A great recruiter for me may not be the best recruiter for you.


You are ready to make the big move into travel nursing. You have done your research and found a great company to get your career going, but something just isn’t jiving with you and the recruiter that you have been assigned to. You can make a change!

A traveling company doesn’t have just one recruiter who handles all their nurses; they have several to make sure that you are well taken care of. You don’t have to accept just anyone that they give you!

To make the change you first need to take a personal inventory and learn more about yourself.

  1. What type of personality are you? Type A personalities are ambitious, organized, sensitive, truthful, impatient, and great time managers. They are often considered “workaholics” who can multi-task and hate delays. Type B personalities are apathetic, patient, relaxed, and easy-going. They may have no sense of time management and can lack a sense of urgency. Type C personalities tend to suppress emotions, don’t deal with stress very well, and can have overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
  2. Are you an introvert or extrovert? An introvert feels best spending time alone reading, writing, computing, or hanging out with close friends. They feel most uncomfortable in large crowds. On the other hand, an extrovert loves being around people. They are talkative, enthusiastic, and assertive.
  3. What kind of temperament do you have?
    1. Phlegmatic (The Watcher): These nurses tend to be consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant. They are relaxed and quiet and can be thought of as lazy and sluggish.
    2. Choleric (The Thinker): These nurses are known to be passionate, energetic, charismatic, and aggressive. They can sway between being high organized or highly disorganized. They can have great mood swings.
    3. Melancholy (The Doer): These nurses are introverts, very thoughtful and considerate. They are highly creative, self-reliant, and independent. At times they can get so involved in what they are doing that they don’t think of others.
    4. Sanguine (The Talker): This nurse is impulsive pleasure-seeking, makes new friends, and may tend to be boisterous. They are sensitive, compassionate and romantic; although, they can struggle at times with following through with tasks, forgetfulness, and can be chronically late.
  4. How much maintenance do you require in obtaining and sustaining a travel assignment? When I traveled, I was famous for being a low-maintenance gal! Help me with my paperwork and let me go. I attempted to smooth over any problems along the road without going to my recruiter. Although, I did let my recruiter know of any problems that I was having. There are some nurses who require a little more assistance with problems on the road. Not a problem, you just need to have a recruiter who understands that you may need more assistance with problem-solving.
  5. Do you like to have control over your housing and assignment quests or do you want someone else to help make that decision? I made every effort to assist the housing department with my accommodations. I would search for apartments or RV parks that fit my requirements (short-term lease and close to the hospital), and then the housing department would make all the arrangements. The housing coordinator at any one time could be finding ten apartments for traveling nurses all over the United States, they really appreciate any help that you can give, but they totally understand if you want them to do most of the work.
  6. Do you enjoy someone helping you decide what assignment to take or do you want to cruise through the database online and make your own decision? Most of the time, I would cruise the database and tell my recruiter to put me in for this or that assignment. My recruiter would also call me when something interesting came up, but I do know nurses who left the job hunting totally up to the recruiter.
  7. Do you want someone to contact you via email for most of your correspondence or would you like a phone call? Especially if you work nights, you don’t want your recruiter calling you at noon their time, which is 2:00 pm your time and in the middle of your sleep! My recruiter would always email me, and then I would call when I surfaced in the evening. Yes, you do need some phone contact, but a lot of things can be handled by email. If you work nights, you will probably not take too kindly to a recruiter who wants to do nothing but chat on the phone.

After you have discovered all about yourself, then a phone call to the lead recruiter or recruiting manager is the next step.

You don’t have to go from assignment to assignment kicking and screaming. Be honest with your recruiter and Travel Company, and it will strengthen your relationship with them. Your recruiter is your strongest alley; don’t get stuck with a dud!

Written by Kay Slane, RN, BSed, CGM (Certified Grad-level Nursing Management) Matriarch of Travel Nursing. The CEO of Highway Hypodermics®, LLC, the longest-running travel nursing website by a traveling nurse. Author of “Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2019.”


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