How to Become a Travel Nurse

How to Become a Travel Nurse

Becoming a Travel Nurse

Step 1: Making sure that travel nursing is right for you

Becoming a nurse is a huge commitment. It requires years of schooling, grueling exams, and long hours of clinical training. It’s not a task to be taken lightly. Before becoming a travel nurse, be sure to ask yourself: am I ready to commit myself to years of education and training? Can I handle the demands on my time, body, and emotions? Am I able to devote myself to caring for others? Do I want to settle down in one place, or do I want a career that not only allows me to travel, but is based on it?

Step 2: Getting your degree

In order to become a licensed nurse, you will need either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in nursing. An Associate’s degree typically takes about two years to complete, whereas a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) takes four. It is important to note that, while it is not a formal requirement, some agencies or employers prefer that their nurses have a BSN since it entails more years of schooling.

Step 3: Passing the NCLEX

Upon completion of your degree, it’s time to take the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX. This computerized exam is divided into four sections and takes about five hours to complete. Once you pass your exam, you will be issued an RN license by a state board within 1-3 business days. Study hard, and good luck!

Step 4: Gaining other credentials

In order to sign a travel nursing contract, you will need at least two more basic certifications in addition to your nursing license: Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). Both of these certifications can be completed over the course of a 1-day class and comprehensive exam session. Furthermore, if you are interested in entering a specific specialty, you’ll want to research and obtain the pertinent certifications.

Step 5: Obtaining experience

You’ll typically need at least one year of nursing experience before you can sign on with a travel nursing agency.

Step 6: Getting hired!

Travel nursing agencies serve as the intermediaries between hospitals and travel nurses, and they are the organizations that actually hire and place nurses. You can directly seek out individual agencies, or streamline the process by using a service like Wanderly to easily find and compare potential employers. On Wanderly, you’ll be able to filter jobs by the criteria that are important to you- duration, location, salary, specialty, and so much more, all while comparing job benefits and recruiter reviews. Wanderly also allows travel nurses on the job hunt to chat anonymously with recruiters and stores their essential paperwork to make the application process as painless as possible.

Step 6: Live your travel nursing dreams

At this point you are a certified, hired, successful travel nurse working in one of the fastest growing industries in the country. You now have the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of settings and specialties, connect with a nationwide network of nurses, and travel the country, all while working in a career you are truly passionate about. Congratulations!

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