By September 12, 2013 2 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: Will a BSN help me secure continuous work as a travel nurse?


Graduate DiplomaAsk a Travel Nurse Question:  

As a travel nurse, is it fairly easy to work full time continuously without long breaks in assignments? I have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing but am willing to work on a Bachelor’s degree. Do you think a BSN could help me secure more continuous work?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Although a BSN seems to be the way nursing might be headed, it is not m and atory for travel. But, there are several schools of thought in regard to obtaining your BSN.

Not having a BSN may prevent you from accepting some travel assignments if the facility requires BSN nurses (as some Magnet status hospitals do). However, not all Magnet hospitals will require their travelers to have a BSN. BSN is actually not a requirement in Magnet hospitals, but they prefer that the staff nurses either have their BSN or are working toward it. But with staffing shortages, many Magnet hospitals would rather open themselves up to finding help and not requiring every nurse that walks through their door must possess a BSN.

I have a Diploma of Nursing (3 yr), but really do not wish to return to school. I am still on the fence about whether or not I will, but I am not convinced that with the nurses that are baby boomers retiring, and the addition of the aging baby boomers requiring care, that I will be hard pressed to find a job should I not go back for my BSN. So I suppose it depends on where you fall in your belief of needing one in the future.

As far as the current market, NOT having your BSN will likely have little effect on being able to secure continuous assignments. It may be more about the specialty in which you wish to travel. I know that one of my recruiters mentioned having a very hard time placing med-surg nurses in the entire state of CA at one point this summer. So I would say that increasing the acuity of your nursing specialty would take you further in travel than obtaining a BSN.

I hope this helps.


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.

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