Tips for Travel Nurses, From Nurses

December 7th, 2018

Cathy Verlinda, Director of Clinical Services 

Welcome to the exciting, adventurous world of travel nursing!  Travel nursing provides a unique opportunity for career growth by seeing how other facilities provide care.  As a travel nurse you can focus on taking care of your patients and learning from new experiences while visiting fun and exciting areas of the country.

 “Pearls of Wisdom” for your first travel assignment:

  • Organize all your documents and keep them in a file for future use, including;
    • Immunization / titer records.
    • Licenses– if you want to go to a different state from where you are licensed, your recruiter can provide you with up to date licensing information about each state.  For additional information you can contact that state’s Board of Nursing directly.
    • Specialty certifications:  BLS, ACLS, NRP, TNCC, etc.
    • Current Health Statement.
  • Pick a place you are familiar with for your first travel assignment, one with friends or family close by.  It will help calm your nerves while on your first travel assignment.
  • Do your own research.  Before signing your contract as a first-time travel nurse, research which company you want to work with. Accountable is always available to walk you through making these important decisions.  Think about where you want to work.  Ask other travelers their opinion. Write a list of what is important/what you’re looking for on your first travel assignment. 
  • Take care of your home logistics:
    • Lights, gas, do they need to be turned off and does your mail need to be forwarded?
  • Pack smart. Your assignment is for 13 weeks, take that into consideration as you are packing.
  • Decide on housing. Have this scheduled before you arrive for your assignment.  Contact your recruiter for help finding housing if needed. 
  • Driving. If you are driving a long distance to your travel assignment, make sure your vehicle is road worthy.
  • Do a dry run before starting your first assignment.  Practice your first day.  Check to see if commuting/traffic is an issue and the length of time you need to arrive on the unit on time.  Find out where to park and how to get to your assigned unit. Is there a parking cost, if so how much?
  • First Day. Be prepared to make a good impression on your first day, it sets up your entire assignment.  Arrive early, be cordial and professional.
  • Orientation. Most facilities provide orientation to their systems and sometime on the unit. To help you for the next few weeks after that orientation, recruit a nurse you work with to be your “mentor.” This way you know who to go to for questions, it will save you a lot of time.
  • Be flexible to location, setting and facility.  You may not always be able to get your preferred position immediately because there may not be a need. Being flexible will set you up to be working as soon as possible.   Be patient and work closely with your recruiter, that perfect position will come.
  • Stay connected with your recruiter.  Your recruiter will be with you every step of the way answering questions and guiding you through the process.  Your recruiter will support you throughout your assignment. Call them whenever you have a concern, issue or question.  They are here to support you and help you have a successful travel assignment.
  • Pets. Are you traveling with pets?  Let your recruiter know so they can help support you with anything that might come up.  Does your pet need to see their vet before traveling with you?  Are their immunizations up to date? 
  • Think about your next assignment, 13 weeks goes by quickly. It’s never too soon to start talking with your recruiter about what’s next after this assignment.  Do you want to extend, or do you want a new assignment?

You’re off and running on the next exciting phase of your career! 

Search our Travel Jobs HERE.