8 First-Time Travel Nurse Mistakes

8 First-Time Travel Nurse Mistakes

Travel nursing is an exciting opportunity to explore new places, gain invaluable experience and make a steady income. But for the first-time travel nurse, it can also be intimidating and confusing.

Travel nursing is growing in popularity as nurses seek out new adventures and professional opportunities. Becoming a travel nurse requires you to navigate bureaucracy, adhere to unfamiliar procedures and policies, figure out where to stay when you arrive at your assignment, and so much more.

If you’re taking the plunge into travel nursing but aren’t sure what to expect upon arrival in your host city, you’re not alone travel nurse staffing by giftedhealthcare.com can help you start your journey.

. Here are eight of the most common mistakes that first-time travel nursing might make—so read up before heading out!

Being Too Narrow-minded

Being too narrow-minded as a travel nurse can be a major mistake. While it is important to take assignments that fit your skill set, limiting yourself with the locations or types of assignments you are willing to accept can severely limit your potential work opportunities and offer little room for growth. Travel nurses benefit from versatility and having an open mind when it comes to considering different types of jobs and geographical areas could lead to discovering amazing new places, gaining valuable experience, and potentially finding greater career satisfaction.

Just Skimming Your Contract

Working as a travel nurse is one of the most exciting professions you can embark on, but it’s also important to remember that you should never accept an assignment without doing your due diligence. Skimming over your contract with a savvy eye will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises. Make sure to read through all the fine details that document your compensation and other details — such as housing and transportation, insurance terms, and where exactly you will be working — thoroughly. Taking this extra precaution can help save you from unexpected difficulties down the road.

Bringing Way Too Much Stuff

As a travel nurse, it can be easy to bring too much stuff from home when travelling to job assignments. This can be costly and often inconvenient as many apartments and housing options are not large enough to accommodate all your belongings. It is important for travel nurses to prioritize only the items that are essential for the job so that the transition is easier, both in case of relocation and otherwise. Additionally, it helps to pack light wherever possible, as this will make transportation simpler and less of a hassle. Taking part in destination specific activities during time off also requires you to unpack personal items as few as possible so consider this aspect before bringing unnecessary luggage every time.

Being Unprepared

Being unprepared as a travel nurse is a huge mistake, as it can lead to feeling overwhelmed and overworked. It is important to do thorough research before starting your assignment, from understanding the specific facility patient population and procedures to learning the locale. Even though you may think you know all of these things, there can be exceptions that can make something like an extra shift or two unexpectedly added on to your assignment. Furthermore, packing ahead of time saves time and energy upon arrival: school supplies for children, warm clothing for colder climates, or bug repellent in warmer climates. By being prepared to the best of your ability in advance, you can create an environment of success and balance throughout the entire travel assignment journey.

Not Asking Enough Questions

Asking too few questions when it comes to considering positions as a travel nurse can be a terrible mistake which can lead to much trouble down the road. Before accepting a position, nurses should ask enough questions and do their homework, in order to make sure they are prepared for any potential surprises related to the assignment such as availability of resources needed or limitations within their scope of practice. Knowing what is expected and what resources are at their disposal will help ensure that they are successful in the position. The more questions asked upfront, the better prepared one will be when accepting assignments.

Joining the Hospital Drama Club

Joining a hospital drama club as a travel nurse can be a very exciting, yet sometimes intimidating experience. While it is true that many travel nurses may be unfamiliar with the local culture and traditions of their chosen hospital, this doesn’t mean that joining the hospital’s drama club is out of reach. The most important factor for any travel nurse considering joining a hospital drama club is to understand and consider their own individual lifestyle; how often are you available for rehearsals or performances, what are your duties regarding patient care, etc.? By understanding your personal commitments beforehand and ensuring that you remain open-minded in regard to the production being put on by the hospital’s drama club, you can successfully join the local theater community without making too many mistakes along the way.

Acting Like a Know-it-all

Acting know-it-all is not a recommended strategy if you are working as a travel nurse. This can make your colleagues resentful and hurt team morale, as well as make them question whether the decisions you make are best for the patient’s health. Instead of trying to prove yourself or show off your credentials at all times, try to take into consideration that other nurses may also have valuable information to provide and be open to learning from them. Being humble and respectful will help ensure that you form positive relationships in the workplace which can lead to greater job satisfaction in the long run.

Acting like a Temporary Nurse

Being a travel nurse means that you need to always be prepared to treat patients while on assignment in a variety of different settings and locations. Acting like a temporary nurse requires being flexible and adaptive to each given situation and the patient’s needs. Additionally, it is important to be confident in your knowledge of medical treatments and procedures while taking into account the peculiarities of the specific location where you are working. Keeping up with any changes that may affect your submission due to new regulations or updates can also help make sure you stay on top of your responsibilities as an effective travel nurse.


Knowing and understanding the common mistakes made by travel nurses is essential before embarking on such an exciting career. Taking the time to investigate the potential drawbacks of being a travel nurse – especially how you will manage the vast adjustments in lifestyle – is key to developing successful strategies for success and avoiding potential pitfalls throughout your journey. From managing expectations to making sure you understand all the details when signing a contract, combining knowledge with experience can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding adventure in which you can grow professionally, financially, and personally as a healthcare professional.


8 First-Time Travel Nurse Mistakes

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