Guide to Becoming a Travel Nurse: Steps to Secure Your Dream Assignment

how to become a travel nurse

Are you a nurse seeking exciting opportunities to travel while advancing your career? Discover the essential steps to becoming a successful travel nurse with this comprehensive guide.

Steps to Become a Travel Nurse

Meet Prerequisites and Requirements

Ensure you possess an active nursing license and relevant certifications. While an Associate in Nursing is typically the minimum requirement, some facilities may prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. You will also need any certifications required by the facility, such as BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP, ENPC, etc. 

Mentor Pro Tip: Although there are no specific certifications exclusively for travel nurses, obtaining advanced RN certifications can significantly enhance a nurse’s marketability and demonstrate specialized expertise, opening doors to more opportunities and making you stand out above others. 

The most common certifications for Travel Nurses are:

Gain Relevant Experience

Acquire 1-2 years of experience in your desired specialty. Strong nursing and critical thinking skills are crucial as travel nurses often face challenging situations with minimal orientation, and you have to hit the ground running.

Work with a Trusted Company and Recruiter

Research and select reputable travel nursing agencies that cater to your preferences. (I have recommendations for you if needed!) 

Effective communication with your recruiter is vital. To streamline the job search, clearly outline your must-haves and deal-breakers.

Be Flexible and Proactive

Flexibility is essential, especially for new travel nurses. Start the licensure process early if you plan to work in another state, as it can take time to obtain the necessary licenses.  (link Key attributes blog post here) 

Prepare Essential Documents

Compile your licenses, certifications, and a recent resume with recent references. Submit applications through your chosen agency to be matched with suitable assignments.

Mentor Pro Tip: I recommend seeking out potential recruiters you want to use with this company prior to applying because if you randomly apply to the company online your application will likely go to any recruiter. If you need recommendations, I have several for you.

Stay Available and Responsive 

Time is of the essence in the travel nursing industry. Be prepared to receive calls from hiring managers for an interview at any time. Timely responses can significantly increase your chances of securing desired assignments.

Review and Understand Your Contract 

Carefully review and understand your contract before signing. If necessary, seek clarification from your recruiter or legal counsel to ensure you fully comprehend the terms and conditions.

Organize Housing and Essentials 

As you prepare for your travel nurse journey, plan for housing arrangements and pack essential items. Stay organized throughout the process to ensure a smooth transition.

Embark on Your First Travel Nurse Assignment

By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a rewarding journey as a travel nurse. Get ready to embrace new experiences, advance your career, and make a positive impact in healthcare settings across the country. Happy Travels!

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