How to Be a Travel Nurse: 5 Things to Know

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
June 29, 2017
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Interested in travel nursing but don’t know where to begin? Or, maybe you’re ready to make the move, but want to ensure you’re prepared for the career shift? At Health Carousel Travel Nursing, our team of recruiters has helped countless Super Nurses like you accomplish their professional goals, improve their financial well-being, and land assignments that fit their unique needs and skill-sets. Before we get ahead of ourselves, however, let’s start at the beginning: how to be a travel nurse?

Here are five things to know before beginning your travel nursing career.

1. You must be an RN.

While many hospitals prefer nurses with bachelor’s degrees or advanced certifications, at a minimum you must attend nursing school and earn your degree as an RN. Along with completing your education, travel nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and have a minimum of one year of work experience. Those with advanced specialties can usually begin working as a travel nurse after obtaining one additional year of on-the-job training.

2. You have to be comfortable with change.

Some individuals thrive in a setting where they know what to expect and have duties that rarely change. Yet one of the largest travel nursing requirements is that you must be able to adapt to new situations on a regular basis. Most travel nurse positions last between three and four months, so once you’ve gotten into the swing of things in one location, it will be time to move to the next assignment (unless you are extended by the facility, which often happens).

3. You must be licensed.

If your travel assignments take you through many states, you must make sure you are licensed to work in that particular area. Typically, your agency will help you to finalize this important detail, but it’s a key element of travel nursing that cannot be overlooked. Take note that some states are referred to as “compact states,” which means you can work in multiple states in the region without the need for new licenses each time.

4. Your communications skills must be exceptional.

Travel nursing will bring you into contact with many types of patients, and their demographics and cultural backgrounds could bring challenges in communicating with them. It’s your job as a travel nurse to understand and adapt to the region you’re in and make patients feel welcomed and understood during their time in your care.

5. You have to be passionate.

The life of a travel nurse can be chaotic at times (that’s why HCTN is here to serve as your trusty sidekick), and it’s hard for some individuals to be away from friends and family for extended periods of time. A successful travel nursing experience comes from the love of your work and your passion for serving those in need.

If the above list of travel nurse requirements only makes you more excited to embark on this journey, you’re in the right place. There’s nothing greater than getting to experience an adventure while serving others.

Health Carousel Travel Nursing

Find the Travel Job that’s Right for You

Interested in how the pay stacks up in other states not on this list? Our trusty Super Nurse sidekicks are standing by to answer any questions you have. Click below to get information on opportunities in other states!

Woman standing with suitcase looking out at the city