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Ask a Travel Nurse: How are traveler nurses are being received at hospitals?


A few weeks back a reader had posted a comment asking how members of the regular hospital staff were when welcoming travelers. Using the same response as another posting reader who chimed in, it all depends.

In over a decade of travel I have had assignments where I did not want to leave and assignments where I was counting the minutes. In almost every circumstance, my mood was dependent upon the people with whom I was working.

You are dealing with personalities, pure and simple. How you fit into the mix is not necessarily dependent upon your skill as a nurse, rather your skill as a communicator. Whenever I mention interpersonal skills, I always think about Dale Carnegie’s famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Truly, your interactions with your co-workers could always be defined as more of an art than a science.

You will run into the territorial nurses, the helpful nurses, the saboteurs, the knowledgeable nurses, and those who are just flying by the seat of their pants practicing in ways you have never seen. What this means to you as a traveler is that you need to develop the art of assimilation. Basically, YOU are the one charged with the task of “fitting in”.

The best advice I can give is to try to be friendly and helpful to develop the trust and respect of your new co-workers. Be receptive to the way “they do things” and whatever your personality might be, take a more passive approach if confronted with a regular staff member on a power trip. I have actually been terminated from two assignments for what amounted to nothing more than a regular staff member who decided they didn’t like me for one reason or another.

On a majority of your assignments, you will find a staff that welcomes your presence. However, knowing how to deal with different personalities will help you greatly on those assignments when the staff is somewhat less than receptive.

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About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

5 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: How are traveler nurses are being received at hospitals?"

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  1. Jason Lander says:

    Great post and great advice.

  2. Dirk says:

    While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!

  3. Carol


    Good advice. The important thing to me is do my best work and know I am there to do just that. It isnt always easy, but again, it is part of being a traveler.

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