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The Risks of Being a Traveling Nurse During a Pandemic

Updated July 18, 2023
In Home Care Services

As the pandemic continues to spread like a brush fire across the United States, traveling nurses are needed. Due to the lack of nurses available to fight on the front lines, traveling nurses become saviors during this medical crisis. With gaps in scheduling, nurses, and doctors being brought to their needs, traveling nurses are the ones to pick up the slack, but some risks come with the job. Here are a few chances of being a traveling nurse during the pandemic.

Transfer of Licences

As a traveling nurse, before accepting a job with an agency or gaining an assignment, you have to check to see if your nursing license can be transferred to that area. Practicing with a license that is out of jurisdiction can be harmful to the agency and your career.

Many issues are being brought to light during this pandemic with transferring medical licenses over state lines. Because various locations require nurses and medical professionals within their walls, there is a great need for traveling nurses to get multi-state medical licenses.

Also, background checks and education criteria are needed for different areas. Because of the pandemic, a lot of the rules and regulations have gone out the window. Because so many hospitals need help, the rules about transferring licenses have been relaxed or waived. But it is still wise to receive a multi-state medical license just in case another pandemic is to happen again.

New Places, New Rules

Because of the pandemic, many hospitals are gaining traveling nurses who have no idea of procedures, rules, or policy of a location. Many nurses are feeling as if they are being thrown into the fire without any protection. They are expected to jump into the flow and do whatever is necessary to relieve the burnout of frontline workers who have already been there.

This is causing a national medical professional burnout to all nurses and doctors, and traveling nurses. What is being expected to be done about this is, if you are unsure about the specialties that are needed for the assignment that you are given, you are to say no, and explain to the scheduler why you feel you are unable to perform at a high standard that you are expected to do. There is no harm in saying no; you want to be sure that you are giving the best care possible to the patients at any location. If you feel as if you can’t, you need to vocalize that, and they will assign you somewhere else.

Working in a Pandemic

It may be scary out there right now, especially as a nurse, but you need to remember that people need your help. Many traveling nurses are fearful of what is going on and feel like they are being told to run into a burning building, but because there is such a strain on the industry, they need your help.

There are risks when becoming a traveling nurse; you are away from your family, friends, and similarities. You are taking on a monster that seems like it can’t be controlled no matter how hard everyone tries, and you’re being put into situations that you are uncomfortable about. But you are saving lives and helping areas that require nurses, beds, and specialties.

You became a nurse to help people, which is needed more than ever right now. Small-town areas only have so much manpower or knowledge on certain things that you can bring something new to the table to help save lives. You are also bringing relief to the frontline workers who have been there from the beginning.


With all the risks there are during this pandemic, it shouldn’t stop you from helping out. We need your knowledge, experience, and professionalism to fight this pandemic and save people’s lives. You are required now more than ever; so, if you are on the fence of taking that leap of becoming a traveling nurse, this is your chance to do something that you have always wanted to do to help people in need. TLC Nursing is a great place to start; that has exceptional assignments, knowledgeable staff, and work with you and your schedule. Check them out today.