Many people agree that one of the best things about travel nursing is the opportunity to fill different roles and work in a variety of fields from assignment to assignment, building your resume and your skill set as you go.

For instance, have you ever considered taking a job working as a preceptor? This is a position you may not have heard much about, but it’s crucial in helping train aspiring and new nurses. 

But can a travel nurse even be a preceptor?

We’ll explain what a preceptor does, whether travel nurses can help fill this position, what ideal qualities a preceptor should have, and more.


Table of Contents



What Is a Preceptor?

Preceptors are experienced clinicians who mentor newly graduated RNs or sometimes even nursing students. Their role is a vital one in the community, as nurses with little to no experience need someone who has seen it all to show them the ropes.

Preceptors help nurses who may only have theoretical knowledge of their jobs translate their skills into real-world clinical practice. With their years of experience, they are able to:

  • Teach hospital protocols
  • Provide feedback
  • Set learning objectives
  • Encourage critical thinking
  • And more 


travel nurse preceptor


Who Can Be a Preceptor?

Preceptors need to be experienced nurses since they’re helping new clinicians learn how to properly do their jobs. 

The requirements to be a preceptor may vary by facility or program, but generally, an unencumbered license to practice in the state where the mentorship is taking place is necessary. A preceptor also needs to be practicing in the same specialty as the new nurse.

There are almost always roles available for preceptors, as they are needed anywhere new nurses or students are affiliated with a healthcare facility.


Can a Travel Nurse Be a Preceptor?

Yes! Since most travel nursing agencies require a couple of years of experience in nursing before traveling, travel nurses are eligible to be preceptors. While a travel nurse preceptor may be new to a facility and have to figure out their way around, they can still offer plenty of guidance to new nurses or nursing students based on their experience.

Some travel nurses may not be comfortable in the role of preceptor unless they have already worked in a facility on a previous assignment. For instance, a new traveler unfamiliar with the layout or protocols of a hospital may not want to take the extra time to learn what she needs to know while also teaching it to someone else.

But for most, the knowledge they have about charting, procedures, bedside manner, medication dispensing, and much more is more than enough to pass on to the next generation of nurses.

It’s always good to talk with staffing personnel about whether or not you’re interested in exploring the role of a travel nurse preceptor. You may also be able to negotiate a higher salary for your mentorship skills if you agree to take on this part of the job.


can a travel nurse be a preceptor


What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Travel Nurse Preceptor?

Travel nurse preceptors are important guides to those new to the field of nursing. Here are some of the important roles they may play.


Acting as a Mentor

Through clinical competency and effective leadership, travel nurse preceptors can model the behavior new nurses should be working to achieve. It’s helpful if preceptors understand some of the theory behind teaching, but even demonstrating their own competencies with confidence will help those with less experience learn a great deal.

Some of the behaviors expected in this mentorship role include:

  • Helping the learner understand when to use a new skill
  • Protecting new nurses from common pitfalls
  • Coaching inexperienced clinicians toward independence and proficiency
  • Offering positive feedback


Providing Leadership

The field of nursing all comes down to caring about other people, so travel nurse preceptors can provide leadership to their charges by modeling five core nursing values as defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). 

These values are:

  • Human dignity – Showing respect for others at all times
  • Integrity – Practicing nursing with ethics and standards
  • Autonomy – Having the right to govern oneself
  • Altruism – Being concerned for the welfare of others
  • Social justice – Treating everyone fairly


Helping Make Connections

Travel nurse preceptors do the important work of helping new clinicians make connections between what they learned in school and the real-life situations they encounter each day — bridging the gap between theory and practice.

A good preceptor will recognize what a new nurse needs to learn most and give assignments to help with those skills, building a scaffolding that can slowly be disassembled as the learner becomes more independent.


Evaluating New Nurses

One of a travel nurse preceptor’s most important jobs is to monitor how well new nurses are learning and demonstrating what’s expected of them. Preceptors and learners should meet regularly to discuss expectations and provide feedback. Over time, as new nurses perform with greater levels of competence, these meetings can occur less frequently.


working as a preceptor travel nurse


What Are the Ideal Qualities a Travel Nurse Preceptor Should Have?

The qualities that make someone an ideal travel nurse preceptor include:

  • Passion for nursing
  • Expertise in clinical care
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to give constructive feedback
  • Enthusiasm for teaching others
  • A sense of empathy
  • A facility with promoting autonomy in others

Some question whether travel nurses who are new to a facility would make good preceptors, but you could argue that being a travel nurse provides skills that could help one excel as a preceptor. 

For instance, travel nurses have diverse experiences from working in a variety of facilities. They are used to navigating many different types of policies and procedures and can help others do so as well.

Travel nurses also tend to be highly adaptable, which can help them adjust their teaching styles for new nurses who may learn differently than everyone else.

Another plus is that travel nurses are free from the politics and bias that may come with being in the same facility for a long time, so they can offer learners a fresh perspective without undue influence.

If you think you have the qualities to make a good travel nurse preceptor, search for jobs using Pronto and be sure to let your recruiter know that you’re interested in this type of position.


How Much Does a Travel Nurse Preceptor Make?

ZipRecruiter reports that nurse preceptors make an average of $70,136 per year or $34 per hour. Hourly salaries for this position have been known to exceed $65 per hour.

As with any nursing job, the pay can depend on factors such as:

  • Education level
  • Years of experience
  • Location
  • Need
  • And more

Since travel nurses usually make more money than staff nurses, you may be able to negotiate a higher-than-average salary for this job. Plus, when you work with Trusted Nurse Staffing, you receive lots of bonuses and benefits that can make it an even more lucrative gig.


travel nurse precepting


5 Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse Preceptor


#1: Developing Your Leadership Skills

If you’ve always wanted to play a leadership role in the nursing profession, preceptorship is a great way to do it. Working as a travel nurse preceptor will allow you to:

  • Improve both your written and oral communication
  • Manage and delegate tasks
  • Supervise new nurses and teams
  • Build collaboration and teamwork
  • Be more accountable for healthcare practice and outcomes


#2: Giving Back to the Nursing Profession

Did you have an amazing preceptor when you were first starting out? It’s time to pay it forward. Preceptors shape careers and help strengthen the field of nursing.

And if you didn’t have a great experience with your own preceptor, you can create a whole new experience for the next generation of nurses.


#3: Enhancing Your Resume

Showing a willingness to lead and teach will strengthen your professional experience. When potential new employers see your dedication to improving healthcare and commitment to lifelong learning, you’ll have a leg up over the competition.


#4: Earning Continuing Education Credits

Yes, preceptorship is a rewarding job that may also be paycheck-enhancing. But when you consider the fact that it can also help you earn credential renewal, it becomes even sweeter.

Check with your certification board or credentialing center to find out how many clinical preceptor hours can count toward your CEUs.


#5: Renewing Your Passion for Nursing

Did you know that supporting other people is a great way to relieve stress? Nursing is a rewarding but challenging field, so preceptorship can help you channel the chaos in a positive way.

The fresh sense of motivation and enthusiasm that new clinicians bring to the table can also inspire you and help you remember why you became a nurse in the first place.


Trusted Nurse Staffing and Pronto Can Help You Find Travel Nurse Preceptor Positions

Trusted Nurse Staffing is an award-winning travel nurse agency driven by a passion for service. If you’d like to serve the medical community by working as a travel nurse preceptor, we can help you find ideal positions.

Our Pronto job search makes it easier than ever to discover your dream assignment. Just create a profile by uploading your credentials and setting your preferred filters, and you can start applying for jobs right away.

We want to make sure you feel supported and like a part of the family at every turn. Your “dream team” at Trusted Nurse Staffing will include:

  • Clinical support
  • Payroll advice
  • Assignment advocates
  • Compliance experts
  • And more

Find out why so many nurses choose Trusted Nurse Staffing to help them find the jobs they want. Visit Pronto today and let’s get to work!


can a travel nurse be a preceptor