Travel Nurse Essentials for a Successful Shift

Author: Coast Medical Service

Posted: June 13, 2022


nurse with mask holding needle

You’re on the road again, jumping from place to place. That’s the life of a travel nurse—and with your travel nursing suitcase in tow, it’s a new role you’re wearing like a badge of honor.

The question is, does that suitcase have everything you need to thrive as a travel nurse at your upcoming job site?

The reality is, when you’re relocating to a new city or state, figuring out what to bring with you versus what to leave behind can feel like a daunting task. However, certain items should always go with you.

Here’s a rundown on the nurse essentials you should always make room for every time you hit the road.

Essential Documents

One of the most critical nurse bag essentials to bring with you on your next assignment is your personal documents. These important documents include the following:

  • Agreement with a roadside assistance provider
  • Insurance policy
  • Travel documents (e.g., a passport)
  • Car insurance paperwork
  • Social Security identification card
  • Driver’s license

In addition to bringing these documents with you, be sure to store them in a secure location in your new temporary home. Having these documents on hand will save you the stress, time, and cost of having to have a family member or friend ship these documents to you in a pinch.

You should also have legible copies of any professional certifications you have attained, as well as your nurse license. The travel nurse staffing company you work with should have this information as well, but you also need to maintain digital copies in the event you have to provide them at your worksite.

Home Comforts

A few personal items that are meaningful to you should also be included among your travel nurse essentials. For instance, some photos of friends and family can help you feel connected with your loved ones miles away. You can also bring other small possessions that remind you of the most important people in your life, like a card from a significant other.

Make sure that your favorite music is also readily available on your electronic device as well. Music can have a positive impact on your stress levels, so consider creating your own playlist to listen to on the way to your job site or even during your lunch hour at work. Likewise, pack your favorite books to read during your downtime.

First-Aid Items and Medicines

Additional nurse bag essentials for nurses on the go include first-aid kits. Although you will likely be working at a hospital for your travel nurse assignment, it’s still wise to have these emergency items on hand for the drive to and from work. Your kit should include the following items:

  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Breathing barrier
  • Gloves
  • Tape
  • Cold compress
  • Antiseptic
  • Gauze
  • Compress bandages
  • Band-aids and bandages

When it comes to medication, your nurse essentials include your prescription medications, ibuprofen, and aspirin.

supplies in a large first-aid kit

Emergency Contact Information

No list of nurse bag essentials would be complete without a reference to emergency phone contact information as well. Examples of the people to include contact details for in your bag include the following:

  • Insurance agents
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Staffing company
  • Temporary lodging contact representative

Having these details on you and all in one place will make it easier for you—or a coworker, if necessary—to resolve an emergency situation that comes up while you’re at your worksite.


Nurse bag essentials for travel workers also include the right clothes, as well as backup clothes.

You will need to check with your temporary employer to make sure that you are wearing the right type of scrubs to your assignment and the work environment. Note that heavier scrubs and even thermal underwear may be helpful if you will be working in colder temperatures.

Other essential pieces of clothing include backup scrubs and even casual clothes for those days when you need to switch to regular clothes right after work for a special event or activity.

Comfortable sneakers and an umbrella are additional must-haves for any serious travel nurse.

Timekeeping Device

Finally, make sure that your collection of nurse essentials also includes a dependable watch, as you will likely be keeping time regularly when working with patients. If your watch is waterproof, that’s even better.

If you prefer to use your smartphone to keep time, be sure to always bring the device’s charger with you to work.

Partner with Coast Medical Services to Land Your Dream Travel Nursing Job Today

If you’re ready to embark on the journey of travel nursing, we at Coast Medical Services can help. No matter what your motivation may be, we can discuss your needs and wants with you. Then, we can present the jobs that would best, as well as advise you on what nurse essentials to bring along.

If you represent a medical facility seeking reliable and trustworthy nurses who can start right away, you’ve come to the right place as well. With our strong reputation for achieving customer satisfaction over the years, we are ready to help you to complete your staffing goals in the months and years ahead.

Whether we’re working with nurses or medical facilities, we are dedicated to operating in excellence. Our goal is to help to facilitate the process of delivering safe, competent, efficient, and effective patient care. We work hard to make sure that every travel worker and employer who partners with us is highly respected and deeply valued.

Get in touch with us to learn more, and partner with us today!

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