Becoming a Travel Nurse: Steps to Take · The Gypsy Nurse

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By AMN Healthcare

March 6, 2023



Becoming a Travel Nurse: Steps To Get Started

AMN Healthcare provided this article.

A travel nursing career offers numerous advantages, including excellent compensation, the opportunity to travel the country, and the fulfillment that comes from assisting patients in a variety of settings. However, there may be a lot of you who are wondering how to become a travel nurse.

We’ve made it simple to understand the procedure, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned professional or a recent graduate just starting out in nursing. You’ve come to the right place if you want to learn how to work as a travel nurse.

Who are travel nurses?

Travel nursing originated as a response to a nursing shortage in the late 1970s and spread throughout the subsequent decade. Travel nursing has developed into a lucrative career for nurses worldwide in recent years.

To summarize, travel nurses are registered nurses who are deployed to various hospitals and other healthcare facilities as replacements for permanent nursing staff. They are employed by travel nursing agencies.

When the facility is simply short-staffed due to expansions, seasonal increases in the patient count, or other factors, travel nurses are utilized on a temporary basis to assist. Travelers can also provide assistance during labor disputes or natural disasters.

Derick J., BSN, RN, CCRN, who travels with Onward (AMN) Healthcare, says that travel nursing requires flexibility.

He stated, “I like that we have the flexibility you won’t find in many other fields.” I just need to get my license and talk to my recruiter if I want to go somewhere specific. If I work for three months and decide I want a break, I simply wait until I’m ready to accept my next contract. There are a lot of friends in other professions who lack this flexibility. They can’t just take a month or two off like we can because they have to work a 9-to-5 job.

Other fantastic benefits of becoming a travel nurse include free housing paid for by the employer, comprehensive health insurance plans, travel reimbursements, 401(k) retirement plans, free continuing education, and numerous other benefits.

Five Steps to Becoming a Travel Nurse

It is now easier than ever to become a travel nurse thanks to agencies like AMN Healthcare that have simplified the application process. With the steps below, we’ve also taken the guesswork out of learning how to become a travel nurse. Learn how to get started in the field of travel nursing by reading on.

Step 1. Get Your Nursing Degree

If you want to work as a travel nurse, now is the time to study for a nursing degree. A registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) is also more marketable than a nurse with only an associate’s degree (ADN) or diploma. For instance, the majority of large academic teaching hospitals and ANCC Magnet hospitals require BSN-holding travel nurses.

Step 2. Pass the NCLEX

After receiving your nursing degree, it is time to study for and successfully complete the NCLEX-RN exam. The NCLEX was created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to assess nursing school graduates in the United States and Canada. The exam is administered using computerized adaptive testing (CAT) technology, and the NCSBN provides a variety of testing resources and frequently asked questions. After you take the test, you will receive your results in about five days.

Step 3. Obtain an RN license

Congratulations on passing the NCLEX! It’s time to get your RN license now. You will need to provide documentation to your state board of nursing before you can take the test. Although the procedure varies from state to state, it typically entails submitting an application, providing fingerprints, and passing a criminal background check. Your RN license number will be generated once your state board receives confirmation that you passed the NCLEX, and then you can start working as a nurse in your state!

Step 4. Get out there and gain experience as a nurse

After meeting all of the educational requirements, the final preparation step for becoming a travel nurse is to gain some clinical experience in the real world. Onward Healthcare’s experts on new graduates say that you can start applying for travel nursing jobs after just six to nine months of experience. But keep in mind that you won’t be able to start your first assignment with a travel nurse agency until you have one year of experience. Even more, nursing experience may be required in some facilities or specialties.

Step 5. Talk to a recruiter

If you’re interested in starting a career as a travel nurse. You can easily get on the road right away. Take it from Derick, who says his recruiter helped him become a successful travel nurse:

Derek stated, “Finding a recruiter who really understands you, what you’re looking for, and is willing to do what they can for you is one of the most important things in traveling.” I’ve been extremely fortunate in that my recruiter has always tried her best to fit me into an assignment. She has collaborated with me brilliantly.”

Your personal recruiter will get to know you and your requirements after you apply to our travel nurse agency. They will also help you find assignments that are right for you and walk you through the next steps to get you working.

Are you looking for your next travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our job board. Do you need housing for an upcoming assignment? Click here to search our housing page.

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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Since just recently joining The Gypsy Nurse, I have had so many questions answered about the world of travel nursing. This has been an excellent resource!
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