A travel nurse plays an important role for the people communities that he or she serves. Nursing is a complex and ever-changing field, which means that nurses who can travel to fill in where they’re needed most are in high demand. Requirements to become a traveling nurse vary depending on the location. It is an exciting field with lots of possibilities and challenges. Learn how to launch a career as a traveling nurse and pursue this exciting field!
Why Travel Nurses Exist
Hospitals hire travel nurses for many different reasons. This can include some of the following:
- Difficulty keeping skilled nurses
- Need for temporary staffing for shortages
- Seasonal population growth (snowbirds, etc)
- Lack of qualified nurses nearby
Due to the shortage of nurses, some hospitals are willing to hire skilled, qualified nursing candidates for short periods of time to fill in gaps for patient support.
Know the Benefits of Being a Traveling Nurse
Travel nurses can have a pick of workplaces including the specialty of choice and length of time in a contract. Travel nurses are often paid well for their time and location flexibility and may have housing and travel costs covered along with full benefits. Many opportunities to make extra money exist including bonuses for extension of a contract or taking assignments in a ‘high need’ facility. A traveling nurse will often bounce between two or three key locations that need contingent staff or on-call help. The benefits of being a traveling nurse certainly outweigh the inconvenience of ongoing travel, for most people. It really depends on your temperament. If you’re always on the go and look forward to seeing new places and meeting new people, then some years as a travel nurse might be perfect for you.
Requirements to Become a Travel Nurse
To get started with a career as a travel nurse, a person must do the following:
- Attend nursing school and become at least a Registered Nurse (RN)
- Pass the NCLEX-RN exam and work for minimum of one year at a hospital in the chosen speciality
- Hold at least a minimum of Associate of Science (ASN) in nursing
- Obtain certifications in a specialty area
- Receive a TB test, physical and immunizations prior to starting an assignment
Most places are looking for a qualified nurse with the flexibility to relocate and pick up shifts as needed.
Find the Right Traveling Nurse Job
Finding a position as a traveling nurse is not as hard as one might think. The demand for nurses is so high, the best way to find a job is to work with a staffing agency who can provide multiple job opportunities at once to allow comparison of options. Many travel nurse agencies offer benefits including health care, housing, retirement and travel. Comparing offers and interviewing around can help find the best position to suit personal goals.
If you’re looking to get the skills and training necessary to launch a career as traveling nurse, consider enrolling here at Felbry College where your education comes first.
Call us today for more information!