Making Your First Travel Nursing Assignment Successful

Author: Coast Medical Service

Posted: August 28, 2023

Abroad, Career, Travel Nursing

Nurse at peace

Navigating Your First Travel Nurse Assignment: Pro Strategies and Essential Tips

Navigating your first travel nursing assignment can be quite overwhelming. We’ve been there too, and after much research and experience, we’ve discovered the best ways to prepare for this adventure.

Here, we will walk you through each step, from updating your resume to managing jitters on the first day, ensuring that you embark on this journey with utmost preparedness. Ready to conquer your first travel nursing assignment? Let’s dive in!


Preparing for Your First Travel Nursing Assignment

Learn about travel nursing and what it involves, determine your availability to work as a travel nurse, update your resume and gather necessary documents, get excellent letters of professional reference, and consider getting a Compact Nursing License.

Learn About Travel Nursing and What It Involves

Travel Nurse with patientTravel nursing offers a unique blend of adventure and profession, allowing nurses to fulfill short-term contracts at healthcare facilities across the country.

The duration typically ranges from eight to thirteen weeks but can extend based on the needs of the hiring institution. Travel nursing requires adapting quickly to new environments and work cultures while maintaining high-quality patient care standards.

As a travel nurse, you get a chance to explore different locations and broaden our professional skills by working in various clinical settings like hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centers.

Any prospective travel nurse must understand that this role involves more than regular nursing duties; it demands resilience, adaptability, excellent communication skills, and consistent performance under pressure.

Determine Your Availability To Work as a Travel Nurse

Travel Nurse calendarPlanning your calendar is crucial in determining your flexibility as a travel nurse. Understanding the level of commitment required and aligning it with personal obligations is essential.

Balancing professional and personal life is important when embarking on this journey. Knowing how much time you can devote helps you negotiate contracts for potential travel nursing jobs. Make sure you are clear about the duration of assignments, which typically ranges from eight weeks to six months, sometimes up to a year, depending on the situation.

Update Your Resume and Gather the Necessary Documents

We encourage you to keep your resume current and assemble all vital documents before your first nursing assignment.

  • Start by enhancing the layout of your resume, keeping it clean and professional.
  • Make sure to highlight your nursing experience and education prominently on the page.
  • Include any certifications that will make you stand out as a strong candidate for travel nursing jobs.
  • Don’t forget to mention references who can vouch for your skills and character.
  • Prepare copies of all essential paperwork, such as your nursing license, passport, and other forms of identification.

Get Excellent Letters of Professional Reference

Travel Nurse Letter of RecommendationOne important step in preparing for your first travel nursing assignment is to obtain excellent letters of professional reference. These letters showcase your skills and experience to potential employers, increasing your chances of securing desirable assignments.

Contact former supervisors or colleagues who can speak about your expertise and work ethic.

Ask them to highlight specific accomplishments or special skills that make you a standout nurse.

Consider Getting a Compact Nursing License

Getting a Compact Nursing License is something you should consider as you prepare for your first travel nursing assignment. A Compact Nursing License allows nurses to practice in multiple states without having to go through the process of getting licensed in each state.

Finding new assignments can save you time, money, and hassle. With a Compact Nursing License, you will have more flexibility and greater job opportunities as a travel nurse. It’s worth looking into if you plan on working in different states throughout your career.


Tips for Success in Your First Travel Nursing Assignment

Be honest with recruiters and potential employers, carefully read the fine print in your contract, and create a budget to manage your finances effectively.

Be Honest With Recruiters and Potential Employers

Travel Nurse HonestyWhen applying for a travel nursing assignment, being honest with recruiters and potential employers is crucial. Provide accurate information about your skills, experience, and availability.


Transparency is key in building trust and ensuring a good fit between you and the employer. Misrepresenting your qualifications or availability can lead to difficulties down the line and may harm your professional reputation.


Read the Fine Print in Your Contract and Create a Budget

It’s crucial to read the fine print in your contract and create a budget to ensure you have all the essential nursing equipment for a successful assignment. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Review your contract carefully, paying close attention to details such as pay rates, duration of assignment, and any additional responsibilities or requirements.
  • Understand the cancellation policy and any penalties if you must end your assignment early.
  • Take note of any stipulations regarding overtime pay, shift differentials, or holiday pay so that you can plan accordingly.
  • Create a comprehensive budget including all expected expenses during your assignment, such as housing, transportation, meals, and licensing or certification fees.
  • Factor in potential unexpected costs, such as medical emergencies or repairs to your housing accommodations.

Plan For Housing and Consider Personal Liability Insurance

To prepare for your first travel nursing assignment, planning for housing and considering personal liability insurance is important. Here are some tips and tricks to help you with this:

Travel Nurse Housing Budget

  • Research housing options in the area where you will be working. Look for affordable and safe options that are convenient for your workplace.
  • Consider different housing types, such as renting an apartment or house or staying in extended-stay hotels or Airbnb accommodations.
  • If you’re unsure about the best housing option, contact other travel nurses who have worked in the same location for recommendations and advice.
  • Some travel nursing agencies offer assistance with finding housing. Take advantage of this service if it’s available to you.
  • Personal liability insurance can protect you from potential legal and financial issues, so research different insurance providers and choose the one that offers comprehensive coverage at a reasonable price.


In conclusion, preparing for your first travel nursing assignment requires careful planning and attention to detail. By learning about the industry, updating your resume, obtaining necessary documents and references, and considering important factors like housing and insurance, you can set yourself up for success.

Remember to be honest with recruiters and employers, read contracts carefully, and prioritize tasks to make the most of your experience as a travel nurse. Now it’s time to embark on this exciting new journey!

If you have an idea of what type of travel nursing assignment and where you want to be located, click here to search Coast Medical Service’s Jobs Page to compare thousands of high paying travel nurse jobs.

In the case you might not be sure of what you’re looking for, that’s ok too. Simply click this link to submit your resume to Coast and one of our expert travel nursing recruiters will reach out to you to discuss your goals and match you to a great travel nursing opportunity!

And if you know of a great travel nurse that is looking for their ideal travel nursing assignment, you can easily submit them via our Referral Page. The best part for you is you’ll receive up to $1000 after their first assignment, and they’ll receive an additional $500!

Whether it’s your first travel nursing assignment or you’re a seasoned travel nurse, Coast Medical Service will make sure you’re taken care of and find an amazing opportunity! Experience the difference today!

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