Do you ever want to work as a nurse and travel across the country? Travel nursing could be the answer to your dreams. Yet to be a travel nurse, there are several steps you have to pursue to get there.
Travel nursing could be very rewarding especially that you do not only have the chance to travel different destinations, you also get paid high for the job. As a travelling nurse, you get to have a personal as well as professional growth and development. It is a fun but challenging job that requires a lot of skills and knowledge. So how does one become a travelling nurse? Do you think you have what it takes?
Earn a degree
To become a travelling nurse, one must have a degree in nursing. You must graduate from a 4-year nursing course and be a registered nurse (RN). To be an RN, you must pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX) exam on a specific state to be qualified for work.
After passing the NCLEX-RN exam, you must be able to work with an area specialization to a hospital institution at least for 18 months. After completing the requirements above, one can now apply to become a travel nurse.
Find a staffing agency
It is essential for you to be able to get a job in travel nursing, one must submit applications to staffing companies. They will be the ones to process your applications and assist you on available positions as a travelling nurse.
Make sure to choose the right staffing agency for you by looking out on their reputation as a company. To be sure you belong to a legitimate one, check if the agency is listed in The Joint Commission or formerly known as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
Determine your state of choice
According to the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA), 80% of first time travelers choose to take their first assignment within the state they reside or a state next to them. You can also opt to do this, as to become a travelling nurse, one does not need to cross seas in the first try.
Once you have the feel for the job, you can try going further and experience different destinations if given the choice. Additionally, you must have a license on the state you have your employment in. Yet if your home state is included in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLCA), one can work in any other state for as long as it has a license reciprocity process included in the NLCA.
Work and reapply
When you pass all tests, your job as a travel nurse starts. When you become one, you will be eligible to be sent to a different location that may need extra nursing service due to the lack of personnel – all depending on your area of expertise.
Travel nursing can be a long-term or short-term job. Most commonly, it can only be good for 1 to 3 months and may extend to a year. If you go overseas or international, a longer contract may be made for at least 2 to 3 years.
Additionally, agencies may give you temporary housing, allowance and additional benefits while you work on a certain state under the hospital’s supervision. When one’s contract is done, you can still reapply on your agency for another travel nursing experience.
When you become a travel nurse, be prepared to open yourself for bigger opportunities to grow and also have an adventure. You will meet and work hand-in-hand with different medical professionals. But aside from that, you are also able to reach out more on your calling as a nurse.