rapid response nurses
Travel August 22, 2018

By Cassandra Damascus

How to Prepare for Rapid Response Travel Nursing Jobs

10 Quick-Start Tips for Rapid Response Travel Nurses

Travel nursing is all about exploring new destinations, meeting new people, gaining new skills, and doing what you love. The process from application to your first day on the job for can seem like a whirlwind, especially with the short-term, quick-start assignments that come with the rapid response travel nursing jobs with AMN.

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New travel nurses starting rapid response jobs don’t need to feel overwhelming. Use these 10 tips to ensure a good start for your travel assignment:

1.  Talk to Your Recruiter

Recruiters will have your start date, information on the facility, and can help with required documentation, free housing arrangements and travel.

If you need a new state nursing license, they can help with that, too, as well as give you more information about compact nursing licenses. Recruiters can also give you advice on what to bring with you and provide instructions for your first day on the job.

2.  Get To Know Your Destination

A little online research can help new travel nurses prepare for almost anything. Learn what weather/climate you can expect over the course of your rapid response job, what the health care facility is like, where your housing is, and what attractions you may want to explore while on assignment.

3.  Choose Your Mode of Transportation

Are you planning to fly or take a road trip to your new assignment? Either way, you can be reimbursed for some or all your travel costs (ask an AMN recruiter for details).

Remember to have a reliable app on your smartphone for maps, directions, restaurants, and gas stations along the way. These travel apps can make your trip smooth and worry-free.

4.  Schedule Your Fun Time

Since rapid response travel nursing jobs can go by quickly (usually just 4-13 weeks), you’ll want to plan ahead to make the best use of your days off. You may even want to book some activities before you arrive in town, such as tours, plays, concerts, sporting events, etc.

5.  Make a packing checklist for essentials.

If you are using the housing arranged by your travel nursing agency, your recruiter or housing specialist can give you a list of the furnishings and appliances that are provided so that you can prepare.

You can’t bring everything from home, so get organized and make a packing checklist. Packing apps such as PackPoint and Packing Pro can make it easier.

Pack only “must haves” and not “just in case” items. If you need something else, you can always buy it when you arrive at your destination. Learn the five things to leave at home during your next travel assignment.

6.  Do a Final Check

Before hitting the road, make sure that everything is ready to go, from your automobile safety inspection to your cell phone (with charger), first aid kit, and all the necessary items on your checklist. Share your itinerary with family or friends and check in when you arrive.

After Arriving at Your Assignment, Settle into Your New Home... Then:


7.  Do a Test Run

Before your first day on the job, head over to your hospital or clinic to become familiar with your commute – accounting for how long it will take with traffic — as well as the available parking, the general layout and the unit. You may even want to introduce yourself to some of the staff.

8.  Pack Your First-day Essentials

Don’t be caught without critical paperwork, supplies, a snack or two, water bottle, and a pen. Bring a portfolio containing copies of your nursing license, certifications, contract, skills checklist, references, resume, and any additional paperwork that the hospital required you to complete. You should also have the required scrubs clean and ready to go. Then leave early for your shift to ensure you arrive on time.

9.  Ask Lots of Questions During Orientation

During your traveler orientation, which may last 1 or 2 days, you will be learning new policies and procedures, meeting new co-workers, and becoming familiar with the layout of the healthcare facility. There is a lot to cover in a short time, so don’t hesitate to ask for more information or clarifications.

10.  Get “intel” From Your Fellow Nurses

After orientation, you may have the chance to have a nurse buddy for a shift or two, which will give you even more opportunities to gather information from the nursing staff. Most nurses won’t mind answering questions about the job, and they can also give you the inside scoop on the best local hangouts.

Seek out other nurse travelers at orientation, as well, and ask if they want to join you as you explore the town during your time off.

Apply Now

The AMN team is available 24/7 to help you throughout your assignment. Contact us today with your questions or apply today to get started!

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