5 Traits To Look For in Travel Nurse Recruiters: Tips for Travel Nurses

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By Gifted Healthcare

October 20, 2020



5 Traits To Look For in Travel Nurse Recruiters

This article was provided by: Gifted Healthcare

Whether you’re a veteran travel RN or you’ve just begun searching for your first assignment, it’s essential to develop great relationships with your travel nurse recruiters. Is there such a thing as an ideal recruiter? We think so!

We spoke to Kate Twombly, one of GIFTED Healthcare’s top recruiters, to find out what to look for in a recruiter to ensure that you find the right assignment and receive the excellent support you deserve.

Read on to learn five traits to look for in travel nurse recruiters!


The ideal recruiter is trustworthy and transparent during the process of finding nurses their assignments.

It’s extremely important to make sure your recruiter has your best interests in mind. “The first thing I tell people to look for in a recruiter or an agency is one that you feel like you can trust,” Kate said. “You should feel like your recruiter has your back at all times.”

For those new to travel nursing, the process of finding an assignment can be tricky at first. But a great recruiter will make sure that everyone is on the same page, working together to find the assignment that aligns best with a nurse’s needs.

“A recruiter should take time to understand what is important to you as a nurse, what you’re looking for, as well as if you will succeed in a given clinical environment.”


The ideal recruiter plans ahead and stays organized, making sure that everything is taken care of in an orderly manner.

Little details matter, big time.

Kate says, “Organization is really important. Travel nurse recruiters’ to-do lists are made of a lot of little tasks rather than a few big tasks, and they need to stay on top of everything. That way, they can be fully informed and transparent when they speak with a nurse about their assignment options and pay packages. Every detail counts.”


The ideal recruiter develops relationships with their nurses, showing that they are invested in every nurse’s success.

“A great recruiter will work hard to develop a rapport with a nurse to understand their needs, expectations, and the kind of clinical environment where they will succeed,” says Kate. “If there’s an unexpected problem, is your recruiter going to work extra hours to find you more options? If you’re having a really bad day on a Saturday, do they give you their number and say that you can call them any time? What are they doing to make sure you feel supported?”

For new travel nurses, Kate goes the extra mile.

“For a brand new travel nurse, I make sure that we get on the phone for a 30-minute to the hour-long conversation,” Kate said. “I’ll explain the whole process and let them know what to expect, making sure they’re completely informed. Travel nursing is different than staff nursing, and it’s a recruiter’s responsibility to set expectations and make sure a nurse is prepared to succeed.”


The ideal recruiter shows understanding and appreciation for the work of the nurse.

2020 is the Year of the Nurse, and the world is finally beginning to recognize nurses as the heroes they are. Your recruiter should also have respect for the great work that you do.

“Compassion and empathy are really important,” Kate said. “This year has been very taxing on healthcare workers, and they deserve to be appreciated. A great recruiter needs to understand that for many RNs, nursing is more than their job, and the decisions a nurse makes significantly impacts their livelihood and family.”

An ideal recruiter provides nurses with real feedback on facilities, pay packages, and clinical environments, with an appreciation for the impact that any given assignment will have on their lives.


The ideal recruiter is resilient, willing to adapt to the nurse’s needs, or the job market while maintaining a positive attitude.

“If you encounter adversity when supporting a nurse, stay the course,” said Kate. “Recruiters should be able to creatively solve problems while seeing the glass half full at all times.”

In the “new normal,” uncertainty and unexpected changes have become more common. A fantastic recruiter should make you feel safe and prepared, mitigate the potential for unwanted surprises, and be willing to “roll with the punches” to do everything they can to help you have a great experience.

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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