The Hardest Things About Being a Travel Nurse

The Hardest Things About Being a Travel Nurse

The hardest things about being a travel nurse? Don’t worry, this will actually be encouraging, just as much as it is eye-opening. It’s smart to look at a new career opportunity from all angles. Travel Nursing is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it also comes with hard work, long hours, flexibility, and the ability to adapt quickly to a lot of things. Everyone responds differently, and oftentimes it’s just an adjustment that you get used to after the first or few assignments. We’ll go through several topics that might come to mind, and how they actually work out for the best and end up as an exciting opportunity. 

Being Away From Family & Friends

This is never easy. It’s enough to start a new job in your local hometown, but to pick up, travel to a place you’ve never lived in, and start a new job? It can be a lot the first time around! Your support system is far away and it can take some time to build friendships. A new community, that you’ll potentially be leaving in 13 weeks again. It’s all how you look at it because there’s an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, knowing you’re helping where there’s a shortage. You could change a hospital unit for the better, contributing something long-lasting because of your presence. On top of that, you get to experience new food, sights and explore. Pretty soon, you’ll have an itch to do this in a new city if you truly let yourself be open to the whole experience.

Also, with social media, it’s even easier to connect with other travelers that are currently local in your area of assignment. Each traveler has felt lonely at one point or another, and are all eager to connect in the community. You’re not alone! And that’s the most important part to remember. So, don’t be afraid to reach out, introduce yourself, ask for help when needed, and be honest about where you’re at. Most often, you’ll find that through your vulnerability, a new support system is building around you before you know it. 

Additionally, you can request a travel assignment closer to your hometown. Just because you’ll be close to home doesn’t mean it’ll disqualify your ability to be a travel nurse. However, we’d say it’s worth it to experience different places too because it’s a special and unique opportunity.  

Job Search More Often

With most jobs, you don’t have to search for every few months for a new one. That can sound exhausting! However, the travel nursing world is created for the availability of opportunities. Recruiters are constantly posting new job offers on job sites, as well as social media. Joining a Facebook or LinkedIn group can be extremely beneficial since their sole purpose is to connect with recruiters who are posting jobs daily. Also, it gets easier after you land your first assignment because you’ve already established a relationship with a recruiter.

That’s why it’s important to choose a recruiter you like working with and is easy to communicate with. You can stay in touch with them to let them know how your assignment is going, and start thinking about where they can place you next. This flexibility is actually a benefit, knowing you have someone working to place you for your next assignment in the future. It’s not as ‘undetermined’ or ‘unknown’ as a typical search for a brand new job. So, most importantly, choose a recruiter you trust and who cares about your needs. This will go a long way with your future assignments. 


Ouch! We didn’t want to go there either. Wherever you seek to find an assignment (a company, agency, etc), they will request all the paperwork that comes with being a travel nurse. We know how daunting this can be, and to think, “I have to do this every time I apply and start an assignment?” Well, at the beginning of this blog, we said this would be encouraging, so here it is. When we designed Wanderly, we thought of how this platform could simplify a travelers application process. That’s when we created the ‘Universal Application,’ which means you fill out your profile, documents, skills checklist, upload licenses, etc, once. That’s right. 

The Universal Application can be used for all future assignments, and conveniently downloaded as a PDF for your use. Because we have so many agencies posting their travel assignments on Wanderly, it’s safe to bet that your preferred agency or recruiter can be found on the platform. It’s a one stop-shop for you to get everything done in one place and be in control of your information. Curious? Feel free to check it out here

Did that bring a little encouragement to you? We sure hope so. 


Taxes, it’s hard enough filing in one state, right? As overwhelming as this might feel, once you understand, you’re one step further. If you’re going to be working in multiple states (which is often the case), then you’ll be filing multiple state returns. While it might cost a little more to have a professional handle your taxes for you, it might be beneficial in the long run to be able to ask questions and learn from them. This is especially important when there’s additional deductions or claims you could have that might not know about. We’d recommend this route after your first year. 

We have additional resources on our blog where you can get 5 Tips For The Upcoming Tax Season and our Travel Nurse Tax Guide.

Medical Insurance

The difficulty with travel nursing and keeping coverage are that typically it can change based on if you’re actively on an assignment or if your agency changes. Between assignments, it’s likely you won’t have insurance. There are other options that can give you year-round insurance, regardless of whether you’re on assignment or what agency you’re working with. It’s good to know about eHealth, which is one of our premier partners. You can search through the best rates from reputable insurance companies and find a plan that works best for you. 

To get more insight on health insurance for travel nurses, check out our other blog: Health Insurance for Travel Nurses

More to Learn

There are many factors in becoming a travel nurse and we have more resources for you if you still have questions. Don’t forget to check out some of our other blogs: Find Travel Nursing Jobs in One Place | Travel Nurse Interview Questions | Travel Nurse FAQ | The 12 Highest Paying Travel Nursing Cities

If you’re new to Wanderly, welcome and thanks for stopping by our community. We offer a platform that helps travel healthcare professionals find their travel assignments in an empowered way. Compare fully detailed travel assignments from the top paying agencies and use 1 universal application for all future assignments. Join for free today! Then you can get started on finding your next dream travel assignment.

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