What Are the Most Common Travel Nursing Mistakes? - Trusted Nurse Staffing 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

You got the job. You are officially a travel nurse. 

In general, new jobs are challenging. And a new job every two to three months is even more difficult! 

Therefore, you should figure out how to steer clear of making any rookie mistakes

Are you ready to start off your career on the right foot?

In this article, you will learn all about the common mistakes travel nurses make so that you can avoid them. 


travel nurse mistakes


Table of Contents



15 Common Travel Nursing Mistakes To Avoid

Your mind may get foggy when feeling extra pressure, which can lead to making mistakes on the job. 

Although everyone makes mistakes (they are a part of life), inaccuracy and errors won’t help you excel as a travel nurse. In reality, it is your job to prevent mistakes by having a clear, sharp mind while working.

The travel nurse industry is growing rapidly. US travel nursing revenue tripled to $12 billion in six years; therefore, more and more nurses need to learn how to be efficient and productive. Let Trusted Nurse Staffing guide you to success in your nursing career. 




#1: Not Staying Flexible

Travel nurses can miss out on great opportunities if they are stubborn about where they want to go or only choose jobs based on pay. Don’t be narrow-minded; open up to all the possibilities and dare to try new situations. Growth comes once you move out of your comfort zone.

Additionally, taking some jobs can lead to more exciting opportunities in the future. For example, you may need to work in one place to get experience for your dream position. 

Adaptability is vital in fast-paced, stressful work environments. Don’t focus on needing specific outcomes for happiness. Be open to new opportunities and trust that what is best for you will come into your life.


#2: Skimming the Contract

This one seems like a no-brainer but always read your contract thoroughly to avoid surprises.

You can avoid misunderstandings by reviewing your contract with a friend or family member. 

Be sure to pay special attention to the following conditions:

  • Pay rate
  • Assignment dates
  • Travel reimbursements
  • Requested time off
  • Shift hours
  • Bonus requirements
  • Special agreements


#3: Not Negotiating Salary

Travel nurses can make over $50 an hour along with paid-housing accommodations. You may earn even more depending on your state and experience. 

Remember that you don’t have to accept the first offer. It’s okay to counter based on state averages, specialty fields, and experience. 

Do your research and be confident in yourself during negotiation time. Remember to value yourself and your services. Understanding the pay breakdown of travel nursing can help you be informed and negotiate the best salary.


#4: Forgetting the Details

Being unprepared and distracted can lead to forgetting to do some tasks before starting a new assignment. Getting everything done in advance and impressing your new manager is always a plus.

In addition, it is your responsibility to make sure all of your credentials, licenses, training, documentation, tests, etc., are all up to date and stored in an organized manner. 

Avoid losing track of expiration dates. Try reviewing your documents at the start of the new year or around your birthday to be aware of when to renew certificates or complete professional development. 


#5: Delaying the Housing Search

Searching for accommodations must be done asap. Arriving with housing issues is not the way to have a positive start to your contract. Securing housing early also makes it easier to find a backup place if something falls through.

For inspiration, check out our top housing sites for travel nurses. Take time to research accommodations as soon as you get an assignment. 

Learn more about housing details for Trusted Nurse Staffing travel nurses. Create your free profile today.




#6: Packing Too Much Stuff

Travel nurses often learn to become light packers to be more mobile and not feel weighed down. You can quickly shift your focus to experiences and people when you have fewer possessions. Minimalist travel nursing is a thing.

Ask about what is included in your furnished housing to figure out what you won’t need to bring. Pack clothing that is easy to layer and focus on versatile pieces. Learn about the climate in the area so you are prepared for the weather.

Learn to bring only the essentials. However, don’t be afraid to add a few touches of home, such as photos and comfy blankets and pillows. Those can help you relax and feel more tranquil when you are off the clock. 


#7: Keeping to Yourself at Work

When you act like part of the team, you’ll be treated like part of the team. Avoid sticking to yourself and open up to your healthcare community. Sharing professional development opportunities or hobbies is one way to connect with others in your workplace.

Some staff nurses have a grudge when it comes to travel nurses because they feel resentment, as they often earn less than travel nurses. Being a team player from the get-go will help curb any judgment and bitterness. 

Being authentic and a good listener when integrating into a new team will be greatly appreciated by others. 


#8: Getting Caught Up in Hospital Drama

Stay out of the drama club! No one likes gossip queens. Your goal is to fit in, not alienate yourself. 

Making a quick personal connection through gossip is not how you want to be known. Trust should be the basis of your hospital relationships.

Remember to:

  • Avoid drama 
  • Don’t take sides
  • Stay calm and positive


common travel nurse mistakes


#9: Not Asking Enough Questions

Assuming you know everything about the ward you’re on is bound to lead to mistakes. You are often in new locations and situations, so needing help and asking questions is normal. 

Mark Victor Hansen & Crystal Dwyer Hansen teach

“When we ask, the answers cause us to strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

Asking questions doesn’t mean you are incompetent, but this practice can save you from making mistakes and damaging your career.


#10: Making Assumptions About Hospital Policies and Procedures

Not all hospitals are the same. Ask the admin for a copy of the policies and procedures manual.

Before starting your assignment, familiarize yourself with how the new hospital is run. If that isn’t possible, find this information and implement it during your first work week.


#11: Making Charting or Medication Errors

This goes without saying, but as a travel nurse, you will be under pressure to jump right in — and new travel nurses might feel flustered. 

Taking extra time with charting and medications will help avoid costly and possibly dangerous mistakes. Double-check your work every time. 

Some common medication mistakes are giving the:

  • Wrong dosage
  • Wrong medicine; or 
  • Prescription to the wrong patient 


#12: Taking Work Home

Travel nurses work at hospitals, dealing with real-life issues. Sad outcomes are, unfortunately, part of the job and can get nurses down.

Additionally, some cases are more challenging than others. And everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Being upset is normal. Take the time to feel. 

Having support can make life easier. Talking about your feelings with your supporting staff, supervisors, etc., can help you release them. 


#13: Having Too Much or Too Little Fun

Like in everything in life, balance is key. A travel nurse gets to explore, go on adventures, and have fun. Don’t overdo it on your time off; be sure to find ways to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate. Taking time to rest and getting a good night’s sleep is always essential. 

Pay attention to the following:

  • Overextending yourself
  • Overindulging 
  • Overlooking self-care 

On the other hand, don’t isolate yourself. Prioritize having a bit of a social life. Remember that the “all work and no play” lifestyle isn’t ideal either. 

Be aware of how you spend your time and consciously decide what you want to do daily.


do travel nurses make mistakes


#14: Not Making Friends

Travel nursing can be lonely. Making friends will help pass the time and help you discover more about your new community.

Additionally, building relationships with advisors and co-workers allows you to feel comfortable asking for help when needed. 

Together we are stronger. 

“Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie Stepanek 


#15: Not Taking a Break Between Assignments

Jumping from one assignment to the next can be difficult and exhausting. Always give yourself time to settle in once you arrive at a new job, which usually lasts from 8 to 13 weeks. 

After a few days to get organized and connect with the new people in your area, make a list of excursions and trips you would like to experience in your ‘new home.’ Taking breaks and having fun will help you be happier and healthier, often making you a better nurse. 

Another option to avoid mistakes is getting rest and possibly traveling home between assignments to see family and friends. Downtime will help you reset yourself for your next assignment


Steer Clear of Travel Nursing Mistakes With the Help of Trusted Nurse Staffing

Trusted Nurse Staffing assists you in creating a travel nursing career so you have more time to do whatever else you love. We are an agency you can trust to find you the proper position. 

Trusted Nurse Staffing offers flexible contracts in all 50 states and will help you avoid common mistakes travel nurses make by providing our support and experience. We are committed to your success. 

Our trusted team of professionals:

  • Inspires you to do your best
  • Helps you navigate your new position
  • Is dedicated to assisting you in designing a job that gives you the freedom you desire
  • Is always available when you need help

If you’re feeling off, communicate your concerns with us. We pride ourselves on offering resources and support to help you get back to feeling like yourself.

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we are dedicated to your success and ready to support you every step of the way, even when dealing with mistakes. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services. We can help you achieve your travel nursing goals. You can earn more, enjoy a flexible lifestyle, and experience different places all with our assistance. Get started in three easy steps today.