Have you ever considered a career as a travel nurse? Many people are interested in this career path, and with good reason. Travel nursing offers competitive pay, the ability to visit new cities all over the country, and lots of flexibility. Of course, it also offers the chance to make a difference in the lives of countless patients.
What does it take to become a travel nurse? Read on to find out more about this profession and what you’ll need to become a travel nurse.
What is travel nursing?
Travel nurses are employed by independent nursing agencies, rather than a single hospital, hospital group, or medical facility. A travel nurse might work at their local hospital if the need is there, or be sent to a completely different state. Travel nursing doesn’t have to mean faraway travel, although it can. Most travel nurses have some say over where and when they go, although travel nursing placements usually last for at least six months.
What kind of education do I need?
A travel nurse will, of course, need their RN license or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) license. (Most travel nurses are RNs.) Nurses who hold an Associates' or Bachelor’s degree in nursing are also eligible to become travel nurses.
Along with these requirements, you’ll need basic certifications like Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certifications. And if you’re interested in specializing in a specific area as a travel nurse, you’ll need those credentials as well. If you’re interested in working in the NICU, for example, you’ll probably need a Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) license.
What kind of experience do I need?
While the exact figure varies, most nursing staffing agencies require nurses to have at least a year of bedside experience, if not more. It’s likely you’ll need to work in a single hospital or medical facility for at least a few years before you’re able to become a travel nurse. Additionally, if you’ll be working in a specialized unit, you’ll probably need experience in that area before becoming a specialized travel nurse.
What about additional licensing?
Additional licensing might be necessary depending on the state(s) you live and work in. If you obtained nursing licensed in a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state and will be working in an NLC state, you’re good to go. If you received your original nursing license in a state that is not a compact license state, or if you’ll be working in one that isn’t, you’ll need to acquire an additional state-specific license.
Become a Travel Nurse with the Help of 24/7 MedStaff
Becoming a travel nurse isn’t nearly as complicated as it might sound. And with the help of staffing professionals like those at 24/7 MedStaff, it’s even easier. If you’re interested in exploring a career as a travel nurse, contact us today to learn more!