How Your Certifications Can Set You Apart as a Travel Nurse
Many nurses know what it’s like to specialize in a specific area. There’s additional schooling and education, more on-the-job hours, and exposure to new circumstances and situations. Eventually, it leads to special certification. That certification ― and the journey behind it ― is your gateway to exciting new job opportunities. Especially if you’re a travel nurse, it could open doors to assignments and placements you might not have gotten otherwise.
Certification options are plentiful
If you’ve gained experience in a particular field of nursing and are interested in pursuing one further, look into certification. There are hundreds of different nursing certifications available – everything from diabetes management to neonatal care. If you have a particular area of interest, there’s likely a certification out there for you to get.
Pursuing these certifications as a travel nurse can have many benefits. The biggest is that certifications are practical investments in your career. Hospitals want to hire people with specialized knowledge. A certification shows that you took the time to get extra training in your specialty area.
How certifications can make a difference
More and more, hospitals are seeking nurses trained in particular specialties. Facilities not only need knowledgeable nurses; they also need professionals with specialized insights to provide a better standard of patient care. Having credentials on your resume can catch the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager, setting you apart from other applicants. Plus, certifications open the door to many other benefits:
- Higher pay. One of the biggest draws of specialty certifications is their ability to provide you higher-paying assignments. Travel nurses who invest in their careers tend to have more negotiation power when it comes to contracts and may even earn more from the start.
- Increased marketability. Nurses are in demand, but nurses with certifications are even more so – especially if they have specialties suited to the current healthcare climate. Take an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification for example. Hospitals expecting more Baby Boomer patients may be particularly interested in what you have to offer.
- Confidence in practice. Beyond pay or job offers, getting certified can also help make you a better, more confident nurse. Going back to school or studying for a certification on your own expands your skillset and reiterates what you already know. Certified, you’ll hit the patient floor feeling extra confident in your abilities. This also provides you an advantage when transitioning to a new assignment, since you’ll have your skills and experience to fall back on.
Thinking about pursuing a certification? Consider the areas of nursing you’re most interested in, as well as ones you have experience in already. It’s best to pursue certifications after you’ve gained some experience in the specialization. This ensures it’s a good fit for you and your career. After all, you don’t want to invest in something that won’t help you become the type of professional you want to be!
Once you’ve decided on a specialty, browse the certifications available from reliable credentialing organizations like the ANCC and do research on any that catch your eye. Getting in-depth information about the benefits and requirements of certifications can help you make a decision about which to pursue.