7 steps to becoming a travel nurse | How to become a travel nurse | Travel Nurse | Medha.hr

February 22, 2023

7 Steps to becoming a Travel Nurse

A travel nurse is a licensed registered nurse (RN) who works for short-term assignments at various healthcare facilities, typically for 13 weeks at a time. They are in high demand because they provide a flexible and cost-effective way for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities to address staffing shortages, especially in rural or remote areas.

Travel nurses typically work through staffing agencies that specialize in placing nurses in temporary positions. These agencies handle the logistics of finding and booking assignments, and providing other support services for travel nurses.

As a travel nurse, you can gain valuable experience working in a variety of healthcare settings and locations, which can enhance your nursing skills and advance your career. You can also earn higher pay than staff nurses, as travel nurses are often paid a higher hourly rate and receive a tax-free stipend for housing and other expenses.

Becoming a travel nurse involves following the 7 steps listed below:

1. Earn your nursing degree

To become a nurse, you'll need to obtain a nursing degree. This can be either a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) from an accredited program.

BSN programs typically take four years to complete and provide students with a comprehensive education in nursing theory, research, and clinical practice. They often include coursework in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, nursing ethics, healthcare informatics, and leadership and management.

2. Get nursing license and certifications

After completing your nursing degree, you'll need to obtain a nursing license in the state where you plan to work. Requirements for licensure vary by state, but typically include passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Travel nurses are required to have an RN (Registered Nurse) license in the state they are contracted in.

Certifications depend on the unit and specific job requirements. All nurses are required to have Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, and most will either have a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).

3. Gain nursing experience

Most travel nursing agencies typically require a minimum of two years of clinical nursing experience before hiring you as a travel nurse. This experience can be obtained by working in a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility. The more experience you have, the better opportunities you encounter.

4. Research travel nursing agencies

Once you have the necessary education and experience, you can start researching travel nursing agencies. There are many agencies to choose from, so it's important to do your research and choose a reputable agency that meets your needs. After choosing a travel nursing agency, you can apply to become a travel nurse. The agency will ask for your nursing license, resume, references, and other documents to verify your qualifications.

5. Choose your assignments

Once you're approved by the travel nursing agency, you can start choosing your travel nursing assignments. You can select assignments based on your interests, skills, and preferred location. This can be one of the harder decisions you make that can affect your experience and job satisfaction. It requires a balance of personal, professional, and practical considerations.

6. Complete any necessary training

Before starting an assignment, you may need to complete additional training or orientation to learn about the facility and its policies. Some facilities require nurses to complete competency assessments to ensure that they have necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job duties. It's important for travel nurses to communicate with their agency and the facility to understand any training requirements and ensure that they are prepared to provide safe and effective patient care.

7. Find Housing and Begin your adventure

Housing is an important consideration for travel nurses. Some travel agencies offer a stipend for housing and alternatively some travel agencies may provide fully furnished apartments or homes for their nurses to live in during their assignments. It is important to find a housing option that is safe, comfortable, and convenient, so that nurses can focus on their job. Once you have found the housing, you are all set to take on the new adventure!

Becoming a travel nurse can be an exciting and rewarding career choice for those who meet the requirements and are willing to put in the time and effort to find the right position.