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By November 3, 2017 4 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: I’m a Canadian nurse — how do I get started Travel Nursing in the United States?

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Ask a Travel Nurse: I’m a Canadian nurse — how do I get started Travel Nursing in the United States?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hello! I’m looking for some advice on Travel Nursing. I work as a nurse in Canada — RN, Labor & Delivery. Can you point me in the right direction to get started Travel Nursing in the United States? I know I will have to pass the American exam (NCLEX), which I have begun preparing for. I have also looked into a couple companies. Any other tips you can provide me with as I embark on this next phase of my nursing career? Thanks a lot!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

As I deal primarily with U.S. nurses looking for travel assignments, I can only point you in the direction of the resources with which I have become familiar.

First, if you have a recruiter, at either of the companies you mentioned, who has a good grasp of the requirements for Canadian nurses, please feel free to use them if you feel comfortable with their knowledge.

The advantage of using a company is that they may help or cover the cost of VisaScreen and/or TN Visa. In speaking with another Traveler at work who is Canadian, I learned that she did the process on her own but cautioned the VisaScreen can take months, whereas the TN Visa can simply be obtained rather quickly at the border. Obviously, when talking about something as important as Visas, you will want to check all of this with your regulatory body for those documents.

Another option is to have the travel company assist you with this. However, they will need to have a good knowledge of the process and I would still double check everything they convey; this even goes for communicating with boards of nursing for U.S. nurses — always go to the direct source.

There are companies that are well known for assisting with U.S. work (i.e. O’Grady Peyton), but again, if your recruiter knows this process, feel free to use them.

If you are looking for general Travel Nursing advice, I do always recommend my book, Travel Nurse’s Bible. I wrote it as a “how to” guide in getting started in the world of travel. If interested, you can check it out here.

I hope this gives you a bit more direction in getting started 🙂


Posted in: Ask a Travel Nurse

About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

4 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: I’m a Canadian nurse — how do I get started Travel Nursing in the United States?"

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  1. Hi.. David,

    I will place the order for “Travel Nurse’s Bible” book. Thanks for sharing the guidance.

  2. David says:

    Thanks Kristi. If after reading, you have any additional questions, feel free to email me directly at


  3. Jennifer Berger BScN RN


    Hello! I am a Canadian RN who has travel nursed and my biggest tip for Canadian RNs wanting to travel nurse is you MUST get your VISA SCREEN completed FIRST. This is done through the CGFNS and all instructions are on their site. It’s a lengthy process due to the back and forth correspondence and the amount of paperwork involved however once it’s done it’s clear sailing! For Canadians it’s a little less demanding as we are able to skip past the exams for speaking and writing English unlike other foreign countries where English is not the first language. I completed the Visa Screen on my own as I didn’t want to be “locked” into an agency by having them pay the hefty fee (approx. $500.00 USD). It takes months to complete so my advice is to continue working at your home facility while preparing this document. I wrote the NCLEX which was no problem. When I had these 2 documents secured THEN I reached out to the various travel nursing agencies I had researched to be great.
    Also, I purchased David’s book and studied it thoroughly. It was a lifesaver to have his book with all the information right in my hands. The process is slow and can be frustrating at times but be patient as it is worth the wait! Good luck!

  4. I will place the order for “Travel Nurse’s Bible” book. Thanks for sharing the guidance.status in Hindi

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