Pack for Your First Travel Nursing Assignment · The Gypsy Nurse

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By Kevin Devoto

May 22, 2022



Everything You Need to Pack for Your First Travel Nursing Assignment

If you are just getting started in the exciting world of becoming a travel nurse, you already know there are many benefits associated with this job. Perhaps you get to travel and see more of the country than you ever dreamed, or maybe you like the pay that comes with this particular line of work. 

Before getting caught up in the excitement, it is crucial you know how to pack before heading out on your next travel nurse assignment. These guidelines can ensure that you have everything you need and you are ready to go. 

Find Out How Far You’re Traveling

Before doing anything else, find out where your travel nurse assignment is taking you. This will also help you plan for the weather ahead since you’ll need some regular clothing, too, outside of your work uniform. It’s important to learn if the weather is typically dry, wet, cold, or warm and how this will affect your living conditions. For example, if wet weather tends to give you a headache, it can be helpful to pack the right type of medication, so you aren’t trying to work through a migraine. 

Determine What Essentials Can Help You the Most

Think about what essential items you’ll want to take with you.

Some of these could be:

  • Face care products
  • Moisturizer
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Dry shampoo
  • Nail care kit for hangnails etc

As you are compiling your packing list, don’t forget to think about other things you might need to make the process easier for yourself. Maybe you want to bring laundry soap along so you can easily wash your uniforms. Don’t forget to bring several sets of uniforms to wear since you don’t know how long it will take to get through a busy day at the hospital. The last thing you want is to wake up and not have anything clean to wear for that day. 

Travel Size or Regular Size: Packing Based on How Long Your Travel Nurse Assignment Is

Often when packing, many people find it easier to take travel-size bottles. This eliminates the need for extra space in your bag. If you have shorter travel nurse assignments, this can make life easier for you. However, if you know you are going to be gone for a long time, perhaps it might make sense to take bigger bottles. This way, you can avoid the need to go shopping on your days off, and you’ll have everything you need on hand. 

Have Enough Backups On Hand

No matter the length of your assignment, have enough backups of items you’ll need so you aren’t left scrambling at the last minute. This could be anything from underscrubs to extra socks or anything else that makes your life easier. Nursing is a demanding career, and you might not be getting enough sleep or necessarily have the time you need to take care of basic errands and tasks. When you have enough backups of daily items, you avoid running into problems associated with making you late for work because you had to stop and grab something. 


Travel nursing gives you the opportunity to build upon your professional career while providing you with a change of scenery. Although it might sound like fun, it’s important to be prepared and have everything you need. Make sure you understand the length of time you’ll be gone and where you are going to since this can influence how you should pack. It’s useful to take items you know you’ll put to use and have backups as needed, particularly for essentials like uniforms. These suggestions can ensure you flourish while you are on your next assignment. 

We hope you found these tips on everything to pack for your next travel nurse assignment helpful. If we missed something, comment those items below.

Are you looking for your next travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our job board. Do you need housing for an upcoming assignment? Click here to search our travel nurse housing page.

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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