare settings in different locations, thus regularly meeting different people and making a positive difference in many areas. Not only are you unlikely to be bored in this ever-changing role, but you will also get to continue your love of travel.
Top Reasons to Embrace Travel
If you have loved to travel for years, then you likely already know the main motivations for doing so. But if you are still on the fence about going back to school for an FNP degree, these motivations may help you fully see the joys of being a traveling nurse practitioner.
Firstly, traveling presents the opportunity to learn. You will learn about a range of health-related settings, as well as learning skills and knowledge at each location.
In addition, the city where you relocate will likely have much to teach you, whether it is a new culture, sport, cuisine, or something entirely different. This learning for life will happen outside of your working hours.
Thus, you can expect to learn a lot at each destination, both on the job and during off-work hours. This learning builds on what you read in textbooks during the BSN to FNP program you graduated from, and the insights you gain are ones that you will take to your next destination.
These experiences will build your self-confidence. You will likely find it increasingly easy to talk to new people and build friendships, as well as collaborate as a team with your work colleagues.
Furthermore, the people you interact with will come from their own unique backgrounds and, therefore, bring perspectives that might be different than yours. Being able to see others’ points of view will help to broaden how you see the world.
With each new job location that you arrive at while working as a traveling FNP, you will develop a wider world view. Indeed, you are becoming a global citizen.
Furthermore, each time you set off for a new job placement, you will learn more about yourself. Each day will bring a new challenge, whether it is figuring out how to get to the hospital where you will work or how to help a patient who has a condition for which you have never created a treatment plan before. The experience is truly a life-changing one.
Finally, this career path is one that will help you develop a deep sense of gratitude. Your appreciation for geography and new perspectives will no doubt grow over the years after graduation. As you interact with those whose lives are so different than your own, a sense of appreciation for what you have will likely emerge and humble you.
What the BSN to FNP Journey Looks Like
Now that you are looking forward to a career as a traveling Family Nurse Practitioner, the next question is: How do you get there? It will involve going back to school to get your FNP credentials.
You must already be a registered nurse to be able to pursue this field. An online BSN to FNP program at Marymount University will provide you with quality education and clinical experience. This degree program positions you to ace the FNP certification exam.
The Marymount University instruction that you can expect to receive includes the NUF504 course, which focuses on the management of the family, from theoretical to skills and role preparation. As for the NU510 course, titled Population Health, it provides a snapshot of global and national population health, with insights into health disparities, looking at social, cultural, economic, pollical, and economic contexts. As you travel after graduation, you will see these details come to life and be in a role that enables you to make a positive difference.
In addition to the other quality courses, this program also includes clinical placement. Marymount’s Placement Coordinator will help you to secure a placement and start the clinical, working at a pace that fits with your schedule. While you will likely have to break from travel during this time, your career ahead includes ample opportunity to do so.
This university will also provide a flexible way to complete the required coursework for a BSN to FNP degree. The courses are online, which means that you can continue to work as an RN and go to school at the same time, which is often more difficult to do with an on-campus program.
Online education gives you a lot of control over your schedule, which is great when you have a job and don’t want to give it up to go back to school. Plus, if you have kids, senior loved ones, or other family members to care for, you know that a flexible school schedule is the ideal one to have right now. Being able to complete course projects when it is most convenient for you is great, as it makes for an easier-to-manage schedule. The online materials are available to you when you want to access them, and you can work toward the deadlines during the hours you have free to do so.
Increasing Your Chances of Acceptance to the Nursing School
To get the education to be a traveling nurse practitioner begins with admission to your chosen school. Firstly, you must meet the academic requirements for the BSN to FNP program, which vary slightly by educational institution.
For Marymount University, for example, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA for consideration for the program, which is both CCNE-accredited and US News & World Report ranked. A valid RN license is also a requirement. Furthermore, you must have two years of related experience before taking the program’s clinical practicum classes.
Further to these academic prerequisites, you also must submit a professional essay and video introduction. Two letters of recommendation are also part of the application process.
Given that there are many applicants, how do you stand out from the pack to increase your chances of acceptance to the nursing program? First, ensure you submit all materials by the required deadline.
Second, impress the school with your essay. This written part of the application involves not only explaining your passion for nursing but also showing your character. Show that you have what it takes to excel in your dream role. Explain the experiences in your life that you responded to in ways that exemplify core nursing values and principles.
As for the video portion of the application, explain your qualifications as well as what makes you a good candidate for the BSN to FNP program. Furthermore, describe what you hope to bring to the nursing profession and how you will balance schooling with other responsibilities in your life.
Pursuing Your Travel and Family Nurse Practitioner Dreams
Perhaps the most exciting part of being a traveling FNP is that you will be able to continue to explore new cities and help people at the same time. Two activities that you are passionate about are simultaneously available in this type of career.
By taking the time to submit the best application possible to your chosen university, you will improve your chances of acceptance to a BSN to FNP program. After graduation, you can look forward to integrating the education and experience collected at school into your role in the nursing field.
Family Nurse Practitioners are in high demand, and traveling to different destinations will bring added excitement to your career. Providing quality care to diverse populations is a great responsibility but one that is very rewarding at the end of the day. You are fully prepared as an FNP degree holder to pursue your dreams, and many opportunities await you.