Travel nursing is, without a doubt, an exciting career. It holds a lot of appeal for a diverse range of nurses looking for an opportunity to advance their career. They can also explore the country and still earn a competitive salary. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. You can gain valuable skills, and of course, make an impact in the lives of your patients.
But what exactly does one require to become a travel nurse? The answer is, it depends. The overall requirements vary by the agency, facility, specialty, and contract. However, there are a few basic requirements.
Here are common universal prerequisites to becoming a travel nurse.
Travel Nurse License
To get the most out of your travel nursing career, it’s vital that you possess an RN license. Obtaining this license requires a few things. Graduating from an accredited institution and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) Examination. A bachelor’s degree isn’t a mandatory requirement. Having a BSN will give you an added edge over the rest.
Experience with Travel Nurse Jobs
As soon as you start working as a travel nurse, it’s imperative that you hit the ground running. In other words, you need to manifest a sheer level of confidence in your skills and ability to do your job. Perhaps, this is because most health facilities do not have time to train nurses. For that reason, you are required to have at least one-year experience. Some specialties may require up to 2 years of experience
Most travel nurse jobs require current nursing certifications such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS). In selected instances, hospitals and healthcare facilities will ask for NIH stroke certification. Also, specialty certifications like CCRN for acute/critical care nurses can help you enhance your travel nurse salary.
Besides having the nursing license, certifications, and required minimum experience in your specialty, it’s imperative that you have all the required paperwork. Typically, this may include, an up-to-date resume, driver’s license, proof of immunity, flu shot, PPD Test, BCLS card, physician statement, and respirator fit test.
While having all these docs is essential, you need to make sure that they are safe, secure, and ready to help you find travel nurse jobs with a click of a button. Put simply, they should be stored in one place, preferably in your laptop, hard drive, or in the cloud space.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Although meeting the above make you eligible to begin working, you’ll need to analyze your life to decide if this is a good fit or not. It’s important that you think about your obligations. See if there’s anything in your life that could prevent your lifestyle from working out. Some basic questions to ask include;
- Are there specialized healthcare needs that are location specific?
- Is there a home or house that you are not comfortable leaving unattended for weeks or even months?
- Are there school-aged children, parents, or others who depend on you for care?
- Do you have a significant other that can’t travel or isn’t willing?
Is Travel Nursing Your Best Fit?
Now that you know what it takes to become a travel nurse, it’s time to begin your career. Contact us today to help us get you some great travel nursing assignments.
Just because the present isn’t the perfect time, that doesn’t mean that things won’t pan out in your favor. Keep at New Directions Staffing to learn more. Be sure to sign up for our job alerts to get a notification when the ideal job is available.