What you need to prepare before embarking on your first regional, rural or remote nursing contract

5 things to consider to help you prepare for a happy, stress-free contract experience

You've signed up for the adventure of rural, regional, or remote nursing. You know what to expect, and have secured the details of your first contract. But what else do you need to prepare before you go?
A new job and travelling away from home can be overwhelming no matter how excited you are, but by preparing ahead of time, you'll transition into your new journey with ease.
We've collated information on some of the things you need to consider before embarking on your first contract, so you can travel worry-free and make the most of your time at your destination.

Mail redirection 

Depending on whether you are packing up and heading off on an extended contract, or just a couple weeks, you may need to think about what will happen with your mail while you are away.
For short term contracts, or if you live with other household members, you might not need to organise mail redirection. However, if you will be away for more than a couple of weeks, this may be something to consider.
Your mail can be forwarded through Australia Post to the facility you will be working at or to your place of accommodation. Keep in mind that Australia Post can be slow at times, particularly to remote areas, so opening a PO Box, redirecting to a parcel locker, or suspending your mail delivery are other options. Alternatively, you could opt to use a family or friend's address instead and have them look after your mail for safekeeping and monitor for anything urgent until you return.
It's also worth opting-in to receive digital communications from banks, utilities and other service providers. This way, you will receive any urgent communications via email whilst you are away rather than by mail.

Check mobile coverage

In many regional, rural and remote areas, mobile reception with some providers can be limited, unreliable, and sometimes non-existent.
Check with your current service provider to determine if you will have coverage in your contracted location. Website coverage maps are available on most service provider websites.
The Telstra network has the broadest coverage of all providers across Australia. We encourage you to consider a Telstra SIM card if you don't already have one, particularly if frequent contracts are on the cards for you.
Be aware that service providers who offer access to the Telstra network such as Boost Mobile, Belong and Woolworths Mobile, only have access to selected Telstra towers, so coverage is not as guaranteed as those on the primary Telstra network.

Check your luggage limits!

Checking your baggage allowance limits and how much you can take is especially important for those travelling on smaller planes to remote areas. Most light aircraft will have smaller luggage limits than larger aeroplanes such as Virgin Australia or Qantas – sometimes as little as 10kg.
In the past, nurses have been caught out when taking multiple flights to their contract location, packing for the allowances on the main airline, and not thinking about their next flight limits resulting in getting caught out on the smaller airline.
Refer to the airline's website for information on allowances, as overpacking could lead to quite a hefty excess baggage fee!

Copy your essential documents

Although we sort out the essential paperwork for your contract and send this to the facility on your behalf ahead of your contract start date, at times, additional information is required. The facility may request information after your contract has begun, require information we don't have on file for you, or they need you to show original copies of your documentation.
We suggest scanning copies of essential documents on a USB stick that travels with you, as well as emailing it to yourself as a backup in-case your USB goes missing. Useful documentation includes identification, immunisations, nursing qualifications, statements of service, etc. Having certified (JP'd) versions of these documents would be ideal.

Medication preparation

If you require personal medication, make sure you have prescriptions filled and take an extra supply with you, as well as a current prescription. Depending on your contract location, it may be difficult to get prescriptions filled, or medications may be more costly. 

Preparation is the key to success

Rural, regional and remote nursing is a unique and rewarding experience. Being well prepared before you leave for your contract will ensure a stress-free and enjoyable experience.
Haven't signed up for this life-changing adventure yet?  Find out more about regional, rural and remote nursing or register online now to book a chat with our recruitment team.