Travel Healthcare

The Do’s and Don’ts of Travel Nursing


The allure of travel nursing is undeniable. Drawn by its attractive pay—typically 15-20% higher than permanent positions—flexible arrangements, and the chance to experience new cities, cultures, and healthcare systems However, for all its excitement, travel nursing also presents numerous challenges that are sometimes daunting to the uninitiated.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the essential do’s and don’ts of travel nursing, offering a roadmap for navigating this unique profession. Whether you’re a seasoned travel nurse looking to refine your approach or someone considering this dynamic career, the advice shared here is priceless.

The Do’s of Travel Nursing

Success in travel nursing often hinges on a few fundamental behaviors that either make or break your experience on the road. These ‘do’s are the proactive steps that lead to a fulfilling and sustainable career.
Adaptability is Your Greatest Strength

Travel nursing is synonymous with change. You work in different units, meet new colleagues, and adapt to varying hospital protocols—all within a condensed timeframe. Therefore, flexibility is your bridge to these unfamiliar territories. Approach each assignment with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Moreover, be prepared to pivot at a moment’s notice, as the ability to adapt quickly not only benefits your patients but also mitigates the stress of constant change.

Forge Meaningful Connections

Networking isn’t just a corporate buzzword; it’s a lifeline in the world of travel nursing. Developing relationships with staff members, mentors, and fellow nurses provides invaluable support as you cross unfamiliar professional landscapes. Simultaneously, a good mentor offers advice specific to the unit or hospital, while your travel nursing peers share vital insights about the community and travels.

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care sometimes feels like a luxury when you’re juggling a new environment alongside the demands of your profession, but it is non-negotiable. Regular self-care means recognizing when to step back and recharge your batteries. It could be as simple as ensuring you get enough sleep or as robust as establishing a routine that includes meditation, exercise, and hobbies that you enjoy. Remember, self-care is not an indulgence; it’s a prerequisite for delivering high-quality care and sustaining your career longevity.

The Don’ts of Travel Nursing

Avoiding certain behaviors is just as critical as adopting the right ones. The ‘don’ts’ of travel nursing are the pitfalls you need to vigilantly sidestep to ensure a positive and productive assignment.


Guard against burnout. Nursing, in any form, is emotionally and physically demanding. For starters, the temporary nature of travel nursing, which often includes longer hours and less familiar support systems, sometimes exacerbates feelings of exhaustion. Thus, it’s essential to recognize the signs of burnout and implement strategies to prevent its onset. This involves setting clear boundaries, knowing when to say no, and prioritizing rest and relaxation.

Workplace Stress

Navigate the workplace with Finesse. In various healthcare environments, personalities are as diverse as the pathologies being treated. Hence, navigating workplace dynamics is often challenging, particularly while dealing with high-stress levels. It’s critical to learn to remain neutral and professional, especially in the face of any discord among staff. This involves active listening, clear communication, and a calm, solution-oriented approach to conflicts. search jobs

Common Travel Missteps

Beware of common travel missteps. Travel nursing, by its nature, encompasses a degree of unpredictability. Therefore, preparing for the unknown is part and parcel of the adventure. Yet, some avoidable missteps disrupt your routine and inadvertently sabotage your efforts. Firstly, ensure your housing is secure and comfortable to create a home base that supports relaxation and rejuvenation. Secondly, stay organized with your licensing, certifications, and documentation to avoid any administrative hiccups. Lastly, maintain your professional presence by acting with integrity and respect, despite the tempting anonymity of new places.

Travel nursing is more than a job; it’s an odyssey that tests your resilience, adaptability, and resolve. By incorporating the tried-and-true suggestions provided by seasoned travel nurses, you ensure you make the most of this unique career. Keep the do’s and don’ts in mind as you continue your travel nursing journey and remember, the travel nursing community is here to support you every step of the way. With persistent flexibility, self-care, and a willingness to learn, you are able to transform potential challenges into opportunities for personal and professional growth. If you’re considering a career in travel nursing, take the plunge and get in touch with us, or review our open positions—there’s a world of healthcare waiting for you. Contact Voca today!

About Voca: The Spirit of Work

Voca is a relationship organization focused on uniting talented healthcare professionals across
nursing and allied, as well as travel and local with exceptional companies. Headquartered in
Rochester, MN, Voca works coast-to-coast supporting national, regional, and local healthcare
companies. Voca is proud to be certified by The Joint Commission, which evaluates and accredits
healthcare staffing agency organizations and programs in the United States. We are committed
to creating and maintaining a workplace in which all employees have an opportunity to
participate and contribute to our mutual success and are valued for their skills, experience, and
unique perspectives. For more information, visit