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Signs That You’re Ready to Become a Travel Nurse


My magical and mystical crystal ball is telling me that you are thinking about becoming a travel nurse, but you’re not really sure if it’s the right move and whether or not you have “what it takes.”

(Actually, the fact that you’re reading this blog post is kind of a dead giveaway, but let’s let a girl dream that she has psychic powers, shall we?)

After recruiting in the travel nursing biz now for about 12 years, certain patterns have emerged from my numerous in-depth conversations with travel nursing candidates. There are just some things that nearly all of them have in common. While each travel nurse has their own unique traits and qualities, and they all travel for different reasons, I find it fascinating that the same characteristics keep popping up over and over again. I thought to myself, “Hey Self, how about you write up a blog post that divulges some of these common traits so that other people can see if they identify and relate?”

“Self” is a pretty intelligent person, I’ve gotta hand it to her.

So, here you go – here are some signs that YOU may be ready to become a travel nurse!

You have an insatiable desire to see, do, and experience.

As a travel enthusiast myself, I recognize that innate quality that all of us travelers seem to possess. We joke that the “travel bug” gets into our blood and is somehow coded into our DNA. All of us seem to experience the same kind of rush that children get during any kind of holiday that involves candy or presents whenever we go somewhere new. We are constantly seeking out our next adventure, whether it’s learning a new skill, sampling exotic foods, or taking a spontaneous road trip.


Looking for your next adventure? Check out our current travel jobs!


If you’re someone who tends to seek out the novelty and adventure in your life experiences and choices, then travel nursing could be just the thing to satisfy your cravings. Some people get overwhelmed by the idea of living in a new, different place every 3-6 months while others get inspired by the notion. If you tend to place yourself in the latter category, then being a travel nurse could be right up your alley. 

The timing feels right.

I’ll be the first to tell you that travel nursing isn’t a fit for everyone. The timing definitely has to make sense. Many of us have obligations at home that keep us busy, or other people like family members who need us to stay planted for a while. You always have to do what’s best for yourself and your loved ones.

However, if you are at a time and place in your life that doesn’t necessarily obligate you to stay in one place, then the stage could be set for you to embark on a great travel nursing adventure.

You want to challenge yourself and stretch your comfort zone.

Another common trait that travel nurses all seem to possess is a constant desire to learn new things. I’ve spoken with many travelers-to-be who have expressed that they’ve learned all they could from their staff positions. They weren’t being challenged anymore, and the job was beginning to become less fulfilling for them as a result.

If you feel like you’re capable of doing and being more than you already are, then you’re probably right. Travel nursing will challenge you and give you an opportunity to grow personally and professionally in ways you may not have even considered. (I wrote a blog about this topic, too, by the way!) There is a quote that I absolutely love that goes something like, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Could travel nursing be that teacher for you?


Curious about the benefits we offer our Rock Stars? Check ’em out here!


You need more flexibility in your life.

It’s no secret that travel nursing allows you to live life more on your own terms. If you need time off between assignments, or only want to work a couple of contracts a year, you can absolutely do so. Additionally, travel nursing certainly offers financial advantages that can provide added security for you and your family or allow you to achieve financial goals more quickly. And guess what, if you’re not super crazy about your assignment, you’re only there for 3 months and then you can move on to something else. I don’t know too many people in permanent staff jobs who can say that!

You’re ready for a change in your work and/or living environment.

When I’ve asked travelers about what’s motivating them to travel, I would say at LEAST a good 7 out of 10 times, I get this response: “I’m tired of the politics at my staff job.”

Can you relate to that? Are you totally over Cynthia in Management constantly giving you the side eye, judging your every move? (Note: Not intentionally directed toward any particular Cynthias in Management. Any likeness is purely a coincidence.)

Imagine having the choice to not deal with the “drama” that often comes with working with the same people every day for several years. To a certain degree it’s probably inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to just deal with it for the rest of your career. Travel nursing offers you an escape from the workplace politics!


Still need convincing? Check out the recognition we’ve received from other Rock Stars like you!


Many travelers have also lived in the same cities/areas for most of their lives and they’re struggling with major FOMO. We live in an enormous country. There is no shortage of sights to see here. Travel nursing provides us with the opportunity to explore all that is available to us in the great U.S. of A.

Just please send me pictures sometimes, okay? I am living vicariously through you and need my travel fix. Thank you.

So, tell me, are you exhibiting any (or all) of the “signs” that you’re ready to take on travel nursing? Does it seem like the right time and are you ready for a change of scenery? I hope this helps inspire you to take those first steps forward into your travel nursing journey. I’ll be here to support you every step of the way!

Let’s get this party started. Ready, set, apply!

Charity Crawford

Senior Healthcare Recruiter at Axis Medical Staffing, Inc.
Charity has been in the travel nurse industry in one form or another since 2008! Despite her years of hard work and advocacy on behalf of her Rock Star travelers, she doesn’t look a day over 25! (According to her, anyway.) A hardcore traveler herself, Charity recently spent 2.5 years abroad visiting several countries. She taught English in Thailand for a year and volunteered in Peru. She loves to swap traveling stories and share helpful hints and tips for her fellow traveling addicts!
Charity Crawford