Step #6: Building your Travel Portfolio

Step #6: Building your Travel Portfolio


Over the years that I’ve spent as a Travel Nurse, the one thing (other than my raving evaluations) that has consistently impressed my recruiters is my level of organization. Building your Travel Portfolio is an important step in becoming a successful Travel Nurse.

Once you have selected which companies you want to provide with a profile, the next step is to start the application process.

The application process can be daunting as there is so much paperwork that a travel agency will require.  I put together a portfolio with all the necessary documents that a travel agency will request.
Save all of your paperwork into a .pdf file and save in a .zip folder.  This process, although time-consuming the first time, will make it a breeze to apply with a new company as well as making a lasting impression on your new recruiter.  Remember to store this digital information in a secure, password protected site.

Portfolio Checklist

  • Completed Application
    • Many times this is online. I have had my recruiter complete the application for me in many instances from the information provided in my resume. In order to do this, your resume will have to be complete.
  • Resume
    • Make certain to list the agency as well as the hospital. Your recruiter will need the agency information for employment checks.
    • Your resume should reflect the unit, hospital size/# of beds, teaching/non-teaching, etc.
  • ImmunizationsVaricella
    • Tetanus
    • Hepatitis B
    • Most recent PPD/Chest X-Ray
    • As well as all childhood immunizations
  • Copies (front and back)
    • BLS
    • ACLS
    • Any other nursing certifications
    • All active nursing licenses
    • Drivers License
    • Social Security Card or Passport
  • Notarized I-9 form
  • 2 Written References (most recent jobs)
  • Skills Checklist
    • Make certain that you have a skills checklist completed for any/all specialties that you work.
    • This should be updated annually
  • Direct Deposit Form

If you have a company or recruiter ask for information or documents that are not listed on this file, please inform me in the comments below so I can keep my information as complete as possible.  

You can return to the the introduction, or move forward or back using the article links below.

Step #5: Know Your Deal-breakers
Step #7: Research Travel Nurse agencies


  1. Great info! I write down hospital info,contacts, etc and update my resume before I complete the assignment so I don’t forget several months down the road. It helps to save time and frustration!

  2. I had one company ask for a physical < 6 months old, the lab reports from the immunizations/titers, proof of highest level of education, not only a copy of the license but the registration, proof professional liability/malpractice insurance….

    I am not sure if all companies ask for all of this, but from what I can see, it's better to have too much than too little…

    P.S. I love this site and am so grateful you took the time to create it. As a hopeful/newbie, I would probably not take on this great adventure because it would be hard to do without someone's guidance.

    • Thank you for the kind feedback. Hopefully The Gypsy Nurse can help you through that first assignment with the camaraderie and support that I wish I’d had!

  3. My husband and I are both RNs hoping to start travel nursing together this year. Thank you for this site as it’s already been very helpful!

    We’re at the step of updating our resumes. My question is how detailed should we get with them? Do agencies/hospitals want the address and phone numbers of where we worked? Do they care about listing non-healthcare related jobs prior to nursing school? Should we include high school info? Are references upon request ok? My understanding up to this point is to make resumes short-and-sweet. Just want to make sure I still include info agencies want.

    Also, you mentioned including a skills checklist. Where’s the best place to get a checklist to fill out?

    Thanks so much!

    • Leah. Your resume should be as complete as possible. Length is not nearly as important now as it used to be. Include all pertinent information, including all specialties you are competent to work;licenses held; Hospital name, dates, type of assignment/full time, dates, type of hospital, supervisor name and phone, etc. has a list of available skills checklists for download for members.