How Do I Deal With A Travel Nurse?

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Rule #1: Say hello and introduce yourself. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many nurses skip this obvious step.

Remember that the travel nurse is there to help. The sooner he or she feels welcome, the better. So tell them a little about yourself and ask about their areas of expertise. Most travel nurses have an impressive skill set; learning about their background will help put them at ease and enable you to make the best use of their talents.

Provide a thorough orientation. Travel nurses are pretty good at hitting the floor full stride, but they still need to know where the linen closet is and how to operate the phone system. Take the time to explain any especially important policies and procedures, and introduce them to the docs. Clue them in, too: If certain doctors like the charts to be pulled before they come to make rounds, let them know.

Be sure they know their job responsibilities as well. Are RNs responsible for their own linen changes on your unit, or do CNAs do all linen changes and personal care? Who’s responsible for counting narcotics?

Check in with the travel nurse frequently, at least during their first few shifts. A simple “How’s it going?” can make a big difference. Also make it a point to include the travel nurse in any unit activities. They might not officially be a part of the gang, but they are for the time being and deserve to be treated as such.

Consider inviting the travel nurse to experience the town with you. Most travelers love to partake of local culture, so give them an insider’s glimpse of the area. Who knows? They just might invite you to visit them when they travel to their next assignment!


This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. The fact that this article has to be written really speaks to the level of bullying still evident in the nursing field. Other industries and professions do not need to be told how to welcome and treat temporary help.

  2. I’m a travel nurse. I’ve been doing it for 6 years and I have no intention of doing anything else. I have made friends everywhere I’ve worked. I’m a team player. I will help you boost your patient and I will try an IV for you and I will sign off on your heparin. I’m a nurse just like you and I strive to always be the nurse that I would want to work with. I may ask more than once where something is but that doesn’t make me stupid. I love my job!

  3. Thanks for the short article on “How do I deal with a travel nurse”.
    Some people think it’s all glitz and glam; far from it! The challenges of others expecting perfection because of the perceived benefits of travel nursing can be overwhelming and isolating.
    Kindness shared while on a travel assignment, can make one feel like they’re being entertained by angels. This can have a ripple effect, making the world a more beautiful place.
    We are healers. May the healing begin with each other, empowering us to do the work that for all of us… Is only temporary.

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