Learn new specialty or pick up another travel assignment

  1. Hi everyone,
    I have been a medsurg tele traveler for a little over ten years, and pick up local per diem shifts in between assignments at home. After reviewing several travel nurse websites and all of their needs for specialties like OR, ICU, ER, PICU, NICU, L&D, I've been considering adding a new specialty for new opportunities and experiences. What would you pick if you were me?

    A few of my coworkers have transitioned to NICU and loved it. I remember always wanting to work with babies during my days in nursing school. After I graduated I was directed to start in medsurg and never really transitioned to another specialty.

    Now I'm considering NICU, as there are several positions available at my local facility.

    I feel I'm sort of at a crossroads. Learn a new specialty and stick with it for a few years or should I stick to traveling in medsurg tele?
    Have any travelers taken time off to train in other areas and then travel again? What was your experience? What would you recommend? What would you do?
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   NedRN
    Ten years and perhaps you feel like you are in a rut? Sure, shake it off and start new again with a new specialty. Fun to have a steep learning curve and feel like you are meeting your potential. But only you can decide if that is for you and which specialty you might like the best (spend a day shadowing a nurse in each).

    Great you have the opportunity to train in a new specialty. Lots of posts on Allnurses about how hard it can be to get into a paid internship just out of nursing school, and mid-career.

    I don't think travel has anything to do with your decision, unless your wanderlust is too great. If you can, pick a great new location where you could be happy for a couple three years.
  4. by   amy0123
    Thank you, that is an awesome suggestion! I can definitely spend a day shadowing in each area and pick a specialty. I'll contact the manager of each specialty. If the specialty is not a good fit for me, then I could stay as I am in my position. At least I could say I've tried
  5. by   PacoUSA
    I am in the same boat as you. I have done tele for almost 6 years and I am not learning anything new, or should I say it's rare that I learn anything new. My wanderlust in traveling is pretty much at a stall and I could easily stay where I am for a few years, so I am looking to switch my specialty as well. Med surg tele is no longer enough to keep me traveling!
  6. by   jive turkey
    What is your primary reason for traveling? For how many more years do you need/want to work full time? beleive that will have the most impact on your decision.
    Like you I also considered going staff again to orient in another specialty that often pays more. But since one of my primary motivating factors is maximizing Revenue that would mean taking at least one year of a huge pay cut which is why I haven't so far. But if you for example want to enjoy the thrill of learning a new skill and/or the excitement of exotic destinations is more important to you than the money then you may have a different choice.