The demand for skilled healthcare professionals, including nurses, continues to rise in the United States.  Canadian nurses who are interested in gaining international experience and exploring new career opportunities often consider working as travel nurses in the US. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to answer common questions about Canadian travel nurses working in the United States.
Can a Canadian Nurse Work as a Travel Nurse in the United States?
Absolutely! Canadian nurses are eligible to work as travel nurses in the United States. Host Healthcare specializes in connecting Canadian nurses with exciting travel nursing assignments across the US. Host has knowledgeable recruiters and licensing experts that will help facilitate the process, making it easier for Canadian nurses to find suitable placements and navigate the complexities of working in a different countries healthcare system.
Benefits of Working as a Travel Nurse in the USA
Increased Pay and Stipends
The compensation for Canadian travel nurses in the US varies depending on several factors, including location, experience, and the specifics of the travel nursing assignment. Travel nursing offers competitive salaries, often higher than what nurses earn in permanent positions. On average, travel nurses in the US earn hourly rates ranging from $30 to $60 , with opportunities for overtime pay and bonuses. In addition to the base pay, travel nurses who work with Host Healthcare will receive benefits like housing stipends, meal per diem, health insurance, retirement plans, and travel reimbursements.
Diverse Work Environments
As a travel nurse in the United States, Canadian nurses have the exciting opportunity to work in diverse healthcare environments. Whether it’s a bustling urban hospital, a small community clinic, or a specialized facility, each assignment brings a new experience. By working in different healthcare facilities, nurses encounter unique patient populations, medical conditions, and technologies. This exposure allows nurses to broaden their skills, adapt to different healthcare systems, and learn best practices from various settings. Working in diverse environments can enrich their professional development, making them highly adaptable and versatile nurses. Additionally, the experience gained as a travel nurse can open doors to new career paths and leadership opportunities. It serves as a testament to their adaptability and willingness to embrace challenges, making them highly sought-after professionals in the nursing field.
Flexibility and Work-life Balance:
Flexibility is another appealing aspect of travel nursing. Canadian nurses working as travel nurses in the United States have the flexibility to choose assignments based on their preferences. They can select the location, duration, and type of healthcare facility that aligns with their professional and personal goals. This flexibility allows them to strike a balance between work and personal life. Moreover, many travel nursing assignments provide the opportunity for extended time off between contracts, allowing nurses to recharge and spend quality time with loved ones.
Adventure and Exploration
One of the most exciting advantages of being a travel nurse is the opportunity for adventure and exploration. Canadian nurses can embark on a journey to new cities, states, and even different regions of the United States. This opens doors to unique cultural experiences, exposure to different lifestyles, and the chance to explore renowned landmarks. Travel nurses can immerse themselves in the local community, try new cuisines, and create lasting memories. Additionally, the ability to travel and experience diverse locations allows nurses to build a broad professional network, connecting with colleagues and healthcare professionals from various backgrounds.
Professional networking and connections
Travel nursing offers ample opportunities for professional networking and making valuable connections. By working in different healthcare facilities, Canadian nurses can collaborate with a diverse range of professionals, including fellow nurses, doctors, therapists, and administrators. Building a robust professional network to assist with their career advancement, as it can lead to future job opportunities, mentorship, and the exchange of knowledge. The connections made during travel nursing assignments can be invaluable, shaping the nurse’s professional journey and opening doors to new possibilities.
How Can a Canadian Become a Travel Nurse in the US?
Completing the CGFNS Qualifying Exam or pass the NCLEX- RN Exam
The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) and the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) evaluate the educational credentials and nursing qualifications of foreign-educated nurses. Canadian nurses will need to complete one of these programs to demonstrate that their education and qualifications meet the standards required for US licensure. The evaluation process may involve verifying transcripts, credentials, and licenses, as well as assessing the theoretical and clinical content of their education attained from foreign nursing schools. 
*This is only required for Registered Nurses
Acquiring a Visa
Canadian nurses who wish to pursue new job opportunities in the US will need an appropriate work visa. The first step to obtaining a work visa as an international travel nurse is to obtain a VisaScreen: Visa Credentials Assessment. The specific requirements and application process can vary, so it’s essential to connect with a Host Healthcare licensing expert who will be able to break down what requirements are needed to obtain the VisaScreen. The common requirements to obtain a VisaScreen are:
- Secondary School Diploma or External Exam Certificate
- Canadian Licenses, Registrations, and Diplomas
- Academic Records or Transcripts
- Passport-Style Photo
- English Language Proficiency Scores or Qualify for an Exemption
- As an RN (Registered Nurse) you will need to pass the NCLEX-RN or pass the CGFNS Qualifying Exam. 
Obtaining a Registered Nurse (RN) License
Once a Canadian nurse has their VisaScreen Certificate approved and has chosen the state license they want to apply for, a Host Healthcare licensing team member will provide them with the reports needed to complete their application for that state. Each state in the US has its own nursing board, and Canadian nurses must apply for licensure in the specific state they plan to work. The requirements for obtaining a license vary by state but generally includes applying with one of the five CGFNS reports. It’s important for any Canadian travel nurse to speak with a Host Healthcare licensing expert to discuss the specific licensing requirements of the state they’re interested in working and ensure they meet all the necessary criteria prior to applying for and accepting a new opportunity. 
The CGFNS offers five reports that are eligible by the state licensing boards. These five reports are:
- Credential Evaluation Service Professional Report (CES)
- CGFNS Certification Program (CP)
- VisaScreen Verification Letter (VS)
- Credential Verification Service for New York State (CVS)
- eDocument Authentication Service (eDAS)
Not every state accepts each report and some states such as New York, Minnesota, and Montana do not require any reports to receive a state license. 
Travel with Host Healthcare
Working as a Canadian travel nurse in the United States can be a rewarding experience. With the assistance of Host Healthcare, understanding the necessary steps, licensing requirements, and available opportunities, Canadian nurses can successfully embark on a fulfilling career as a travel nurse in the US. Host Healthcare can help to streamline the process and access a wide range of exciting assignments. Start your journey today and unlock new horizons in your international travel nursing career.
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