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By September 17, 2015 2 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: What education do I need to become a Travel Nurse?

Ask a Travel Nurse: What education do I need to become a Travel Nurse?

Ask a Travel Nurse: What education do I need to become a Travel Nurse?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi David, I am still in high school, but am interested in becoming a Travel Nurse. I am unsure what classes I should take now that would help me later and I also have no idea what colleges to consider — or if I should go to a two-year school or a four-year school. What education do I need to become a Travel Nurse? I am so lost and any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Concentrate on any path that will allow you to sit for the NCLEX exam and become a registered nurse.

While many hospitals are now wanting BSN nurses (four years), I am only a Diploma of Nursing grad (three years) and have not ever had a problem getting hired. I am also of the opinion that once the baby boomers start getting older and retiring, and then also needing medical care themselves, the nursing shortage is only going to increase. Not to be condescending in the least, but if you are unfamiliar with the term, baby boomers are people born somewhere in the years from 1946 to 1964 (who are now just starting to retire and need more medical care).

So if you have the ability (financially speaking) to go to a four-year program, it may be worth it in the long run. If not, it is my opinion that you will still be able to travel as an RN with only a two-year degree. If for some reason things change, you can always work as a staff nurse, get tuition reimbursement, and then travel. After all, you will still need at least one year of nursing experience to travel, and if things remain as they are now, then you will need two years of experience before you can travel. Beyond that, for those already working as Travelers who wish to earn their BSN, some Travel Nursing companies also offer an RN to BSN program that allows you to earn your BSN online while you travel.

Hope this helps and if you need further clarification, please feel free to write back.


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.

2 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: What education do I need to become a Travel Nurse?"

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  1. Lilly Derrah says:

    Thanks for the post. So how many year do I have to learn to become a travel nurse?

  2. David says:

    Uncertain of your current education, but as posted above, you will need to be a registered nurse (having passed the NCLEX) and at least one year of experience in the specialty in which you wish to travel.


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