10 Effective Time Management Tips for Travel Nurses 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

While being a traveling nurse has seemingly endless perks, if you don’t know what you’re doing, keeping on top of your ever-morphing schedule can prove beyond daunting. 

If you want to be successful on the road, being savvy about handling time management is an absolute must.

That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide of 10 travel nurse time management tips!

Keep reading to discover how to tackle your schedule while on the road and make the most out of this unique and exciting career.


Table of Contents



Adjusting to Life as a Travel Nurse

Managing your time as a travel nurse doesn’t just end with your shift. When you’re on the road, it’s critical to hone your time management skills to meet the demands of your ever-changing:

  • Shifts
  • Travel
  • Personal life
  • Family life (if you’re traveling with a significant other or kids in tow)
  • Weekend adventures

Travel nurses also have to take time to adapt to their surroundings outside work since even something like figuring out the layout of a new grocery store can take up a little more time in your schedule.


10 Travel Nurse Time Management Tips


#1: Strategically Schedule Your Time

Planning ahead will help you decrease some of the stress associated with traveling and moving to a new job and area. 

Before you even start your assignment, you’ll want to:

  • Know what to expect with your daily commute.
  • Research places in the area to eat, buy your groceries, and fun things to do.
  • Gain as much info as you can about the facility and its layout, policies, and procedures.

There are plenty of online communities, like Reddit, with a wealth of information, where residents of cities can give advice and tips for those planning to move there.

One thing you’ll want to focus on, especially if this is your first assignment, is packing with intention. According to GitHub, more than 58% of people find the physical process of packing up and moving their belongings to be the most stressful factor when moving. 

Depending on your location, the length of your position, and your housing arrangements, you may need to pack:

  • Housewares, such as pots and pans, a vacuum, and bath towels
  • Personal electronics, like an alarm clock or Wi-Fi router
  • Outdoor gear, such as camping equipment or boots for hiking
  • Entertainment, like that novel you’ve been wanting to read or crafting supplies

Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you plan your assignments around your personal needs. Use our Pronto job search to find available travel nurse assignments today!


travel nurse time management tips


#2: Prioritize Tasks Deliberately

A Reclaim AI survey used data from 989 professionals and found that 98.2% of individuals claim to have trouble prioritizing tasks. 

Think about your priorities for not only your initial day on the job but also for when you first arrive at your new home. Between unloading all your belongings and calling your loved ones to let them know you arrived safely, you’ll probably need to find a place to eat and unwind after traveling. 

A great time management tip for travel nurses is time blocking. With this strategy, you schedule out every part of your day into blocks of time. Time blocking allows you to effectively manage your priorities, both in and out of work, by breaking goals down into manageable components that you then organize by importance and urgency. 


#3: Understand That Organization Is Key

Your mom’s advice was spot-on when she said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” By organizing both your personal space and your workspace, you’ll be able to:

  • Limit distractions
  • Create a focused and intentional space
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve the efficiency of your planning and surroundings

Even something as simple as setting your work clothes out the night or day before your shift can help. Throw your keys and bag on top, and you have three fewer things to scramble for before heading out the door. 

It’s also smart to utilize digital organization tools like:

  • Cloud storage
  • Task management apps 
  • Digital calendars

These handy tools not only cut back on paperwork but also provide a one-stop, easily accessible platform for keeping up with the many components of your life.


#4: Plan Your Shift Transitions Efficiently

When you’re a travel nurse, transitioning between shifts, especially if you work varying shifts, is critical. As this study on the adverse effects of shift work on nurses revealed, effectively managing your shift transitions can help improve your life as a travel nurse and as a nurse in general.

To make things flow smoothly, you’ll want to:

  • Prioritize your tasks while on shift to help ensure the next shift can successfully handle any critical patient needs or issues to help maintain continuity of care. 
  • Ensure all important information is clearly documented and properly communicated between changing staff by utilizing standardized handoff protocols. 
  • Give yourself plenty of time to relax between shifts.
  • Establish a post-shift routine that prepares your body for sleep.


travel nurse time management tips


#5: Utilize Technology

These days, we have one of the most powerful planning tools imaginable right in our back pockets. One of the top travel nurse time management tips around is to make the most of your smartphone. This little powerhouse is equipped with a huge variety of tools to facilitate effective planning, including: 

  • Apps
  • Calendars
  • Alarm clocks
  • And more

Virtual assistance or AI tools may also help. Even something as simple (yet ingenious) as buying a coffee machine with an alarm clock can save you valuable time. 

Technology can even help you find your dream travel nurse assignment. Use your phone for our Pronto job search today!


travel nurse time management tips


#6: Learn How To Say No

As with every other area of life, one of the most important time management tips for travel nurses is to know your limits. 

Don’t take on extra shifts or commitments because you feel obligated since you’re the traveler. Being able to say no is a skill that guards your well-being and the health and wellness of your patients.

Overextending yourself can lead to burnout and may result in situations where you hurt yourself or your patients.

Be sure to:

  • Prioritize your commitments
  • Know your limits
  • Decline to accept additional responsibilities as needed to maintain a healthy work-life balance

Remember, it’s okay to say no!


#7: Stay Flexible

Everywhere you work as a travel nurse will likely have different ways of doing things. 

Practice adaptability. Always leave a little wiggle room in your schedule to allow for any necessary last-minute changes. 

Whether that means you have to skip your morning breakfast sandwich from a local café and opt for a granola bar or put off patient documentation to assist with a code — embracing flexibility will help you maintain your peace of mind and keep you on your toes and available to assist your patients. 


#8: Take Regular Breaks

You’re not going to be of any use to your patients if you don’t take breaks. Nurses may be heroes of healthcare, but they’re human too!

Studies have found that nurses who have interrupted rest breaks or skip them altogether have:

  • Lower job performance
  • Greater job dissatisfaction
  • Higher job turnover
  • Increased mental health problems


#9: Rely on Your Support System

Do you have a question, concern, or need? Don’t be afraid to reach out to your recruiter, other travelers, coworkers, friends, and family. Success as a travel nurse relies on comprehensive and open communication to thrive, and building a support system is vital. 

Colleagues understand your challenges on the road and can share resources and offer advice. Since travel nursing frequently involves working with new teams and stepping into unfamiliar environments, seek out fellow travelers who have experienced similar assignments and understand your on-the-road lifestyle. 

Keeping your family and friends up-to-date about your schedule allows them to support you. Don’t hesitate to share your experiences and challenges to give them the information they need to offer the emotional support you need. Letting them know your highs and lows allows them to understand the unique demands of the travel nursing lifestyle. 

When you get right down to it, being intentional to create a supportive network is essential for both personal and professional success.


#10: Practice Self-Care

A lack of self-care is an epidemic in the nursing community. 

A 2023 study on the self-care practices of nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic found that “although 93% of participants engage in self-care activities. . . only 45% practiced self-care on a daily basis. Half of the participants (50%) practiced self-care activities sometimes, while 5% did not engage in self-care practices.”

Even though you’re not at “home,” there are lots of things a travel nurse can do for self-care, including:

  • Going for a walk or run
  • Practicing meditation
  • Reading a book or going to a movie
  • Scheduling a spa day
  • Taking a weekend getaway
  • Using sleep aids, like blackout curtains, ear plugs, or a white noise machine to optimize your rest


travel nurse time management tips


Benefits of Staying on Top of Your Time Management Game as a Travel Nurse

Research outlines some of the many benefits surrounding time management and its ability to improve aspects of nurses’:

  • Personal lives
  • Mood and stress levels
  • Part-time jobs
  • Job satisfaction
  • Quality of patient care

Essentially, good time management skills equals increased success in all areas — whereas accepting too many work responsibilities can frequently lead to wasted time, stress, exhaustion, and low performance.


Leverage Your Time With Help From Pronto and Trusted Nurse Staffing

Traditional travel nurse agencies have you work with a recruiter on their time. Trusted Nurse Staffing’s Pronto places that time back in travel nurses’ hands by allowing them to easily and quickly search through various jobs. 

Don’t have time to wade through thousands of prospective contracts? Enable notifications, and Pronto will alert you when a job that aligns with your qualifications and requirements pops up.

Besides our other amazing benefits, we’re sure you’ll love our newest perk — student loan assistance through the CARES Act. This is available to active nurses after they have been with Trusted Nurse Staffing for 30 days. 

What are you waiting for? Join the Trusted Nurse Staffing community of travel nurses today!


travel nurse time management tips