7 Steps on How to Become a Travel Nurse

Andre Martin | Last Updated : February 15, 2024

 If you are a registered nurse with a passion for travel, becoming a travel nurse may be the perfect career choice for you. Travel nursing allows you to work in different locations across the country while gaining valuable experience and earning a competitive salary.

If you enjoy the idea of meeting new people or building a resume that documents a variety of professional experiences at medical facilities, then it’s time to consider becoming a travel nurse.

In this blog post, we will discuss the steps to becoming a travel nurse.

Understand the Role of a Travel Nurse

First, you need to understand your role as a travel nurse if you are interested in becoming one. Travel nurses work for independent staffing companies that recruit nurses to fill positions abroad. Besides helping solve staffing issues, travel nurses can also come in to fill in temporary gaps when nurses take a vacation.

They sign a contract that fills temporary positions which can last for many days, weeks, months, or even longer. When the contracts expire, travel nurses can choose to stay at the same location or move to a new destination. It’s a matter of gaining enough experience in your nursing specialty to pursue opportunities as a traveling nurse.

Obtain a Nursing Degree and License

To become a travel nurse, you must first obtain a nursing degree from an accredited nursing program. You can choose to pursue an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN).

You can complete the associate degree in 20 to 24 months while a bachelor’s degree takes around 3 to 4 years. Many universities also offer online classes before you begin your training in a hospital.

Once you have completed your degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to obtain your nursing license.

Gain Nursing Experience

Most travel nursing agencies require at least one year of nursing experience in a hospital setting. This experience will help you to develop the skills necessary to work in different healthcare facilities and adapt to new environments.

If you choose to specialize in a field after your bachelor’s then you will need to get additional licensing.

Many places require you to have at least two years of experience in your nursing specialty whether it is critical care, pediatrics, neonatal, surgical, or a clinical nursing department. your clinical background will determine the specific openings that you qualify for as a travel nurse.

Research Travel Nursing Agencies

Many travel nursing agencies offer contracts in different locations across the country. Research different agencies to find the best travel rn agency that fits your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as pay rates, benefits, and housing options. Below are some factors that can help you choose a travel agency:

  • Check the ratings of the agency that former traveling nurses have rated on websites.
  • Use lead generation websites to contact you based on the information you provided to give you the best offer.
  • Ask for recommendations from any colleagues who have previously worked as a travel nurse. they might help you get in contact with someone they know who works at an agency.
  • Join a professional networking site to contact others in the field. you might get more referrals or get in contact with recruiters.

Apply to Travel Nursing Agencies

Once you have researched different travel nursing agencies, it’s time to apply. You will need to provide your nursing license, resume, and references. You may also need to complete a skills assessment and background check.

Make sure to get your documents complete before you apply to an agency. After you have completed all the necessary paperwork, you need to prepare for the interview.

Even though it might take some time, your agency will help you find placement as early as possible. After getting accepted, you can start to look for housing and other necessities online for the country you are planning to visit.

Accept Assignments

Once you have been accepted by a travel nursing agency, you can start accepting assignments. You will have the opportunity to work in different healthcare facilities across the country, gaining valuable experience and expanding your nursing skills.

Becoming a travel nurse can be a rewarding career choice for registered nurses who have a passion for travel and adventure. You can explore many places while earning and gaining more work experience.

Maintain Your Nursing License

To continue working as a travel nurse, you must maintain your nursing license. This includes completing continuing education requirements and renewing your license according to your state’s regulations. You can attend medical seminars or even short courses to expand your knowledge and improve your resume.

By following the steps outlined above, you can start your journey to becoming a travel nurse and experience all the benefits that come with this exciting career path.

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