Rookie Mistakes Made In Travel Nursing: Tips for Travel Nurses


By Molly Crockett

January 16, 2022



5 Rookie Mistakes Made In Travel Nursing

Being a travel nurse can be both exciting and frightening. But when you’re first starting out, it can be a lot more challenging than you would expect it to be.

Here are five rookie mistakes that new travel nurses make, whether intentionally or by accident.

Rookie Mistakes:

Not Knowing Policies And Procedures

“Don’t ever assume that you’ll know every policy and procedure in one day,” says Deanna J. Ussery, a travel writer at Study demic and Top Canadian Writers. “It takes time to learn and live by these rules and forgetting a rule can be detrimental to your work. If you can’t memorize all the policies and procedures quickly, then find the protocols on what you should do.”

Not Prepping For The Journey

Your travel nurse agency should be able to help you prep for your journey, to make sure that your state nursing license, credentials, and other documentation are current. Also, make sure you complete any training and tests that may be required for your assignment.

Plus, be on time, as you travel to your destination, and start working on Day One. Know your supervisor, what to wear, and what items you’ll need for the trip.

And, if available, ask your recruiter for first-day instructions with all the information you need.

Not Finding Suitable Housing

Travel nurses tend to have the option of either letting their agency book an apartment for them or opting for a stipend to find their own housing and keep the remaining funds. However, if you plan on looking for your own housing, understand that it takes time to find a suitable home for when you’re travel nursing.

If looking for a house on your own, do your research in advance, so that you won’t have to live on someone’s couch until you find something. Or, settle for agency housing for your first assignment, and get to know the housing options for future assignments.

But whatever you do – whether you let the agency find a home for you, or find one yourself – don’t settle for something that either makes you uncomfortable or doesn’t fit your lifestyle. For example, sometimes, travel nurses would use their housing as a crash pad, if they’re busy around the clock on important assignments. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for upgrades on the housing – switch a bed for just a pull-out sofa, or opt for a smaller home if there’s too much space. Making necessary changes and upgrades to your housing can save you money.

Failing To Ask Questions

“Asking questions is a part of life,” says Gabrielle Bungaree, a health blogger at Australian reviewer and Elite assignment help, “and travel nursing is no exception to this, especially if you’re new to the trade. As a new travel nurse, you’ll need to learn how to do things, what certain equipment is for, and how to go about certain situations. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for guidance when necessary, and establish a good relationship with your preceptor or other staff contacts. Failing to ask will cause you to do more harm than good in most situations.”

Not Having A Good Schedule

Sometimes, when you travel to a new place, it’s easy to get caught up in your travels and have too much fun. The purpose of your trip is to do a job. Therefore, schedule your off-time activities wisely, so that you’ll always feel rested and energized on the hours that you work.

Also, keep in mind that travel nursing assignments tend to last a few weeks long (usually 4-13 weeks). So after you spend a few days settling into your new housing, start planning when you can explore places with your fellow travel nurses, or when you can hit one of the most popular tourist sites, so that you won’t deprive yourself of any fun, while still being responsible for your actions.


As travel nurses, it’s common for people to make mistakes. In fact, while you might be able to avoid any of the ones mentioned here, other mistakes can still happen. Many travel nurses will tell you that they’ve at least one mistake in their careers so far and that it’s part of the learning process in the trade.

In short, being a travel nurse has its perks; however, rules need to be taken seriously on the job, so that you can have the best travel nursing experience as possible.

We hope that you found these common rookie mistakes helpful. Do you have any other mistakes you have made or seen while travel nursing? Comment them below?

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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