Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
Hey there, I’m an aspiring nurse and I’m curious, how do nurses get started in Travel Nursing?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
Honestly, it’s really pretty simple as long as you know what you’re getting into.
All that is currently required of many agencies is that you are a registered nurse (having sat for and passed the NCLEX) and have a few years of recent, hospital-based experience.
The experience required may fluctuate as the need for nurses rises. With the dip in the economy of 2009, hospitals started demanding travel nurses with more experience. This led many agencies to require two years of experience. The rebounding has been slow, but we are starting to see some travel nurses find positions closer to the one-year experience level.
Because of the skills needed with travel, one year has always been the basic minimum and hopefully this will never change. To put a nurse into a travel position with less than a year of experience, starts to get into the realm of being unsafe. You really do need to build your basic skills and practice of nursing before embarking on travel.
The “hospital-based” requirement may also change at some time. With the shortage of RNs scheduled to continue, we may see new areas of travel open up (such as clinics or extended care facilities), if they have not already.
Any nurse approaching one year of experience, and interested in travel, should read anything they can get their hands on related to Travel Nursing in order to get an idea of everything that is involved. While the process is not hard, you do need a knowledge base.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention my book, Travel Nurse’s Bible, to help anyone interested in Travel Nursing. I wrote it as a “how to” guide for those looking to enter the field. You can find it here in digital format on Amazon.
I hope this helps.