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Monday, January 23, 2012

How to become a travel nurse

A nursing job which is becoming more and more popular among nurses these days is as at ravel nurse. The travel nursing industry began more than 20 years ago. There were a few agencies which began to offer hospitals a short-term solution for their staffing shortage and seasonal fluctuations of the population. Especially in places like Arizona, California, Florida and Texas the demand was high. Nowadays the demand of travel nurses is still high, because of the staffing problems which still exist in the United States.

A travel nurse is sent to different hospitals and medical facilities not only around the country, but also around the world. Their assignments usually last for a month to a year (or more). You also have the opportunity to work in a variety of specialties to help expand your nursing resume such as pediatrics, labor and delivery, operating rooms and more. Another choice which you will have as a travel nurse is the period of time you want to stay in a certain area. Some nurses prefer to travel every few months, while others rather stay in one area so they can experience all the seasons of the area. Choosing to be a travel nurse is an excellent nursing job to meet new people and experience different ways of life while enhancing your career. It will also provide you the opportunity to increase your earnings and allows the flexibility to select a new employment situation every few months.

If you are lucky enough to speak a foreign language, your nursing job could even take you abroad! You should be comfortable where you are working though and bearing this in mind, it is important to do research. If possible, arrange a weekend away to the place you are considering working in and try to imagine yourself with a job there, going about daily life .

Why wants to become travel nurse?

Job Opportunities

Travel nurses have the exciting opportunity to practice nursing in a variety of settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, rehabilitation centers, medical offices, surgical centers and more. You will have the opportunity to visit places all over the country or the world. Travel nurses work out of an agency that recruits nurses and places them in open positions for short, long-term or permanent hire.

Salary and Job Outlook

While the base travel nurse salary is around $63,000 per year, you can expect to earn more with your job. This compensation will make up for having to move around the country or the world a lot. They usually pay travel expenses and housing while you are on assignment. They sometimes also offer full health, dental and vision benefits. Because travel nursing is a job that fills temporary open positions in hospitals, if you are willing to travel, there will always be a job for you. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this type of nursing is expected to grow through 2018. Travel nursing is an exciting field that can take you many places in both location and your nursing career. The travel and adapting to new environments can be demanding at times, but the rewards and benefits more than make up for the demands of the job. Travel nursing is a great way to see the world and expand your nursing resume, while meeting new and exciting people along the way.

Travel nursing benefits

Travel Nursing is particularly more common in the United States where a nurse gets to work at different medical facilities for a specified range of time. Usually, a traveling nurse works in one medical facility for four (4) weeks, 13 weeks or up to 52 weeks.
Traveling nurses are usually provided with an apartment near the medical facility where they would be working including furniture and other amenities, competitive salaries of up to $40 per hour, bonuses, a comprehensive medical, dental and life insurance, retirement plans and other health benefits.
The travel company also reimburses the expenses that the traveling nurses would incur while traveling, tax-free.
Travel companies usually offer signing and completion bonuses of up to $6,000 and may provide continuing education for the travel nurse.
Other companies also offer bonuses for a traveling nurse who refers another nurse to work for that specific travel nursing company. The bonus will be given after the nurse referred has completed his or her first assignment.
A traveling nurse could also receive points that can be redeemed or exchanged for cash, discounted products and services, or trips after completing the assignment.
If you want to become a medical professional and travel the world while you’re at it, why not consider becoming a travel nurse? Use these tips to learn how to meet the educational requirements and enter the available nursing programs for traveling nurses.

How to become a travel nurseEducation and Training

In high school, you will want to focus your general education in science and math. It would also be helpful to take a few foreign languages in case you want to travel to another country. After your high school graduation you can apply for a nursing program at a local college, university or online. Follow these steps to get your nursing license and experience:

1. Become a registered nurse. The first step is to be trained under a nursing program, either via the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (which is the most ideal as it opens up the most opportunities for promotion later on), a two-year Associate’s Degree from a community college (a very popular option), or a hospital diploma plan (which offers the minimum training to qualify you to take the nursing board exams). Whatever path you choose, you have to make sure that the program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC). Remember that the period of training can be hard financially and so one should always be aware there are relatively enjoyable ways to earn money whilst getting your certificates. If you are in a foreign country, giving one to one English lessons is a great idea - the local people would be very grateful and it means you can plan the classes around your study. Similarly working in a silver service agency allows a certain degree of flexibility, it is not demanding yet pays relatively highly. No matter what you do however, don't forget to leave yourself sufficient time for study and rest. Nursing qualifications are tough and you need to be sure you are at 100% in class.

2. Take the nursing board exams. Obtaining a nursing degree under an accredited program will qualify you to take the nursing board exams. In the United States, this is the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Upon passing this examination, you will be qualified to practice nursing as a profession.

3. Obtain at least one year of experience working as a nurse in a hospital setting. While the minimum is one year, it is best to get as much as two to three years experience before seeking travel nurse employment opportunities. Try to get experience in a variety of units such as medical or surgical, pediatrics, labor and delivery and emergency room. This will better equip you to handle the demands of this medical career.

Skills Needed

Becoming a traveling nurse requires skills besides those learned during your training. Here are some of the skills required to be a travel nurse.
• Be able to adapt fast to new environments.
• Be a team player.
• Have good communication skills.
• Have nursing skills in a variety of settings i.e. telemetry, critical care, medical or Surgical.
• Be dependable. Once you accept a travel assignment, you have to be ready to pack and go.


Follow these seven easy steps to get started with your first traveling nurse job:

1. Choose a staffing company

You can find information on travel nursing companies such as our staffing partners by looking through nursing journals or searching on the Web. Do some research and see what different companies offer, and then decide which services are most important to you. To find the company that's best for you, compare pay rates, benefits and the variety and number of traveling nurse jobs available. You can also ask for recommendations from other nurses. Call the companies and ask to speak to a recruiter; then judge for yourself whether they are able to answer your questions and treat you in a professional and friendly manner.

2. Complete an application, skills checklist and professional reference request has partnered with the nation's top travel nursing companies: American Mobile Healthcare, Medical Express, NursesRx and NurseChoice. NurseZone provides a one-step application that will allow you to apply to one or more of our travel partners. This online application process is simple, free and 100 percent confidential. You are under no obligation to work with a company after sending in an application. Simply complete the online application and skills checklist to get started. You will then be matched with a travel nursing company, and will be prompted to fill out the professional reference request form. So apply online today to get started on completing these three steps.

3. Work with a personal recruiter

Once your application, skills checklist and professional reference request forms are processed and accepted, you will be assigned a personal recruiter. Your recruiter will be an important resource throughout your traveling nurse career, so it's important to discuss your needs in detail with him or her. Think about what's most important to you-working in a specific area of the country, type of facility, particular clinical setting? Utilize the resources on NurseZone to learn more about travel nursing through our traveler stories, FAQs and Ask the Expert sections.

4. Choose a destination

Are you interested in living in a big city or a small town? Is there a particular area of the country you'd like to explore? Are you partial to mountains and snow, or beaches and sun? Do you want to stay close to home or travel across the country? Review our state and city guides and talk to your recruiter to learn more about your options as a traveling nurse. Review the pay rates, compare hospital requirements and determine which assignment best suits your needs. Remember, most facilities prefer travel nurses to have at least 18 months to two years of recent experience working in an acute-care setting.

5. Interview with the facility

Once you and your recruiter have decided on an assignment, you will have a telephone interview with the hospital, usually with a nurse manager. Your recruiter will help you prepare for the interview so you'll have the best opportunity to secure the position of your choice. Be sure to check out NurseZone'sinterviewing tips before the big day.

6. Accept the assignment

Congratulations, you've chosen your traveling nurse assignment! Your staffing company will help you with the licensing and credentialing in your assignment state. Housing account executives will secure your housing arrangements and will set up utilities and furniture delivery for your new home.

7. Get ready for an exciting new adventure!

Your travel nursing company will provide you with everything you need to get started-information about your new area and driving directions to your new home and to the facility. You can also find a wealth of practical information in our traveler links. After you arrive, your recruiter will be in touch to make sure you are settled in properly and are well-prepared for your new assignment. Let the adventure begin!
Upon completion of your first assignment, you can either renew at the same hospital or travel to a new location. There are no annual contracts or other strings attached. You can work for as many assignments as you like.


To get a travel nursing job, you begin by selecting a travel nursing company, who acts as your personal job recruiter. The company will help you out with the specifics of your assignment, like the relocation or registering with local authorities. They will also help you to determine where in the United States you want to work, the type of facility that interest you, and which travel assignments are available. Usually the travel assignments lasts 13 weeks, but if you want to stay longer on a certain place, then you can renew at the same hospital and otherwise you will just travel to a new location. As a travel nurse you can work for as many assignments as you like.


Once you become a travel nurse, you can:
• Enjoy great pay and benefits
• Choose from top assignments across the country
• Gain valuable clinical experience at leading hospitals
• Get medical, dental and life insurance with a number of options, such as day-one coverage
• Receive clinical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
• Take advantage of reward and incentive programs, including bonuses
• Live in free, private, fully-furnished housing or receive a housing stipend
• Save for retirement with a 401(k) matching plan
• Receive continuing education at no cost
• Get tax-free travel reimbursement
• Explore a destination before making a permanent move into the area, or "travel" within your own hometown while receiving a housing stipend
• See the country while traveling with a friend or spouse (most pets are OK, too)
• Meet new people and create new friendships
• Enjoy all this and much more!


Complete a single online application and you can access travel nursing jobs in thousands of facilities around the world ! Applying for travel nurse employment is free and confidential, and there's no obligation.
Start today on your traveling nurse adventure!


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