This article was updated for accuracy and relevance on September 17th, 2020.
Travel nursing is a rewarding job in which you can grow your nursing career in a short amount of time. Hospitals look for licensed travel nurses for support during the specific seasons due to staffing shortages. In addition, a hospital can use a travel nurse to fill a hard to find position. Being a traveling registered nurse comes with a lot of benefits such as an increase in pay and flexibility in your schedule. Interested in learning how to become a travel nurse? Explore these 5 requirements to get you set on a rewarding travel nursing career path.
1. Travel Nurse Requirements: Education
To become a traveling nurse, you must be educated. The first travel nurse education requirement is to obtain a high school diploma or GED. After that, the American Association of College Nursing states anyone who wants a nursing career should hold an undergraduate nursing degree. Most college programs require a 2.5 G.P.A. to be considered for enrollment for nursing positions post graduation. After completing your nursing education, you are one step closer to a travel nursing career.
2. Requirements To Becoming A Travel Nurse: Exams and Licensing
The next step for how to become a travel nurse or registered nurse is to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). After passing the NCLEX, you will need to obtain a nursing license for each state you wish to work in for your travel nursing assignment. Some states, known as compact states, offer a multi state nursing license allowing qualified nurses to work in other states that have agreed to the compact. The licensing requirements may vary based on state, so it’s important to do your research on your primary state of residence to assure you are obtaining the correct nursing licensure. Once you have completed this step, and are now officially a registered nurse, it’s time for the next step!
3. Qualifications to be A Travel Nurse: Hands-On Experience
Most Healthcare organizations, facilities and travel nursing agencies require a certain level of hands-on experience to become a travel nurse or staff nurse. Years of experience can range but you will need at least one year of experience as a registered nurse practitioner before becoming a travel nurse. The good news is staff nurses are in high demand so getting the necessary time of nursing experience or specific clinical experience should be easy to obtain.
Additionally, a traveling nurse should be sure to have a flexible schedule, great communication skills with your patients and facility co-workers, as well as the ability to pay attention to detail. A travel nursing job can be stressful but is also extremely rewarding. Fine-tune these skills to start your travel nursing career.
4. Requirements To Become A Travel Nurse: Select Your Travel Nurse Agency
Once you have decided on becoming a travel nurse, you’re ready to find a travel nurse staffing agency. It is important to do your research and select the right travel nurse agency. Ask other traveling nurses for their opinion, review their online ratings, see if they have nursing assignments that interest you. Then review the benefits and travel reimbursement your preferred travel nursing agency offers. It is important to also research which travel nurse position interests you. It may be a good idea to fine-tune your specialty through nursing experience at a local hospital before onboarding a travel nurse position.
5. Requirements To Become A Travel Nurse: Keep Up With Your C.E.U.s
It is important to maintain your nursing license. Make sure you research the requirements for every state before taking a travel nursing position or staff nursing job. Some states require a certain number of Continuing Education Units (C.E.U.s) to renew your nursing license. If you have a compact nursing license, all you have to worry about is maintaining your home state’s licensing requirements and remain up-to-date on professional educational requirements for your specific nursing specialty.
Starting a travel nursing career is very appealing. It comes with many exciting benefits including travel reimbursement, a housing stipend, a different travel nursing assignment with exposure to a new type of medical facility with each opportunity, and not to mention a competitive pay rate. A travel nursing job is an opportunity for career growth for each different type of nursing specialty. Get started in your rewarding and lucrative nursing career today by signing up for our travel nursing program.
More On Your Travel Nurse Salary
Finally, a travel nurse salary is an important factor to consider before entering into a travel nursing career or your first travel nursing assignment. There are many benefits and stipends that come with being a travel nurse. For example, factor in a housing stipend, travel reimbursement, and the average annual or hourly pay rate. This can help narrow down your hospital and/or location for work.
Here is an infographic that outlines these tips plus a few more. Enjoy.
Host Healthcare Travel Nursing Agency
At Host Healthcare, our mission is to provide you and every healthcare professional we encounter with the highest level of service. We believe in honesty, respect, and a commitment to quality with our clients, our healthcare professionals, and our corporate employees. Host Healthcare offers an extensive list of travel nurse jobs. If you satisfy all these travel nursing prerequisites, all you have to do is start your application with our staffing agency. Call one of our friendly recruiters at (800) 585-1299 to find your ideal job. We offer many benefits including competitive pay.