By February 15, 2013 2 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: What clothes should I pack?


packing for travel nurse assignment, which scrubs to packAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

I’ve accepted my second assignment located in Wyoming. I’ll be flying from GA. I’m trying to decide what kind of clothing to pack. I have looked at the average temps for the area in the upcoming months. I don’t want to take too much or too little, or something I won’t wear or use. Any advise?


Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

I suppose the answer to your question depends on how tolerant you are to colder weather. I have a crazy friend back in Ohio that wears shorts all winter even with temps dipping into the teens. It also depends on what activities you want to enjoy and how much time you expect to spend outside.

I also can’t help but sort of recuse myself from answering such a question due to the gender difference. I would obviously not have any space in my bags for heels and a nice skirt, but cannot discount the fact that many women would opt for these essentials over a good pair of insulated hiking boots.

Myself, I would be taking a lot of jeans and heavier tops along with a good winter coat and extras (gloves, hat, etc). However, I would also probably be taking hiking gear, snow skis, and whatever else I could stuff into my extended cab truck (which also has a shell on the back that allows me to fill the truck bed too). In other words, I am NOT the person to ask about how to pack light.

Just use common sense and take things that are on the warmer side and appropriate for the activities that you believe you’ll be engaging in while you are there. T-shirts and shorts (warm weather items) are easily picked up on the cheap should you wish to stay longer. Additionally, you can always pack a warm weather bag, seal it up in a box, and then ask a friend or loved one to mail it to you should you want to stay longer.

Don’t forget to use the USPS as a good way to get needed items to and from your assignment. I once boxed up all my diving gear and had it shipped to Maui instead of taking it with me in my luggage. Considering I was there for ten months, it was well worth the money I spent on shipping to have those items to use while I was on assignment.


Hope this helps some in sorting out your essentials.



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.

2 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: What clothes should I pack?"

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  1. Carol Franklin


    Does anyone know what the dress code is for a Case Manager in Anchorage, Alaska?

  2. David says:

    Um, warm?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Try contacting the HR department at the facility where you plan to work for this info or just call up and ask to speak with a case manager. If you find one that can spare a few minutes, I’m sure they could help you out.


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