Five Must-Have Traits for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses have slightly different challenges from on-site nurses in a traditional clinical care facility. When these organizations experience a staffing shortage, they often call upon travel nurses to fill care gaps. That makes the travel nurse both in demand and highly skilled; they must step into a challenging role and hit the ground running to quickly provide value.

This means the travel nurse must assimilate into the culture of a facility while also quickly learning the variances of clinical protocols. It takes a special person to step into the shoes of a traveling nurse. We’ve picked out five of the top traits that any travel nurse must exhibit.

  1. Adaptable
    Being adaptable is a skill that any travel nurse must have. Many times these nursing professionals end up in a new city or, at a minimum, a new facility, and must immediately shift gears to learn how to fit into a new environment. Adapting culturally is just as imperative as learning new protocols within each unit or hospital. The adaptable travel nurse must quickly observe the lay of the land, and then react according to norms, customs, and procedures, as well as adapting to interactions with patients, doctors and staff. The stresses of packing, moving and finding yourself in a new place can be extremely stressful, but travel nurses are adaptable enough to take it in stride.
  2. Organized
    Staying organized while on the road takes skill. Traveling nurses are not only extremely busy but must handle the stresses of being away from home. Just making certain everything is packed properly, knowing when and where to report to work, as well as learning the ropes of the job as quickly as possible simply won’t be possible without organizational skills.
  3. Dependable
    This skill is a no-brainer; there are a lot of people depending on the traveling nurse. In addition to the normal dependability required of any on-the-job nurse to patients and clinical care, the traveling nurse also must handle the vagaries of travel and on-time arrival in a new location. They must be incredibly reliable to be trusted to provide care in a temporary engagement.
  4. Resilient
    Traveling nurses often have unusual fill-in schedules. They must have the resilience to adapt to new cities and job settings, new protocols and clinical teams, but also new work schedules. Resiliency must run in the veins of a travel nurse because they must constantly handle the changes inherent in each new job as part of their career.
  5. Communication
    When joining a team for a short time, the challenges of communicating in a stressful hospital environment are even tougher. Making certain communications are friendly, calm and professional is important. Being careful to never offend, gossip or pass judgment while handling yourself professionally at all times is imperative for a successful assignment. Considering words carefully and heading off any confusion quickly is important to improve efficiency. It’s also crucial to communicate clearly without being overly emotional; a good travel nurse always exhibits emotional intelligence and maturity while on the job.

Travel nurses have some of the most challenging roles in healthcare. That’s exactly why these characteristics are so important. If you’d like to explore the rewarding and challenging role of a healthcare nurse, contact us today.


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