Travel nursing is often an attractive career opportunity that includes great pay, the chance to see different regions of the country, and many more benefits. What it takes to become a travel nurse, however, is not always clear to those new to the field. To help, the Next Travel Nursing team has assembled a list of five steps to becoming a successful travel nurse.
1. Meet the necessary qualifications.
To become a travel nurse, you must:
- Be a registered nurse (RN).
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX. 📝
- Obtain the required actual nursing experience (minimum of one year as a nurse practitioner, plus an additional year for most specialties).
Without meeting these qualifications, most travel nursing agencies will not consider registering your details.
2. Have a registered home address to access tax-free earnings.
Having a registered home address/state isn’t an absolute necessity to become travel nurse—but, if you want to earn money on a tax-free basis, this is something you need. There’s no exact rule about how far from your home address a job needs to be to be considered a travel nurse post, but the team at Next considers 75 miles the typical minimum standard. 🗺️
3. Be flexible.
As a nurse, flexibility is likely something you utilize at your job each and every day. As a travel nurse, the willingness and ability to be flexible is even more critical.
Most travel nursing jobs span between 13-26 weeks, so the flexibility might not necessarily be tied to your ability to travel on short notice ⏰. However, if your employer wants you to cover staff across a number of different departments, flexibility comes in very handy.
4. Make sure you’re licensed to work in the state you are considering taking an assignment in.
Another important travel nursing requirement is being licensed to work in the state in which your assignment is located. If you are qualified in or have worked in a compact state, you are automatically licensed to work in 25 U.S. states 🇺🇸. If you haven’t, you will need to find out what license you do need and apply for it. (A Next recruiter can help guide you through this process.)
5. Be personable.
Another soft skill that’s beneficial in travel nursing is exhibiting a friendly, approachable demeanor when on the job. This will help you quickly mesh with the many teams and colleagues you’ll be working with. This type of attitude can also help you fit in wherever you work and to avoid office politics.
6. Reach out to an experienced travel nursing staffing agency.
Ready to take the first step towards becoming a travel nurse? Or, simply want to learn more? Reach out to the team at Next Travel Nursing today to get your questions answered or to begin your travel nursing journey.