Notes from a Recruiter: 8 Traits of In-Demand Travel Nurse Candidates

Notes from a Recruiter: 8 Traits of In-Demand Travel Nurse Candidates

5May, 2017

Notes from a Recruiter: 8 Traits of In-Demand Travel Nurse Candidates


There are some traits that can make certain candidates stand out from the rest, and travel nursing is no exception. Whether is hard skills or personality traits, there are certain traits in a travel nurse that make them stand out to recruiters and put them ahead of other candidates.

Below are eight traits that recruiters and employers look for when hiring travel nurses to their teams.


1. Tech-Savvy

Virtually every hospital in the country now uses an EMR/EHR in lieu of paper charts, and as a travel nurse you will probably use more than one. While Epic is by far the most common EMR (and familiarity with it will open plenty of doors), hundreds of hospitals across the country use different programs for their electronic records. Because of this, it is crucial for a travel nurse to be tech savvy and be able to pick up any new system he or she comes across. Knowing multiple systems well is even more beneficial.


2. Experienced

Very few nurses travel right out of training. Most travel nurse assignments require at least a couple of years of experience – and the type of experience matters as well. Specialized experience as well as float experience will make you an even more attractive candidate to hospitals. Have experience working in  a teaching hospital, children’s hospital, cancer center, stroke center, or trauma center? That will be a way to differentiate you from other candidates with prospective employers.


3. Flexible

Your recruiter wants nothing more than to find you your next placement, which is why they prefer candidates that can be flexible. Being flexible with shifts, call, and time off requests can make you more marketable to hospitals and increase the likelihood of you getting placed quickly, especially in high-demand locations.


4. Dependable

For recruiters, the travel nurses they place are a reflection of themselves and the staffing agency they represent, which makes dependability one of the most important traits recruiters look for in nursing candidates. The recruiter wants to know that the nurse will show up on the first day of their assignment and stay for the duration of the placement.


5. Positive Attitude

It’s possible to train for skills, but you can’t train for attitude. Having a positive attitude and a passion for nursing often find more success in their positions and serve as great team members. Additionally, a great attitude will help traveling nurses provide high quality care and allow them to bounce back from issues that can arise when their on an assignment.


6. Quick Learner

Whether it’s learning a new skill, system, or a colleague’s name, travel nurses need to be able to absorb and retain new information on the fly. A great travel nurse needs to be open to learning new things and able to become an integrated member of the team as soon as possible.


7. Likes a Challenge

Traveling nurses are constantly stepping out of their comfort zone and facing challenges in the work place. Whether it’s covering a different unit, learning a new skill, or dealing with unique personalities, a great travel nurse needs to be able to face challenges in the workplace head-on.


8. Outgoing Personality

Travel nurses need to learn the ropes as quickly as possible which means they need to be eager to ask questions and interact with co-workers and patients. A nurse who is shy or hesitant to communicate with their supervisors and co-workers will have a tough time excelling as a traveling nurse.


Key Take Aways:

  • Experience, flexibility, and the ability to learn on the fly are all traits that make travel nurses successful and desirable for hospitals 
  • Not all traits are skills related – personality and attitude can be just as important in differentiating a traveling nurse from her competition
  • Certain skills, like EMR/EHR proficiency, have become non-negotiable with many hospitals and health systems
  • Think you have all the right traits to be a travel nurse? Apply for one of our travel nursing positions today!