Find a Nursing Job: Changing Specialties as a Travel Nurse

Nurse in mask who needs to find a nursing job in a new specialty

Nursing is your calling, but maybe you want to try something a little different. If you’re feeling like it’s time for a change, then it’s important to understand the steps to take to find a nursing job that better suits what you’re looking for. In this article, we’ll discuss changing specialties as a nurse and how to go about it as a traveling nurse. 

Find a Nursing Job that Fits You

Nurse in mask who needs to find a nursing job in a new specialty
You can find a nursing job in a new specialty if you take a few important steps.

As a nurse, it’s important to find a nursing job that fits your needs and goals. Otherwise, you might not be happy even though you’re doing what you love. 

Your nursing specialty can have a big impact on how happy you are with your career. It affects how much interaction you have with patients, whether you work more in a team or on your own, as well as the type of environment you work in. So, if you’re not completely happy with your specialty, you might consider changing it so you can find a better fit for you.

Why Many Nurses Change Specialties

Nurses change specialties all the time. There are many reasons why you might want to find a nursing job in a different specialty. Here are some of the top reasons nurses change their specialty:

To Make More Money

One major reason you might want to find a nursing job in a different specialty is salary. Nurses in different specialties make different salaries. The demand also varies from specialty to specialty. Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to make more as a nurse, then you might want to switch to a higher paying specialty. 

Keep in mind that what you make in any specialty really depends on many factors, like your education and experience, the area you work, and the facility itself. However, on average, certain specialties do make more. For instance, some of the highest paying nursing specialties include:

  • Labor & Delivery Nurses
  • Operating Room Nurses
  • NICU Nurses
  • PACU Nurses
  • ICU Nurses
  • ER Nurses
  • Pediatric nurses
  • Step-Down Unit Nurses
  • Telemetry Nurses
  • Med-Surg Nurses

To Feel More Fulfilled

If working in your current specialty isn’t feeling very fulfilling for you, it might be that the specialty you’re in isn’t really the right fit. If you spend your days wishing you had more/less interaction with patients, picturing yourself working in a different type of environment, or find yourself drawn to a certain type of nursing, then changing specialties may help you feel more satisfied with your career.

To Be Challenged

If you’re not feeling very challenged in your current specialty, then it might be time to make a switch. Maybe you’ve worked several years in a particular specialty or you simply find the day-to-day tasks too easy. Whatever the case, it’s helpful to feel challenged at work so you feel like you’re accomplishing things. Moving into a different specialty may help you find this extra challenge to make your career more exciting.

How to Find a Nursing Job in a New Specialty

If you’re ready to find a nursing job in a different specialty, there are several steps you’ll need to take. Usually it’s not so simple as simply applying to a different job or assignment. Here are some things to consider when changing your nursing specialty:

See What Credentials You Need to Find a Nursing Job in a Different Specialty

In many cases, changing nursing specialties means you’ll need a different set of credentials. Do some research to understand what you might need to do to start practicing in the specialty you’re interested in. This may involve extra education or training or gaining additional certifications. 

However, not all nursing specialty transitions require these extra steps. It all comes down to what kinds of skills you have. For instance, often an ICU nurse has many of the same skills and credentials as a med-surg nurse, so this change might not require a lot of extra credentialing steps for you to find a nursing job in your preferred specialty.

Consider Shadowing Another Nurse

Also, before going all in and finding a new job, you might consider shadowing a nurse in that specialty. Many nurses are reluctant to shadow after they’ve been in the field for a time, but shadowing like you did in nursing school is a great way to really understand what the specialty entails. It gives you great insight into the day-to-day of nurses in that specialty. So, ask around and see if you can find someone who is willing to let you shadow them. 

How to Become a Travel Nurse in Your New Specialty

If you want to change nursing specialties, you might be wondering how to become a travel nurse in a different specialty. There are a few things you can do to make this a smooth transition. 

Talk to Your Recruiter and Our Credentialing Team

One of the first things you should do if you’re thinking of making a change in your career is talk to your travel nursing recruiter. They can help you understand the pros and cons of moving to a different specialty, talk you through the demand and salary expectations, and more. They’re also the one who will help you find a travel nurse job in this new specialty when you’re ready. 

In addition to discussing the change with your recruiter, it also helps to reach out to our credentialing specialists. They can walk you through what kinds of credentials you’ll need to become a traveling nurse in your new specialty. 

You May Need to Get Some Experience First

Keep in mind that our travel nurses do need to have at least two years of experience in a staff position before they can start taking travel assignments. This is to ensure you have the right clinical skills so you can adapt quickly to different facilities during travel assignments. 

Check with our team whether your current experience will count as the experience needed to become a travel nurse. For instance, if you’re making a change to a very similar nursing specialty or if you cross-trained for this specialty in a facility. 

In other cases, you might need to pause your traveling to take a staff position to get some experience in your new specialty. This way you’ll be better prepared to find a travel nurse job in your new field. We’re here to make sure you have a great experience and set you up for success as a traveling nurse, no matter what specialty you choose.

Find a Nursing Job with AHS NurseStat – Top Rated Travel Nurse Agency

As an award-winning travel nursing agency, our team at AHS NurseStat is dedicated to helping our nurses in their careers. We work closely with you to make sure that you find the right match for every single assignment and also offer ongoing support for our nurses. We are proud to create a family-like environment for all our nurses so you can have a great time and feel supported in your career goals. Get started today and learn how we make a difference for travel nurses across the country. Reach out to our recruiters or browse our job board today!

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