Are you a registered nurse (RN) who is looking to leave your permanent job to travel the country and work in new places? Are you a nursing student who is thinking about taking up the travel life after graduation? Are you retired and want to make some extra money?
Regardless of where you are in your nursing career, becoming a travel nurse is a great option if you want to see new places in the United States, potentially make more money than those in permanent positions, and care for patients who desperately need your help. Here’s a step–by-step guide on how to become a travel nurse and why starting a partnership with Barton Healthcare Staffing will help you unlock nursing opportunities that will meet your personal and professional goals.
1. Become a Licensed RN
This might seem like an obvious first step, but before you can become a travel nurse, you must be a licensed RN. To become a licensed RN, you first must gain a degree in nursing from an accredited institution.
After that, you’ll need to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Once you’ve passed the exam, you must then check with your state licensing board to determine if there are any other requirements you must complete to become a licensed RN. After all of this is completed, you’ll be licensed to practice in your state.
Depending on the state in which you are licensed, you may benefit from the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC). This is active in 38 states and allows nurses with a license in a participating state to practice in another compact state without obtaining a new license.
When you partner with Barton Healthcare Staffing and take on one of our many travel nursing jobs, our licensing team will do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to obtaining the licenses you need for your assignment. All you need to do is give your recruiter all of your relevant documents and sit back!
2. Gain Experience
Although there is no industry-wide standard on how much experience you need to be chosen for a travel nurse job, facilities often look for candidates with at least nine to 24 months of experience. This estimation could fluctuate if you’re looking to take a specialty nursing position.
If you’re a working RN, or you’ve just retired, you already have a lot of experience to highlight in your resume or CV. List each of your previous positions in your resume, and use some space to explain your responsibilities and the skills you employed while working in the role.
If you’re just about to graduate from nursing school, consider taking on a permanent position for a while to build your resume and get your foot in the door. While you’re working at a permanent position, keep an eye open for potential travel nursing opportunities, and apply to them as they come up.
3. Determine Where You Want to Work and Live
As a travel nurse, you’ll get the opportunity to work basically anywhere in the United States you want. Always wanted to spend some time in the lush green landscapes of the Pacific Northwest? From the Northeast and want to see the South? Your opportunities are truly endless.
Take the time to think about where you want to settle down temporarily, and try looking for open travel nurse jobs in those areas. Try not to choose just one, because having a list of places you’d want to travel will help you and your recruiter find a job that you’ll be happy with.
4. Partner with a Travel Nursing Agency Like BHS
One of the best decisions you can make when looking to become a travel nurse is partnering with a travel nursing agency like ours. When you apply to one of the positions on BHS’ job board or reach out through our contact form, you’ll be set up with a personal recruiter who will get to know your preferences, experiences, and skills in order to set you up for success.
Once you’ve been vetted by your recruiter, they will add you to our vast network of providers. Even if there isn’t a fit for you immediately, your recruiter will look out for positions that match your experience and skill level and run them by you as they come up. Once you’ve found an assignment, your recruiter will coordinate an interview between you and the client.
If the client chooses to take you on as a travel nurse, our teams will work to obtain any necessary licenses and certifications, free of charge. Our travel team will also coordinate all travel and lodging arrangements for your travel nursing assignment.