8 Things to Know as a Travel Nurse Newbie


In these days of shortages for qualified healthcare professionals – especially nurses – many hospitals, and clinics can experience staff crunches.

If you’re looking for a fulfilling job that provides plenty of value, travel, and professional opportunity, look no farther than travel nursing. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind for a successful experience:

Do Your Research

The more research done in advance, the more prepared a traveling nurse will be before they actually start working. In fact, having a state license in hand helps nurses land jobs in the locations they want. Facilities are looking for RNs to start quickly, so having the right license is essential for booking a specific location or facility.

Network with Current Travel Nurses

A great way to get up to speed is to talk with nurses who are currently traveling. If you don’t know any travel nurses to network with, ask your nurse friends if any of their friends are travel nurses. Another option is to reach out to travel nurses on social media.

Keep an Open Mind

Being flexible and eager to learn and help go a long way to success as a travel nurse. Whatever the circumstance, having a great attitude and a willingness to take on new challenges are key. Keep in mind that learning new clinical skills and techniques is a special perk of traveling nurses – which enables nurses to advance their careers at greater speeds.

Know What You’re Looking For

Whether it’s earning the highest pay or getting the chance to live in a more moderate climate, every traveling nurse has different priorities and needs when choosing an assignment. Travelers should make a list of their most vital criteria and express these to their recruiter. Typically, contracts are between eight and 26 weeks, though the most common contracts last 13 weeks.

Don’t Burn Any Bridges

Think ahead. If you’re planning a career as a travel nurse, it’s important to not burn your bridges to your former places of employment. Who knows –  you may want to return to your old job if you decide to take a break or if you don’t like this area of nursing.

Landed an Assignment? Now Be on Time!

Once onboard, it’s likely a traveling nurse will be relieving a co-worker at the end of their shift. Don’t be late! In addition to your co-workers, patients with scheduled appointments are relying on your timeliness as well. You’ll be viewed as a reliable teammate by your colleagues when you’re always on time to your shift.

Stay out of Workplace Gossip

One of the perks of the travel nurse experience is you don’t have to be part of workplace politics. Gossip can be a guilty pleasure, but it’s one that you definitely shouldn’t indulge in at your hospital or healthcare facility. Being part of the gossip train makes you appear less professional and can hurt your job standing.

Have a Savings Account

Most travel nursing agencies offer a housing allowance or furnished housing. However, there will be expenses to pay upfront, even if they reimburse you. It’s not a great feeling to be in an unfamiliar place without cash as a safety net. A savings account gives you a cushion until your first paycheck arrives.

At Focus Staff, we understand the ins and outs of traveling healthcare professionals during these challenging times and have access to a wide variety of excellent professional opportunities. To learn more, contact us today.

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