Are You Ready to Be a Travel Nurse? Here Are The Top 6 Qualifications

Travel nursing comes with a wealth of benefits, like the freedom to travel to new destinations and experience new things while advancing your career and earning a good living. But with an influx of qualified applicants and specialized requirements from facilities, the travel nursing world can be competitive. Scoring those outstanding travel nursing jobs can be harder than it looks due to the stiff competition, so you have to make yourself stand out. 

Certain personal characteristics and skills are bound to make your job as a travel nurse a more natural fit, the main one being a sense of adventure. These qualities can give you the advantage when looking for a travel nurse assignment you really want, which means you’ll be much more likely to get that coveted travel job. Here are six travel nursing qualifications to help you succeed as a traveler.

Emotional Intelligence

As a travel nurse, you’ll have to pack up your life and move every few months. To assimilate quickly into each new workplace, you must be perceptive about social and cultural cues that provide important information that guides may not offer in the employee handbook. That means remaining self-aware and continually “reading” co-workers and patients so you can understand, empathize, and negotiate with them. While the job of a travel nurse is primarily rewarding, they must also be able to deliver unpleasant news to people in the best way possible and help them cope.


You probably wouldn’t be interested in a travel nurse job if you weren’t open to new challenges, but those challenges can be made easier just by having a different perspective. The best travel nurses are those who can move out of their comfort zone and demonstrate resilience. Being willing and able to learn new technologies and techniques is a tremendous asset—your field of knowledge will constantly expand to provide the best care possible to your patients. If you are rigid and structured and used to doing everything the same way, it will be harder to succeed in travel nursing.


Working as a travel nurse means you won’t be in one place for long. Most travelers spend an average of three months at a health care facility before moving on to the next location. Because you might not be able to anticipate your next assignment very far in advance, you’ll need to be flexible. You’ll also have to learn and adhere to new procedures and policies and quickly adjust to working in a new unit. Travel nurses who remain flexible in their job expectations and schedules can come in to help a unit and serve as an essential facet of the team. 

Strong Communication Skills

Good communication skills, including listening, aren’t just important for making new friends at work but will also help your patients. Travel nurses need to be able to communicate well with patients and ask questions when needed.

Being multilingual or just having good language skills will also help you communicate and build relationships with your patients. Many travel nurses receive assignments that take them to parts of the country with serious healthcare provider shortages. Depending on where you go, you’ll treat patients whose first language isn’t English. 


Facilities that hire travel nurses must be confident that their short-term RNs can perform to the same standards of conduct and professionalism as their permanent counterparts. Reliability is essential as the facility has to trust those travel nurses will show up to the job each and every day they’re scheduled. 

You’ll need to have a strong sense of teamwork no matter where you work. This travel nursing skill will help you collaborate with other staff members and demonstrate your commitment to completing the job. You’re being hired to be of real use to patients and co-workers, but you will quickly lose credibility and the good regard of others if you leave a trail of poor or mediocre performances in your wake.

A Great Attitude

A positive attitude is necessary for all registered nurses, not just those in the travel nursing industry. It can make a significant difference in getting the job you want and often keeping it as long as you want as well. While nursing is already a people-centered profession, you can expect to meet way more new co-workers, patients, neighbors, roommates, acquaintances, and potential friends as a travel nurse. If being around people energizes you rather than drains you, that wealth of people should work in your favor. The sunnier the outlook, the brighter your success and enjoyment of the job overall. 

Travel nursing can be a great way to gather new experiences, meet new people, and bolster your resume with new skills. The qualifications listed above are advantageous in this lucrative and competitive industry, but it’s important to be yourself—that’s how you’ll find what makes you happy!If you think you’re ready to start your journey as a travel nurse, head over to our job board for available positions today! If you need an extra hand contact our travel nurse agency to land your dream assignment.

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