8 Things Every First Time Travel Nurse Should Know

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By Gifted Healthcare

February 3, 2021



8 Things Every First-Time Travel Nurse Should Know

This article was provided by Gifted Healthcare.

Travel nursing is an excellent way to see new places, meet new people, and gain valuable clinical experience.

If you’re an RN that wants to become a travel nurse, GIFTED Healthcare wants to help you prepare for your first assignment. That’s why we’ve created a list of things that every first-time travel nurse should know.

Read on for 8 tips to help you have an amazing start to your travel nursing career!

Organize & Prepare

Finding a great travel assignment is much easier if you’re organized and prepared. Make sure your records, license, and any other relevant documents are up to date.

All travel nursing companies interview and screen their applicants. Being prepared for your interview will increase your chances of getting the assignment you want. 

Note: Most travel nursing companies do not place RNs with less than one year of clinical experience.

Be Flexible

Many RNs choose travel nursing so that they can practice nursing on their terms. However, due to their lack of experience, first-time travel nurses don’t always get the assignment at the top of their list.

Try to remain open-minded about the locations, environments, and facilities in which you’re willing to work. You can be more selective once you have travel nursing experience under your belt.

Communicate with Your Recruiter

At GIFTED, your recruiter is here to help you with any issues you have related to your assignment.

Before your assignment begins, your recruiter can help you find housing. During your assignment, call your recruiter immediately if any serious problems arise regarding living arrangements, your paycheck, or your schedule.

Feel free to check in to let your recruiter know how things are going during your assignment. You are not alone – we are here to support you!

Avoid Too Many Distractions

Travel nursing is a fantastic way to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things. But it’s important to set yourself up for success on your first assignment.

Consider choosing a location close to home or a place where you already have a network of friends or family. Ensure your living arrangements won’t expose you to stressful circumstances, like a lack of sleep or safety.

Do your best to minimize distractions so that you can perform well and enjoy your first assignment.

Packing: Be Strategic

Packing for any trip can be stressful. But there are plenty of ways to make packing for your assignment easier.

Keep in mind that most travel nursing assignments are 8 to 13 weeks long. Make a list of the essentials, and try to stick to it. Think about items you can buy once you arrive at your new location, like shower curtains, trash cans, and other household items.

Packing efficiently will make it easier to settle into your new home, giving you more time to prepare for your first day.

Day One: Make a Great First Impression

Making a great first impression will help you excel during your first assignment.

Arrive early on your first day to show initiative and familiarize yourself with the facility. Or, go the extra mile and ask to tour your unit before you’re scheduled to start your assignment.

Making the right first impression will help you make a smooth transition into your new environment, benefitting both you and your coworkers.

Be Friendly

Before you arrived, the staff may have been pushed to their capacity. Remain aware of this when you enter your new assignment, and do what you can to show you’re there to help.

As a first-time travel nurse, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If a coworker is helpful, show gratitude. Talk to your teammates about their hobbies and favorite restaurants in town. Or, bring everyone snacks or coffee before your shift.

While some staff members will be happy for the extra help on the floor, others might take longer to warm up to you. Whether you love all your coworkers or get along with a few of them, treat everyone with the same level of respect.

For more strategies on settling in, read GIFTED’s tips on adjusting to new facilities as a travel nurse.

Give It Everything You’ve Got

Travel nursing requires commitment. Once you’ve settled into your new assignment, prepare yourself to give it your all.

No matter where you travel, the location of your new assignment is worth exploring. Be open-minded, learn about the local culture, and get involved in local activities that you truly enjoy. Plan a day trip, invite your loved ones to visit, and make new friends!

Also, dedicate yourself to learning everything you can at work. Hone your skills as a travel nurse and take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that travel nursing offers.

Do you have any tips for first-time travel nurses? Comment them below.

Begin Your Travel Nursing Adventure with GIFTED Healthcare

From travel to per diem assignments, GIFTED Healthcare provides nurses with exceptional, high-paying career opportunities.

Apply now to join the GIFTED Family today!

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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