Certifications or Degrees: What Should Travel Nurses Have?

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By Cross Country Nurses

December 12, 2019



Are Travel Nurses Required to Have Special Certifications or Degrees?

This article provided by: Cross Country Nurses

Are you considering becoming a travel nurse?

If so, you are probably wondering what some of the educational and certification requirements might be, and if they differ from those required of non-travel nurses. In fact, the requirements are actually very similar.

Travel nurses are usually required to be licensed as a registered nurse

Which entails the completion of an accredited registered nurse program. This is often an Associate Degree or, preferably, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN. Occasionally, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) will be accepted for a travel position. In any case, most healthcare facilities require a minimum of one year of experience, while positions in high acuity units may require two years of recent experience in a similar role.

In addition to educational and degree requirements

Travel nurses are also expected to have any necessary certifications relevant to the travel nurse position they will be filling. For example, Basic Life Support (BLS) is required for most assignments. Travel nurses working in the ER, ICU or other critical care areas are often required to have Advanced Cardia Support (ACLS) certification. Labor, Delivery, Post-Partum and NICU travel nurses may be required to have Neo Natal Resuscitation (NRP) certification. Finally, you will need a current license in the state in which your assignment is located, or a compact license if applicable.

Certification requirements can vary by state and facility

As a travel nurse, you will see that certification requirements can vary by state and facility. Your recruiter will make sure that you understand all the necessary documentation for each individual assignment and will help you obtain any paperwork you may need. If you haven’t already, you should consider obtaining any national certifications you can acquire, as they will set you apart from your competition. Be sure to let your recruiter know if you have any.

There are a number of qualities every travel nurse should possess in addition to the aforementioned certifications and degrees. These include excellent communication skills, analytical ability and a confidence in the knowledge of your individual specialty. Travel nurses must also be able to adapt to a new clinical environment and workplace culture as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

As you can see, the certifications and degrees required of travel nurses are quite similar to those required of non-travel nurses. If you are considering a career as a travel nurse, the first step would be to find a recruiter you trust and discuss the requirements specific to any assignment for which you wish to be considered. Your recruiter will walk you through every step of the process.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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