Being a travel nurse means embarking on a journey- both personal and professional. As a travel nurse, you will likely be exposed to a much wider variety of vocational experiences at a faster pace than a traditional, non-traveling healthcare pro. How can you best capture and represent these experiences for prospective employers?
Building a Travel Portfolio
A professional portfolio is a must-have for any traveling healthcare pro. A clear document of self-assessment (your goals, achievements, and professional growth) will help you keep track of where you’ve been—and help you decide where you’re going. Not only will a portfolio help you maintain licensure—some states are increasingly considering making professional portfolios mandatory in demonstrating competency—it will boost your confidence and help you work out a career path.
In discussing your goals and development, be thorough; you can always trim your portfolio down or revise it later. You’ll also want to stay on top of things like including professional recommendations—it’s better to request one earlier rather than later. Don’t be afraid to include your reflections on the actual experience of healthcare service—make it a living document that represents you, not just a resume.
Once you establish your portfolio, make sure to update and reassess it annually. This will give you an opportunity to reflect on both long and short term goals, keep track of education and certification requirements, and guide you in choosing new assignments. You’ll want to make sure you are keeping abreast of any changes in clinical practice, especially in your specialty area. Use valuable downtime between assignments to catch up on your documentation.
Do some research and look at examples of good travel portfolios, and ask experienced travel nurses to share tips and help you in getting started. Don’t wait!