Ask A Travel Nurse: Do I need a license in every state as a Travel Nurse?

By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

July 6, 2019

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Ask A Travel Nurse: State License

Gypsy,

As a travel nurse do I need a state license in every state I work in?

Thank you,
Sara RN

The short answer is yes. For travel nurses, State license is required in all but a couple of circumstances.

Government agency (VA or Military Hospitals)

If you work for the VA or a Federal facility, you can work on any state license.

Compact States

The other exception would be if you are licensed in a compact state.  A compact license is good for work in any state that is part of the compact.  You can read more about compact licensing if this applies to you.

State Licensing

Most travel nurse staffing agencies will assist you in the licensing process.  As a licensed nurse , the process is not too complicated. It is mostly just a matter of providing the required paperwork, fingerprints and payment. The licensing requirements will vary from State to State. Check with the state Nursing Board to find out what is required in the state you are considering.

Licensing timeframes can vary from state to state. Keep this cheat-sheet close as you look at job possibilities and states for travel nurses to license in.

Most importantly, if you are a new travel nurse, read over our Travel Nurse Guide for additional guidance and industry specific information.


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