Securing a Travel Nursing Job – Your Submission Profile Part 2: The Skills Checklist

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What is a Travel Nursing Skills Checklist

A skills checklist is a self assessment tool designed to give hiring managers and travel nursing agencies a solid understanding of a candidate’s experience within a specific nursing specialty. Skills checklists can be formatted differently, but they are all quite similar. They typically ask candidates to rate their level of experience with various processes, procedures, and equipment that are commonly utilized within the unit or specialty in question.

Some skills checklists also ask the candidate to signify the amount of recent experience they’ve had with the various processes, procedures, and equipment. For example, they may ask the candidate to rate the amount of exposure they’ve had within the last 2 years. Along with a travel nursing job application and references, skills checklists have become a standard requirement for travel  nursing assignment consideration. All together, these 3 items comprise what is known in the industry as your “Submission Profile.”

Skills checklists can be quite lengthy and they almost always are. It’s not uncommon for them to exceed 5 pages and ask for ratings on over 100 different topics. While the length of a skills checklist can be quite cumbersome, longer skills checklists can give you an advantage. As we’ve mentioned previously, your submission profile is going to compete with the submission profiles of other candidates for the hiring manager’s attention. If a hiring manager is looking for experience with a specific skill which she can find on one skills checklist but not another, then she is definitely going to contact the candidate whose skills checklist has the information being sought. Therefore, you should be concerned if a agency has inadequate skills checklists.

There’s really no trick when it comes to skills checklists. They’re simply a part of the game. However, my experience indicates that many travelers spend too much time on them. They sit and debate whether or not they should rate themselves as a 3 or a 4 for each item being measured. I’ve also found that most people have a tendency to underrate themselves. I’m not suggesting that you breeze through the skills checklist and just give yourself a bunch of inappropriate high marks. However, you should spend a limited amount of time on them with the understanding that these documents are simply used to provide a rough idea of your skill set.

It’s typical for hospitals to require skills checklists to have been completed and signed within a particular period of time. For example, many hospitals will only accept skills checklists that have been completed within the past year. This is understandable because skills both increase and diminish over time. Unfortunately, it means that travelers will be filling these documents out on a routine basis.

Where Can Travel Nurses get Their Own Skills Checklists?

BluePipes can help you reduce this paperwork burden. BluePipes provides members with free access to over 100 comprehensive skills checklists that can be completed, saved, rendered to PDF, and utilized at the member’s discretion. This will allow you to complete one skills checklist and use it for all the agencies they work with.

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