5 Qualities You Need to Work as a Travel ICU Nurse


Ashley Hotovec | July 6th, 2023

Being a travel ICU nurse is like embarking on the ultimate adventure! It’s a health career that combines your passion for nursing with a love for exploration. Bet let’s be real—it’s not always smooth sailing. To make the most of this journey, there are a few essential traits that can help you succeed as an ICU travel nurse. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 must-have qualities that will make you shine in this dynamic role.

  1. Critical thinking skills. As a travel ICU nurse, your critical thinking skills will be put to the test regularly. You’ll be making quick decisions, assessing complex situations, and adapting your care plans accordingly. Sharpening your critical thinking abilities will allow you to analyze information effectively, identify priorities, and make sound judgments. Trust your instincts, rely on your training, and let your critical thinking skills guide you through any challenges that come your way.
  2. Communication skills.Communication is the secret sauce that makes the travel ICU nurse life so much sweeter. You’ll be collaborating with different healthcare teams, connecting with patients from all walks of life, and adapting to various communication styles. Being a smooth communicator, whether it’s listening actively or expressing yourself clearly, will help you build trust, foster teamwork, and provide top-notch patient care.
  3. Patience. Patience is not just a virtue; it’s a vital trait for a travel ICU nurse. You’ll encounter challenging situations, difficult patients, and moments that test your resolve. Growing patience will help you navigate these moments with grace and compassion. Take a deep breath, count to ten if you need to, and remember that patience is a powerful tool in providing exceptional patient care.
  4. Resilience. In the travel ICU nursing world, resilience is your secret weapon. You’ll face long hours, challenging situations, and unexpected twists and turns. But fear not! Your ability to bounce back, problem-solve on the fly, and keep that positive mindset will help you conquer any hurdles that come your way. Stay strong and remember to take care of yourself along the journey.
  5. Flexibility. If there’s one thing you need as a travel ICU nurse, it’s flexibility. You’ll be jumping from one healthcare facility to another, encountering different protocols, and working with diverse teams. Being able to adapt quickly, embrace change, and go with the flow will help you thrive.

Here are some additional tips for becoming a travel ICU nurse:

  • Network with other travel ICU nurses. Networking is a great way to learn about travel nursing and to get your foot in the door. Attend industry events, join online forums, and connect with other travel ICU nurses on social media.
  • Be prepared to travel. As a travel ICU nurse, you will be traveling to different hospitals and cities. Be prepared to relocate and be away from your family and friends.
  • Be organized. Travel ICU nursing can be hectic. Be sure to stay organized and keep track of your assignments, travel arrangements, and contact information.

Ready to rock the travel ICU nurse life? These qualities and tips will make you soar in this incredible health career. Embrace the adventure, stay open to new experiences, and remember that you’re making a difference in the lives of patients everywhere you go.


If you aren’t already heading to your next assignment, let’s chat! 😊

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Like what you’re reading? Read more here: Embrace the Journey: The Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse

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