Travel Nurse Shares 6 Tips for Staying Organized on the Road
By Jennifer Larson, contributor
When you are a travel nurse, it’s helpful to stay organized. But it can be challenging to figure out exactly how to stay organized in the most effective way.
Fortunately, we all can learn from tech-savvy travel nurse Jennette Frazier, RN.
If an employer asks Frazier for a copy of one of her certifications, she can almost instantly produce it.
She doesn’t need to scramble around for a file folder or sort through stacks of paperwork. She doesn’t have to say, “Let me look for it and get back to you.”
Nope, she can pull it up right away and email it within a couple of seconds, in fact.
Frazier keeps digital copies of all her nursing licenses, certifications, proof of immunizations, and other important information. (She has three different nursing licenses and at least five certifications.)
Currently, she also uses OneDrive to store that information securely in the cloud so that she can get easy access to it anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
Frazier laughed when she recalled the reaction from Victorya Yandall, her recruiter at NursesRx, who was helping her with a job search. “She was blown away that I had pretty much everything she needed from me at the touch of a finger,” she said.
Frazier used to store important paperwork in a small filing cabinet that she kept in her RV, in which she lives and travels. But it eventually became unwieldy, as the amount of paperwork grew.
Plus, space is at a premium in most RVs, and even a small filing cabinet takes up valuable real estate. Going digital made much more sense for her at that point.
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Another benefit of Frazier’s strategy: it’s a big stress reducer for her, and it could be for you, too. Starting a new job every 13 weeks can be stressful, as you meet new people, learn new documentation systems and get accustomed to a new work environment.
“Take the stress off your shoulders a little bit by doing this part,” she said.
Frazier recommends these strategies to stay organized on the road and at home:
6 Ways Travel Nurses Can Stay Organized on the Road
1. Collect Everything in One Place
Start by collecting as much of your important paperwork together in one place as possible. If you have digital files, grab those, too.
Frazier suggested thinking about exactly what you’ll need to submit when you start a new job. “Then it’s just about maintaining,” she said.
2. Go Digital
Don’t rely solely on paper copies. If you have access to a scanner, scan in all your important paperwork and make digital copies of everything.
Store them in at least one easily accessible place. You might choose to put the info on an external hard drive, or flash drive, or like Frazier, OneDrive. “That way, you always have what you need when you need to access it,” she said.
3. Don’t Wait to Update
When you acquire a new document, whether it’s a nursing license or certification or professional membership, go ahead and make a digital copy right away.
Then you won’t have to scramble around later to make sure you have the latest information available. (Same goes for renewals.)
4. Get Proof
If your current employer requires you to get a flu shot, get a signed form proving that you got one. Same for a TB test. Take them home and scan them in to create digital files so you won’t have to ask later for proof.
5. Use Online Banking Services
Still writing out checks? Frazier strongly encourages you to consider making the move to online banking. “You really can’t do a travel job with paper checks,” said Frazier.
“You need to have direct deposit.” Plus, it makes paying bills easier, since you can click a couple of buttons and be done--or even better, set up automatic bill pay where appropriate.
6. Learn What Else Works for You
As time goes by, you may hit upon other strategies that help you stay organized. Frazier now keeps a PDF version and a Word version of many of her documents so that she can ask people which version they prefer when she emails it to them.
Also, she keeps a blank copy of her time card in her OneDrive account so she always has access to that as well.
Talk to your colleagues, especially if they’ve ever worked as travel nurses, and see if they have some good ideas that you might adapt for yourself.