15 Helpful Tips for New Travel Nurses

Great tips and advice for new travel nurses from the the Go Healthcare Team

Congratulations on your decision become a travel nurse, we hope your new career path is off to a great start! The nursing profession is challenging enough and we understand that change can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. The good news is…we expect you will soon be enjoying all the perks that being a traveler has to offer. After years of working with travel nurses across the country, our Go Team has put together a few tips to help you get started on the right path.

Going “on the road” as a travel nurse

  1. Be flexible– Prepare yourself for the inevitable differences in procedures and processes at different hospitals. Unless you feel there is a concern for safety, adhere to the policies in place even if you are accustomed to something else.
  2. Get Rest– You are in one of the most demanding fields with enormous physical and emotional aspects as well as stress and responsibility day in and day out. Getting enough rest is imperative to help with good decision-making, energy, and attitude.     
  3. It’s ok to ask– A new job, a new town, and new home, you are facing an abundance of uncertainty. Seek out people you trust, who are knowledgeable and able to help when you are looking for answers. If it’s too soon to have acquaintances, research reliable sources online.
  4. Understand your contract– Head into your new assignment prepared for the location, hours, benefits, pay, and housing parameters. Read your contract carefully and reach out to your Recruitment Manager or Placement Team if you have questions.
  5. Avoid the mundane– Try to avoid visiting, eating, and shopping at the same places all the time. It’s fine to have a few favorites, but enjoying a variety of experiences will help with a healthy adjustment.
  6. Stay sharp– Stay alert at all times and be street smart. Be very aware of your surroundings, try to stay in well-lit areas, walk with a friend if you are nervous, avoid flaunting valuable jewelry and clothing, cover valuables inside your car, and consider using the location tracking option on your phone with a family member. And, follow the advice from those who know the area well.
  7. Shut the work door– It is especially difficult for nurses to leave work at work. Clocking out doesn’t magically turn off everything you faced during the day. However, a healthy work-life balance is very important. Try your best to disconnect/distract from the daily stresses and enjoy your personal time.
  8. Prepare early for your next assignment– you already know that your assignment is temporary and the expected end date. Start thinking early about your next move and what you want to do. Expect to have the discussion on whether you want to extend or look for your next travel assignment around 5-6 weeks before your actual end date. Check out our 13 week planning calendar to stay on top of your travel assignment planning: planning calendar.
  9. Keep learning– It’s so important for travel nurses to stay competitive. One of the best ways is to learn something new. Healthcare is always evolving and changing, growing as a nurse with those changes will help you be successful. Look for educational opportunities while on every assignment.
  10. Find a mentor– Having a mentor is a great way to get acclimated to your new environment. Maybe with permission you can shadow someone, or just find a colleague that you look up to for advice and direction. Mentors are a fantastic resource to help you get adjusted and keep learning.
  11. Expand your network– It can often get lonely as a traveler. Technology has made it possible to connect to virtually anyone, anywhere. Seek out camaraderie from fellow travelers, look for social media groups such as our own Inner Circle Group on Facebook to connect with other Go Healthcare Travelers. It’s important to have a way to share your thoughts and experiences with those that are in a similar situation and understand.
  12. Stay positive– No doubt entering a new work environment and mingling in a new town will have a unique set of challenges. Remind yourself of your goals, the perks you enjoy as a traveler—stay committed and focus on the good each day.
  13. Stay in touch– Take advantage of your support system. Know that even though you may be miles away, you have family and friends who are ready to help. Keep in contact and reach out when you need advice, help, or just want to visit.
  14. Plan for your fur babies– Be sure you check with your housing arrangement if you have a cat or dog to ensure pets are permitted. Keep in mind, while pets offer tremendous companionship, they are also a big responsibility. Be sure your schedule will allow for the necessary care or plan to hire help.
  15. Enjoy your new travel nurse life! Not all careers offer the flexibility and adventure that you can soak up as a travel nurse. Make new friends, see new places, try new things. Traveling can add up to a very rewarding lifestyle, while getting paid.

You, are the Heart of Go. We hope you enjoyed this article and please share with your fellow travelers. Reach out anytime to your Go Healthcare Staffing team with questions or to find your next assignment. Email us at contact@gohealthcarestaffing.com