5 Tips to Succeed as a Locum Tenens Nurse

Written by on January 12, 2022 in Careers with 0 Comments

Being a locum tenens nurse is an exciting venture. If you’ve been a traveling nurse for a while, you may know the ins and outs of temporary work. Yet, there’s always more to learn.

Being willing to grow as a nurse and individual will take you far in life! So, step out of your comfort zone professionally. Amazing things happen as a result.

Below are some tips on becoming the best locum tenens nurse there is!

1. Follow Through with the Paperwork

Before starting your new locum tenens position, you must do a few things. First, make sure you’re current with paperwork. If you’re in the thick of moving, finishing up your paperwork may be the last thing on your mind. Yet, it’s essential to make a good impression right from the start.

So, work hard to provide the necessary paperwork before your assignment. And if there’s more to fill out when you arrive, return it promptly. It may not seem like that big of a deal. But by hopping on the paperwork and turning it in right away, you set yourself up for success.

2. Find the Right Place to Live

Having a place to live during any temporary job you accept is vital. And you shouldn’t live just anywhere. The location and type of housing you choose should make your stay more comfortable.

Before the move, you should make sure you’re all squared away with your living arrangements. Then, before signing the lease, be confident that the house or apartment is where you want to live.

If you’re not happy with the arrangement, consider having a corporate housing company step in. Customizable corporate housing is the way to go when you don’t want to make arrangements. They can help you find the right home with the amenities and more that you’re looking for.

Bottom line: Your living situation should be all set by the time you move. It’ll make things easier knowing you have the perfect home waiting for you when you arrive!

3. Ask Questions

Even though you’re skilled in your field doesn’t mean you won’t have questions when you start. You may initially feel timid about asking questions, but don’t be.

Asking questions will clear up any confusion right from the start. It’ll also show your temporary employer that you’re willing to learn.

The more questions you ask, the better you’ll be able to perform at your job. So stay alert and ask questions as they come up. Your superior will be impressed!

4. Ask for Help

Like asking questions as you learn your way around the hospital, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.

There may be tasks that are too big for you to take on by yourself. Asking a more senior nurse to teach you the ropes allows you to learn and gain experience.

Not only should you ask for help while working, but at some point, you may need a referral. Getting a recommendation letter is essential. A letter can line you up with an excellent locum tenens position in the future.

It’ll be easier to get a referral if you go out of your way to get to know the doctors and other nurses. So, make an effort to get to know healthcare professionals at the hospital.

5. Show Compassion to Patients

You're likely a nurse because of your compassionate nature. Even so, moving for a temporary job can take its toll on you. So don’t take it out on your patients if you're feeling worn out.

Instead, ask if you can take a day off to get your bearings. Your employer will appreciate you being open and honest.

It’s essential to put your best foot forward in any job. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may need to take a step back. Nursing is a demanding yet fulfilling job. You deserve to give it your all, and your patients deserve the best treatment.

Bonus: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Part of the reason you may take locum tenens work is that you love the sense of adventure. Since you’re all about adventure, take it one step further by getting out of your comfort zone.

You can get out of your comfort zone by trying a new shift or helping out in a new ward, for example. Of course, this all depends on your training. But if the opportunity presents itself, volunteer your expertise.

Being proactive and helping others is another way to try something new. For example, there could be other nurses who need a break from a particular patient.

Volunteering your time and stepping in when needed will broaden your skillset. Plus, it makes you a selfless nurse who yearns to make a difference in the health industry.


Being a successful locum tenens nurse is fulfilling. Not only do you give patients the best possible care, but you grow as an individual, too.

Continue to enhance your career by taking new locum tenens positions. Healthcare professionals will be impressed with your knowledge, flexibility, and human kindness.

With every position, you accept, be open to new growth and new opportunities. By doing that, you’ll no doubt find great success in everything you do!

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