Are you ready to find work/life balance, and start a career in travel nursing, but don’t know what documents you need? Look no further! In this travel nursing blog, we discuss the documents you’ll need to get started as a travel nurse.
We have all heard the phrase, "the early bird catches the worm." This phrase is true for prepared travel nurses. An impressive portfolio can be the 'wow' factor that catches a recruiter's time and attention and help you land your next travel nursing job. Though burdensome, compliance documentation is essential for all travel assignments, and a complete portfolio with all the required nurse documentation prepared ahead of time sets travel nurses up for success when they are ready to sign a competitive contract for their nursing license.
Standing out in the crowd is not the only perk to having an accessible portfolio with easily accessed documentation. An organized and accessible portfolio produced at the speed of lightning will keep your stress level down by smoothing out the onboarding process so you can focus on patient care. In addition, the ability to create legible, transparent, concise, and timely documents can make the difference between landing a timely assignment from the top of your list or getting your assignment canceled.
Certain documents are necessary to produce for every assignment, and having quick access to these documents can make or break the experience. Travel nursing assignments can be stressful if you are not prepared.
However, experienced nurses and recruiters recommend having your documents accessible electronically and as hard copies.
An electronic portfolio will keep you ready at a moment's notice with minimal stress and anxiety as you produce the needed documentation for your travel nursing assignment.
Some options include scanning documents to a file management system such as Google Docs, Google Drive, or iCloud storage.
Other options include digital portfolios or personal websites, or HCTN’s On Demand app. Some nurses prefer to keep it simple and use a stick drive with labeled folders. Many travel nursing companies even offer educational opportunities to familiarize you with the process.
The main objective is to have your documents accessible promptly. Experienced travel nurses have shared their tips and tricks for getting and staying on top of the paper trail.
Organize Your Files Into 4 Main Categories
1. Personal Identification
Before a start date at any job or assignment, you’ll need to provide personal identification for tax documents. There are several forms of personal identification that travel nursing companies will accept. These include:
- Driver's license
- State issued ID
- Social security card
2. Active nursing licenses
As a travel nurse, you will also need to have records of your active licenses, certifications, skills checklists, and much more. As most states now accept a compact nurse licensure update (eNLC) license, it now makes it easier to practice nursing in other states. This only works if your home state is a compact state and the state you are traveling to is as well. Some examples of documents you’ll need to include:
- An eNLC (compact nurse licensure update) license
- Walkthrough license
- State-specific license
- Academic credentials/transcripts
- Any relevant independent information published
- Current work history
- Liability insurance
- Emergency contacts
- Current certifications
- Contact Hours record
- Skills Inventory
- Nursing Specialty Certifications - ACLS, BLS, CEN, NRP, EFM, Tele, etc...
3. Communication & information trail
It’s also important to keep all of your communications between you and your travel nursing agency. You never know when you might need to refer back. Below is a good way to organize your communications and important information, such as logins, etc.
- Pay schedule
Travel agency computer access
- Sign-on ID
- How to access important information
4. Health & Vaccinations
Every healthcare facility is going to ask about your immunization and blood titer records and make sure they are up-to-date. To save time and a future headache, always make sure your flu vaccination and PPD screening are updated yearly. Some common immunizations or titers you’ll need are:
- TB proof
Many nurses keep physical copies of all of their documents and electronic copies. Up-to-date information at your fingertips can mean the difference between a smooth, quick assignment or a long-drawn-out and messy process. Keep all digital information safe and password protected. Remember, the first qualified candidate is most likely the one to get the assignment because the speed, clarity, and completeness of an application is the one that gets the right attention.
For more information about travel nursing, check out our travel nursing blog.
Interested in pursuing a career in travel nursing and ready to find a work/life balance? Health Carousel Travel Nursing helps you create your ideal balance, with great benefits and with our new full circle of support, where we discuss topics related to your health and benefits. Search our job board through our On Demand app. With the On Demand app, you can search and compare jobs, and apply whenever you are ready.
Dr. Leary-Schmitt has over thirty years of nursing experience and travel nursing now focusing on giving voice to nurses to promote, cultivate, and sustain healthier work environments and improve the quality of life for nurses and their patients.