How To Become A Traveling Nurse
If you’re a nurse looking for a change in your life, or if you’re looking for short-term employment before looking for a full-time job, traveling nurse jobs might just be what you’re looking for.
If you don’t know enough about this topic, this is the best place to learn. Ventura Medstaff hiring agents can answer any question you may have about this exciting and lucrative profession.
Personality Traits of Travel Nurses
Even though anyone with proper qualifications can be a travel nurse, there are certain personality traits and abilities which lend themselves better to this type of profession.
The nature of the job dictates that the nurse is able to pick up and leave their current position and settle quickly in a new location quickly and easily. Seeing how most travel nurse contracts are between 8 and 24 weeks, you may have enough time to settle properly, but don’t be surprised if your contract only lasts several days or weeks.
Being able to adjust to a new environment (sometimes quite different – like going from Alaska to Texas) quickly and still being able to do your very responsible job well is paramount. Typically, extroverted people find these kinds of jobs easier, as they are able to connect with both colleagues and patients much more easily and quickly.
If you’ve decided that you’re ready for this challenge, let’s proceed to what you actually need to become a travel nurse.
Earn Your BSN or ASN/AND Degree
The first step in finding the adventure and gainful employment as a travel nurse is, well, becoming a nurse. There are a few different degrees that make you eligible for these kinds of programs, including a BSN (bachelor of science in nursing), or even just an ASN degree (associate in nursing).
If your bachelor’s degree is in a different field, you may still be able to transfer come credits and get an accelerated BSN degree and get one step closer to becoming a registered nurse.
Get Further NCLEX and RN Certifications
With a BSN degree under your belt, you’re most of the way through to becoming a travel nurse. However, seeing how travel nurses travel far and wide, you need some universally accepted accreditation.
That certification comes in the form of the National Council Licensure Exam or NCLEX-RN for short. Once you pass this exam, you’re officially a registered nurse or an RN. Now you’re ready to start working in the industry.
Do You Want a Specialization?
One of the most interesting facets of the nursing job is certainly the ability to advance your knowledge and further specialize in a particular field of medicine. If you opt to pursue that avenue, you should be aware that you will need additional certification and that it will take more time.
However, the time and effort spent on specialization are well-compensated, as some nurse specialists can earn well over $100,000 per year. With the current shortage of nursing staff, any specialization is well worth your time, so you should balance between your interests and projected earnings.
Earn Some Experience
In general, most travel nurses require some prior experience in the field, so you may need to get some local experience before you’re eligible for a travel nurse position. However, it may change on a case-by-case basis, and some positions may be open to novices as well.
More likely than not, your travel nurse agency will accept the time you spent on your specialization as experience, so the year or two you spend advancing your knowledge may also serve as a valuable experience-building period.
Are You in a Nursing Licensure Compact State?
One last thing to consider is how your license will be viewed in other states. In the past, if you wanted to move from state to state, you had to apply for a license in the new state all over again. This is a laborious process and can cost some money and additional effort.
Fortunately, many states have recognized that this red tape is obsolete and detrimental for business. That’s why 25 states started a program to mutually acknowledge nursing licenses. Since its inception, the program was expanded to 35 members and the number is growing based on popular requests.
You can see the current state of the nursing licensure compact program here. If you are in one of these states, you’re in luck – your license will be accepted in each of the member states, making your travel nursing application all that simpler.
If you’re ready to start your travel nursing adventure anywhere in the US or even abroad, contact us directly, or take a look at some of our offerings here.