7 Signs of a Great Travel Nurse: Tips for Travel Nurses

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By The Gypsy Nurse

April 5, 2018



7 Signs of a Great Travel Nurse

This article is provided by Yuma Regional Medical Center

Here at The Gypsy Nurse, our community of over 100,000 travel nurses allows us to interact every day with wonderful travel nurses from all across the country.  While each Gypsy may have different reasons for choosing this unique profession, we’ve found some consistent traits in what tends to make for a successful travel nurse that make them stand out as a healthcare professional. While this list may not cover everything, here are 7 traits that great travel nurses share.

1. Compassion

There are many responsibilities and duties that a travel nurse has but being able to do them while also being compassionate is what makes a truly exceptional travel nurse. Many people go out of their way to help others, but travel nurses actually fly across the country to where they are needed most to help those in need. Those that are not in the nursing field can only imagine how exhausted a travel nurse is during a long shift or how they must feel while taking care of a patient who must’ve woken up on the wrong side of the hospital bed; for a nurse to make each patient feel cared for after a day like this is truly amazing.

2. Flexibility

We don’t really mean being able to touch your toes (but if you’re able to, that’s awesome too!) but schedule-wise. When travel nurses are planning on going to a different location, not only are they going to be working, but on days when they aren’t working or have a little time, they might want to go out and explore a bit. Some nurses might keep a list of places they would like to go to and activities they’d want to partake in, which is something we would definitely do!! Yet, it can get quite difficult to balance work and play. They need to give their 100% while they work that best fits what the employer wants, but it’s equally important to go out, try something different and relax! If you’re able to master this, you need to write a book.

3. Adventurous

Many people talk or dream about picking up their belongings and moving to another place where they’ve always wanted to go, which is pretty ambitious, but travel nurses actually do it. That takes some serious courage because doing something like that is a lot easier said than done. Of course, all travel nurses run into some bumps in the road. It can be overwhelming, but moving past them and continuing what they do while having the desire to see even more of what the world has to offer they travel is truly inspirational.

4. Self-Disciplined

With a new city, new surroundings, and after-work temptations, some travel nurses can inadvertently slip into situations where they exercise poor judgment regarding food, exercise, and spending too much of that weekly paycheck!  But one trait that great travel nurses share is self-discipline. It’s tempting to order food or go out and eat frequently but stopping by the local supermarket and picking up some groceries is the alternative that saves more money! As much as travel nurses look out for other people’s health, they also need to look after their own; exercising should be done every week! Exercise options include: walking/running, dancing, yoga, or coming up with a 15-minute work out routine that can be done on the road

 5. Open-Mindedness

Being a travel nurse is a non-conventional profession, which is what makes it exciting and unique, but there are times where it might present some challenges. One of them is moving to a new place and settling in, but the nurses are willing to embrace the change! Also, when travel nurses start in a new place to work, the assignments that they are given might not be what they expect. Sometimes the people working there want to see how you work under certain conditions and test your skills. If the travel nurse keeps an open mind, pushes through, and shows everyone what they’re made of every day, they will definitely succeed.

 6. Adaptability

Travel nurses have to adapt to a new state/city, work environment, living way, etc. If a nurse is planning on doing this for a while, they’ll have to adapt to something new every couple of months, which can be really eye-opening! Every city has its own layout and different ways of transportation, so prepared travel nurses should arrive at their new location early and find the place they’re working at, where they will live, and how to get there. Also, they should figure out where some of the closest food markets and pharmacies are. They should also keep in mind that the place they will be working at might operate differently from the last place and be prepared to adapt to the new setting.

 7. Approachability

It’s understood that when a travel nurse is on assignment in a different city for the first time, they’re the “newbie.” To make the most of their time in this new environment, it’s important to build relationships. A travel nurse looking for short or long-term relationships with the new people they encounter should be welcoming and approachable. A Nurse should be confident in their ability to perform their tasks and be friendly to the people surrounding them.

Travel nurses are such incredible people who are so passionate about what they do. Great travel nurses possess most, if not all, of these qualities — this is what makes them successful.  If you possess any of these qualities and want to start or continue being a travel nurse, check out over 100,000 of these great opportunities on our Gypsy Nurse Job Board, and let us help you find your next adventure! If you think we missed any traits, travel nurses, please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!

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Since just recently joining The Gypsy Nurse, I have had so many questions answered about the world of travel nursing. This has been an excellent resource!
—Meagan L. | Cath Lab