5 Tips for First Time Traveling Nurses

Congratulations! You’ve received a job in one of the hottest industries out there today, which is traveling nurses. Traveling Nurses are needed more today than ever before; due to the shortage of nurses nationwide, most agencies are seeking knowledgeable nurses. With you joining this industry, you will be helping out so many in need of your services.

Now, you are descending on your first assignment, and it’s time to get ready to start your journey as a travel nurse, but you are unsure what to pack, how to stay connected with co-workers or your agency, or when the appropriate time to do so is. Well, no worries here, because we will go over the most important 5 tips for first-time traveling nurses.


You want to pack smart and light. If you have friends or family that are traveling nurses and have seen them overstuff their SUV or minivans full of boxes and bags, well, you don’t want to be that kind of a nurse. Most nurses’ biggest regret is that they over pack and don’t use half the items that they ended their upbringing.

Most assignments for traveling nurses are around thirteen weeks; you want to think about every item you want to bring thoroughly and think about what you can live without. You want to pack versatile clothing and shoes, which you can wear repeatedly for different situations.

When you officially get to the housing that the agency provides, go grocery shopping. Do not bring the food with you; it is a hassle. Necessary things like shower curtains, cleaning supplies, trash cans, etc., can be bought when you get there. Try to keep your bags to mostly clothes, shoes, toiletries, and electronics like laptops to stream all your favorite shoes.

Connecting with Other Travel Nurses

Living on the road can be lonely, especially when you are in an unfamiliar place; try to make friends before getting to the area. You can find other traveling nurses who will be working in the same area as you on Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin. There are plenty of social networking sites and groups to join. When you join these groups, you can ask seasoned nurses for advice and recommendations on local sights and restaurants.

Making Friends with Co-Workers

The best way to settle into your assignment is to get to know the nurses and doctors you’ll be working with for the duration of your stay. Most nurses tend to bring bagels or fruit in with them to connect with the other nurses or leave a thank you note on a nurse’s locker who has helped you get used to the swing of things in their hospital. These jesters go a long way.

You can also make conversation with them about their favorite local spots or invite them to coffee or dinner after your shift. Don’t worry if you don’t get along with everyone, but there will be a few people you will connect with who can make your stay more comfortable.

Be in Touch with your Recruiter Frequently

If there is an issue with your assignment, your recruiter should be the first to know. You want to check in with them at least once or twice a week. You can text, call, or email them to keep in contact. If there is an issue with your paycheck, housing, or finding your next assignment, your recruiter is the one who can help you right away.

Pretend your Temporary Job is a Permanent One

It is important to treat all your assignments as if it is a permanent job. You want to pitch in wherever there is a need for your services, get to know the hospital or healthcare provider’s leaders, and volunteer when you can to take an extra shift that they are having issues having to fill. It gives off a significant impression that you are a team player and a great nurse. You want as much positive feedback as possible to go back to your agency.


Starting a new job can be stressful and scary, especially when you are a travel nurse. It is hard enough to be away from home but adds to being in an unfamiliar place and not knowing anyone there. These tips can help you have a better experience and a successful first assignment. If you are thinking about jumping into the world of becoming a travel nurse, then you want to check out TLC Nursing. They are knowledgeable, experienced, and have great assignments to set you up for success.