Student nurse tips

Learn how to set priorities.

This one is tough, and it won’t happen overnight. Learning how to prioritize competing tasks can be one of the biggest challenges new nurses face, which is why the topic appears so prominently on the NCLEX. After all, the complexity of medical conditions you’ll see will vary greatly and most won’t fit within the parameters of your ABCs. So, what’s the best way to prioritize? Joyce L. Nelson, MS, RN, NES, preaches the importance of metacognition and reflection. She encourages preceptors, mentors, and seasoned nurses to support and train novice nurses to think through situations by asking several questions:

  • What’s the first thing you’re going to do and why?
  • Which task or action is more important and why?
  • Is there a consequence if you don’t act now? What would happen?
  • What’s more important for the patient? Initially, stopping to ask yourself these questions may feel like you’re just dawdling and taking up more time, but the process will become second nature after awhile. Learning how to prioritize through questioning, dialogue with other nurses, and reflecting on the decisions you make will strengthen your ability to break down the demands of a situation quickly and efficiently. Remember: Critical thinking skills and time management are tightly bound together. Related Resource: NCLEX Study Tips: How to Tackle Priority Questions

Remember to Negotiate Your Travel Nursing Contract Extensions

Finally, it’s important for travel nurses to remember that extension contracts present an opportunity to negotiate. We’ve covered this topic extensively in previous articles so we’re not going to cover it here. Instead, we encourage you to review the articles below!

  • 8 Tips for Travel Nursing Contract Extensions
  • Should You Get Raises and Bonuses for Travel Nursing Contract Extensions?

Does It Matter If Your Travel Nurse Recruiter is Male or Female?

Katherine Milkman of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania lead a team of researchers who sent emails to 6,500 university professors across all disciplines. They posed the emails as if they were from doctoral students of different genders and racial backgrounds requesting a 10-minute meeting to discuss the possibility of conducting research with the professors. The researchers found that professors ignored women and minorities at a higher rate than Caucasian males. The rate of discrimination varied widely among fields, but women and minorities were ignored 30% more even in the least discriminatory field. The easiest way to manage your travel nursing career. Perhaps more importantly, the researchers found that female and minority professors were also less likely to respond to inquiries from women and minorities. So, working with a female travel nursing recruiter isn’t necessarily an advantage for female travel nurses when it comes to perceptions during negotiation.

Objective Measures More Impactful for Women

Research indicates that women need to legitimize their salary requests during negotiations more often than men in order to be successful. Therefore, experts recommend that women use objective performance measures to accomplish this. Researchers also recommend that women use inclusive pronouns and phrases like “we” instead of I. We discuss specific ways that travel nurses can accomplish both of these objectives in our free eBook on negotiation.

Women Perform Better as Agents

Studies also show that women negotiate much more assertively when they negotiate for someone else than they do when they negotiate for themselves. Researchers believe that this is because negotiating for others is a more communal endeavor which is more consistent with traditional roles. So, try approaching your travel nurse negotiations as a representative of your family or posterity.

Practice Makes Perfect

Research indicates that you can greatly enhance your negotiating skills by practicing. You can practice with a friend or a neutral party to achieve results. Interestingly, women gained much more from practicing than their male counterparts.

Be Flexible when Negotiating Travel Nursing Pay

Harvard Professor Michael Wheeler argues that negotiators should avoid rigid approaches. Hy says negotiating is dynamic and it can’t be scripted. Moreover, your negotiating partner may not be as cooperative as you expect. Therefore, you should have a plan A, B and C whenever possible. Be prepared in advance to alter your position or find opportunities for win-win agreements. Check out our free negotiating eBook to discover more about how to create win-win agreements with travel nursing agencies. The book includes tons of information on this topic; far too much to include in this post. Wheeler also points out that it’s easy to draw false conclusions from negotiating experiences because we don’t have all the information from the other side. However, writing things down both before and after negotiations can be greatly beneficial. Write down what you know as well as your assumptions about the other side before and after in order to improve your skills.

Should You Discuss Competing Offers with Your Travel Nursing Recruiters?

Of course, the next step beyond social proof is for you to discuss competing offers with your recruiters. You do this in an attempt to get recruiters to bid against one another for the best pay. We advocate the use of this approach within certain parameters in our eBook on pay negotiation. I’ll explain why in a moment. However, it’s also important to note that negotiation experts are divided on this topic.

Leverage Social Proof when Negotiating as a Travel Nurse

In the book Negotiation Genius, Harvard Professors Deeepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman discuss ways that negotiators can generate “social proof” in order to increase their negotiating power. The idea is that things increase in value when people perceive that other people are interested in them. How can travel nurses benefit from this? Let your recruiters know you’re working with multiple companies. And keep them posted with the progress. The great news is that this is what you should be doing as a matter of professional courtesy anyway. But remember, treat your recruiters with respect so you can maintain their confidence and ensure they work hard for you.

How to Find Salary Ranges for Travel Nurses

So, where can travel nurses get accurate information on pay ranges? Facebook groups dedicated to travel nursing jobs are actually a very good resource. The reason is that recruiters have actually run the calculations manually before posting pay packages there. Additionally, you can call agencies in advance and request pay quotes. You can even call multiple agencies to obtain pay quotes for the same job. Just be sure that you’re comparing the pay quotes accurately.