As a profession that’s expected to grow 13% between now and 2028, the life of a travel nurse is both endlessly exciting and deeply fulfilling.
Whether you’re wondering how to be a travel nurse, how to gain traveling nurse experience, or how to make the most of your tax breaks, we’ll cover a wide variety of the best tips for travel nursing so you can make the most of your profession.
How to Be a Travel Nurse
Did you know that while many hospitals prefer nurses who have obtained their Bachelor’s degree (BSN), it is not required in all cases?
Most employers require that you have at least one year of practice in a bedside nursing position before becoming eligible for travel nursing.
You will be required to hold certifications in a number of areas to be eligible for some travel nursing jobs:
- Basic Life Support (BLS)
- Additionally, some facilities require other certifications such as the NIH stroke certification and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).
- You may consider getting a certification in your nursing specialty to make you a more enticing candidate for assignments.
You also want to stay up to date on your continuing education and be flexible when it comes to working in different locations and facilities.
Travel Nursing Interview Tips
One of the best ways you can begin preparing for travel nursing jobs is to interview with agencies. Every company is different so be sure to take your time and find the right team for you.
Prepare for these meetings with some of our tried and tested travel nursing interview tips:
- Establish rapport with the hiring manager by researching their background.
- Research the company at length.
- Do your homework about the position(s) the agency may ask you to fill.
- Set yourself up for interview success by preparing answers to commonly asked questions.
Travel Nurse Packing Tips
Once you’re working and ready to hit the road, you’ll want to implement some of our favorite travel nurse packing tips. These will help lighten the load while making sure you don’t forget anything essential:
- Remember your important documents.
- Driver’s license
- Social security card
- Car insurance
- Insurance policy
- Roadside assistance agreement when applicable
- Contact information for your staffing company and recruiter
- Address and phone number of your new workplace
- Details of your temporary lodging
- Pack your prescriptions and a small first aid kit.
- Your home away from home won’t have toiletries, so pack just enough health and beauty products.
- Bring clothes for work and play while fitting them into one suitcase.
- Don’t overlook reminders of home; bring along a few possessions that mean something to you.
One final tip: Remember your chargers!
Travel Nurse Housing Tips
Did you know your staffing agency can help you find the perfect housing? Moving multiple times a year can be a bit tedious but your team is happy to ease the burden.
Here are our tips for making the most of your team’s Housing Department.
- Help your representative get to know your housing needs by answering a few questions.
- Are you traveling with anyone?
- Do you have any pets? If yes, how many and what kind?
- When do you plan to move?
- What type of housing do you want to live in?
- Do you have any special requests such as no stairs or quiet neighborhoods only, for example?
- Let your representative do the heavy lifting by finding housing options and negotiating rental agreements for you.
- Ask the important questions so you’re totally informed.
- Are utilities covered and will there be cable and internet?
- Can I choose housing that is fully furnished?
- How do I get a stipend?
Travel Nursing Tax Tips
To take advantage of tax deductions, follow these tips and save big:
- Make sure you establish a “tax home” to prove where you travel is job-related.
- Save every receipt from any travel related expense you have.
- Keep track of any professional expenses you ring up.
Finally, we recommend hiring a professional to help ensure you get the full benefit of your many tax breaks.
Travel Safety Tips
Being on the road as much as travel nurses are means paying attention to safety is a top priority. Staying safe while traveling has a lot to do with preparation and information. We’ve compiled some excellent travel safety tips for you to ensure you feel safe while on assignment.
- Take time to explore your surroundings during the daytime.
- Locate the nearest hospital and know your route.
- Be sure to know evacuation instructions and fire exits.
- Learn about which areas are not considered safe and avoid them.
- Do not invite people to your location; meet them in public areas instead.
- Avoid heavy drinking and stay sharp.
- Always keep your phone fully charged and carry an external charger (if possible).
- Scan your vehicle (inside, under, sides, front and back) before entering.
- Don’t park next to vans or other large vehicles.
- Use crosswalks and do not use your cell phone while crossing the street.
- Carry a flashlight at all times, even during the day (the one on your phone may suffice).
- When walking in a parking garage, walk far enough away from other cars so you are not at arm’s length of an attacker.
Follow These Tips for Ultimate Success
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun and make friends! Working in new places 3-4 times a year means you’ll experience new cultures, new sights, and new people.
We hope these travel nursing tips support you as you enjoy a career in this field. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out at any time.