How do you orient travel nurses?

One of the big concerns of nurse managers and hospital staffing managers is the length of time it takes to truly orient a new travel nurse into their hospital and unit. This is an understandable concern, if you consider you only have a temporary nurse for basically three months at your unit and if they are there, then most likely the hospital has an immediate need and getting them working as quickly as possible is crucial. The norm seems to be anywhere from a half-day to three days of orientation, whereas a permanent nurse may receive anywhere from a week to two weeks of orientation.

Because they are travel nurses coming to you through a travel nursing company you should be able to trust that the agency has qualified their skills and competency as a nurse, but there are still going to be still simple things like where are your supplies, where is the cafeteria, how is the floor organized, etc. that need ingrained quickly.

Obviously the orientation of a nurse is something that needs a delicate balance of speed and thoroughness, but there are not a lot of resources out there to help you build a quick, but effective orientation plan. At least that I could find. But, maybe we can help each other.

I would love to be able to provide some simple advice for our hospital clients (hopefully that is some of you) on how to make their orientation the most effective for them and for our travelers and I think you should be able to share with others hospital staffing and HR professionals the things that have worked for you. Handbooks? Quizzes? Mentors? Tour Guides? Puppet shows?

So if you have a second please share. If you want to be anonymous just send me an email at

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