As a travel nurse, you’ll probably need to jump from location to location as you get new contracts and update your home base of operations.
For some nurses, this can happen as frequently as every 13 weeks.
But a crucial part of figuring out which contracts you want to take will involve figuring out whether or not the particular destination in question is a destination that’s worth your time and energy.
One of the worst things you can face as a travel nurse is to arrive at a location, only to realize that there’s really nothing available to you there—and that the location itself really has nothing to offer you in a life-balanced sense.
So, in order to prevent that from happening, it’s crucial to do some research—and to figure out as much as you can about the destination to help prevent you from running into a situation that could result in you showing up to a contract and just not feeling good about it.
Let’s dive in and talk about it.
1. Do An Internet Search
One of the most obvious tools at your disposal to help you learn about a potential contract destination is the internet itself.
You can do a simple internet search and read all about not only the hospital or facility that you’re planning to work at, but also the surrounding locale and the area local to that facility.
You can look for things like lodging options, schools, lifestyle infrastructure, natural parks/conservation areas, and more.
You may even want to see if there are fun things to do in that area that’ll make it more appealing to you from a life balance perspective.
So make sure to do a thorough internet search to really get the ball rolling on this research.
2. Take A Closer Look At The Community
As you’re conducting your internet research, you should also delve deeply into the community, especially the community in the immediate vicinity of the facility.
For example, you might want to look at what types of restaurants are available, what types of gyms you could possibly work out at, what kinds of businesses are available locally to service your needs, and even what types of educational opportunities might be available for you in your off time while staying at that location.
If childcare is an issue, you can also look for that—and you can look at school options as well.
Learning a bit about the community can do a lot to help you figure out if this area might be a good fit for you.
3. Look At The Statistics
One of the most important things to determine about any destination is the safety of that destination.
You’ll want to look at the crime rates, burglary rates, homicide rates, violent crime statistics, etc.
In general, you just want to figure out if this is a safe area to live and work in.
Of course, every area is going to have its downsides.
And there’s no such thing as a place that’s completely safe.
But you also want to make sure that you’re not getting ready to launch into a contract in the murder capital of the world, either.
4. Read Online Reviews
You can gain some pretty valuable insight by reading online reviews of the different types of businesses you would tend to frequent if you were to go ahead with the contract and live in that area.
For example, reading reviews of local community facilities and service businesses can help you to get a feel for the types of people who tend to live there, and the types of experiences they tend to have.
You can dig pretty deeply into this rabbit hole.
And to be honest, it’s not a bad rabbit hole to explore if you’re thinking about living in a particular location for a certain period of time.
5. Research Lodging Options
When it comes to travel nursing, finding awesome travel nurse housing is crucial to the process of having a good traveling experience.
Obviously, there are good places to stay—and there are bad places to stay.
So the most important thing is to figure out if this location has any good options. And if it does, you want to figure out what the price points are, and whether or not there are even spaces available.
It can be surprisingly difficult to find short-term rental options in some locations.
This is just something that you’ll want to look into before actually moving forward with the contract.
It can be quite problematic to sign a contract, only to realize later on that there are almost zero good lodging options in that area.
So there you have it.
Our top 5 tips for how a travel nurse can learn more about a work destination before jumping in with both feet.
Hopefully, this post has helped you to gain some inspiration that you can use to mitigate some of the common pitfalls.
You’ve got this.
Now get out there and earn your lucrative travel nurse paycheck.