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By July 22, 2016 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: Do I need recent experience for Travel Nursing?

Travel Nurse question

Ask a Travel Nurse: Do I need recent experience for Travel Nursing

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I want to do Travel Nursing assignments in a cath lab and I have previous cath lab experience of approximately 10 years, from 1999 to 2010. I worked all phases in the lab and as resource nurse. Do I need recent experience for Travel Nursing? I have no doubt I could hit the floor running in little time, despite my time away.

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Even with more than two decades of critical care experience, I’m not 100% sure I’d be able to jump right back in even with only six months to a year away from the bedside.

Trends change, new procedures become available, and the equipment we use to do our jobs may also evolve into something which could benefit from current experience.

I too would be pretty confident that I could jump right back in. But travel is a bit of a different beast and employers are generally looking for recent experience for the aforementioned reasons.

I would say that securing an assignment may depend on two things. The first is, what have you been doing for the past five years?

If you took five years off to open a travel agency, it certainly would not be the same as if you were still working as a nurse in some capacity.

The second variable would be how badly a facility needed help and how open you’d be to an assignment that may not be in your top few desired locations.

You are in an advanced specialty, so there is the potential to have a facility look at your past, rather than recent, experience. However, you might run into difficulty booking any assignment where you are going up against other Travelers with current cath lab experience (despite the others not having as many total years of experience as you).

I would venture a guess that securing that first assignment would be key and you’d be okay going forward from that.

The only real way to further gauge this is to speak with a few recruiters. I’m sure that both the recruiters and I would share the view that getting back to the bedside would be your best course of action to make you more attractive to the hiring facilities.

But again, if you can secure that first assignment, you may be able to forego recent bedside experience. It simply depends on what you find out there in regard to what the facilities are willing to accept.

If you need any help with getting connected to some great recruiters, feel free to email me at

Hope this helps.


Posted in: Ask a Travel Nurse

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Sarah Wengert, a creative content writer for the amazing Medical Solutions based in Omaha, Nebraska. While I'm not a travel nurse, I love to travel and I truly appreciate the hard, important work that nurses do. I'm very happy to represent a company that cares so much about its people. Thanks for reading!

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