As a top healthcare staffing agency, we want all of our nurses to be prepared for their travel nurse positions. We’ve compiled this list of travel nurse tips and essentials to ensure a smooth transition. If you’re interested in a travel nursing career, our dedicated team of Maxim Staffing Recruiters can connect you with the perfect role for your needs.
Essential Travel Nursing Tips & Advice
When getting ready for an assignment, there is a lot of prepping to get done. These tips for travel nursing cover the basics and are perfect for seasoned veterans or first-timers looking for travel nurse advice.
Tip 1: Ask for Discounts on Housing
Partnering with a medical staffing agency has its advantages. Many travel nurse staffing agencies have corporate discounts at certain hotel chains, and most healthcare organizations provide a housing allowance for travel positions. The U.S. General Services Association website is a terrific resource for searching maximum housing allowances by zip code to get a better idea of the cost of living in any area of the country.
Tip 2: Start with Short-Term Housing
Your travel nurse contract length will influence the type of housing to look for. It’s not wise to lock yourself into a long-term housing contract immediately if you don’t have to. A great way to learn more about short-term housing opportunities is to talk to your new coworkers to get their recommendations. Also, talking with your coworkers about housing options is a terrific way to start building relationships at work.
Tip 3: Research the Safety of Your New Area
Safety is a legitimate concern for travel nurses, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Contact your Recruiter and connect with other travel nurses to learn more about the area you’ll be relocating to.
Tip 4: Prepare by Packing the Essentials
It can be overwhelming to figure out what to pack for a travel nursing job. What you bring will depend mainly on your location, the length of the assignment, and whether you’ll be flying or driving. In addition to the essentials like clothes and toiletries, our Maxim Recruiters have the following travel nurse packing tips to share:
- Bring your own sheets and pillows
- Pack nurse-specific shoes
- Keep cash for emergencies
- Purchase scrubs in the proper color for your new role
Also, check out travel apps such as PackPoint for custom packing lists. These apps help you enter information such as your travel duration, time of year, and trip length to get a summarized packing list.
Tip 5: Closely Review Your Contract
Typically, travel nurse contracts are significantly different than traditional nursing contracts, and there are a lot of items you should ensure are included in the paperwork you sign.
Travel nurse contracts should include:
- Your full name
- Specific start and end dates of your assignment
- Dates for requested time off
- Exact pay package, including how overtime and holidays are handled
- What days, shifts, and hours you’ll be working
- Whether or not hours are guaranteed
Also, it’s crucial to note that most facilities require your full credential file one week before your start date. If this isn’t specified in your contract, ask about it.
Tip 6: Organize Your Documents
Take advantage of free apps that keep all your documents in one place. DocuSign, Dropbox, and Google Docs allow you to easily collaborate with your Recruiter to get everything completed online. Upload all relevant documents to quickly access them for any future assignments.
Relevant documents to upload include:
- Your nursing license
- Healthcare certifications
- Medical records
- Signed contracts
Other Advice for Travel Nurses
Other tips for travel nurses include being positive, flexible, and communicative. These are great ways to set yourself up for success in your new position.
Be excited about this new opportunity as it is a unique experience to further your career while traveling.
Every travel nursing experience varies from person to person, but if you go into it with a positive outlook, it will make you a better professional and colleague.
Talk to Travel Nurses
If you’re feeling nervous or unsure, it can be beneficial to talk to experienced travel nurses. They can help dispel any travel nurse myths and give you a realistic idea of what to expect. You can easily find relevant groups on social media outlets. That way, if there’s a question your Recruiter can’t answer, your fellow nurses can provide you with the information you need.
Find Travel Nurse Support from Maxim Staffing
Travel nursing is one of the most rewarding careers in the healthcare industry, and Maxim can help you begin to experience the benefits of this essential profession. Learn more about travel nurse openings.