Travel nursing has emerged as an incredibly rewarding opportunity within the healthcare industry. Imagine being able to travel the country, indulge in your passion for nursing, and earn a substantial income all at the same time. Few other professions can provide the enriching experience and skill enhancement that a travel nursing career offers. If you’re intrigued by the idea of embarking on this adventurous path, combining your desired line of work with travel and excellent pay, there are a few key factors you need to consider.
Understanding the Role of Travel Nurses
When registered nurses yearn for a change, travel nursing becomes an enticing option for them to explore. With their valuable experience, they can choose to bring their skills to states that are in dire need of additional healthcare professionals. These opportunities arise when hospitals or other medical facilities face surges in patient volume, encounter unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, or require temporary staff coverage. Typically, travel nursing contracts last for 13 weeks, but there’s also the possibility to extend your stay in your desired location or pursue another assignment in a different state. Moreover, if needed, you can take some time off between assignments to rejuvenate yourself before embarking on your next contract. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for individuals who may be experiencing burnout.
The Benefits of a Travel Nursing Career
One of the many reasons individuals opt for a travel nursing position is the array of benefits that come with it. Beyond the obvious allure of exploring different parts of the country, you can also enjoy substantial income with enticing incentives and tax stipends. Additionally, travel nursing enables you to elevate your skill levels and expertise while crafting a schedule that suits your preferences and lifestyle.
Steps to Embark on Your Travel Nursing Journey
If you’re new to the nursing profession, there are several essential steps you need to follow before you can pursue a career as a travel nurse.
The Importance of Education
First and foremost, education plays a crucial role. You must become a registered nurse, which entails obtaining at least an associate’s degree in nursing. However, it’s worth noting that many agencies prefer, and some even require, nurses to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited program and institution. Completing a BSN typically takes around four years of dedicated learning, encompassing approximately 120 credits.
Conquering the NCLEX-RN Exam
Next on your journey is the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This exam, administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, necessitates registration through the nursing regulatory body (NRB). Once your eligibility is confirmed by the NRB, you will receive authorization to take the exam. Organizational skills are paramount when preparing for any exam, and the NCLEX is no exception. Make sure to review the NCLEX bulletin, utilize practice exams and available resources, and consider enrolling in NCLEX prep courses to develop an effective study plan. It’s crucial to register as soon as possible, well in advance of the exam date.
Securing Your Registered Nursing Licensure
After successfully completing your degree and excelling in the NCLEX exam, the next step is obtaining your registered nursing licensure. It’s important to note that each state typically has its own specific requirements for licensure. Therefore, it is essential to research the requirements of the state in which you intend to practice and plan your application process accordingly. It is generally advisable to initiate the application six weeks before your graduation date to allow for ample time to meet all the necessary criteria.
In recognition of the challenges associated with licensure in multiple states, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing has established the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). This compact serves as a convenient solution for nurses seeking licensure across 39 jurisdictions, allowing them to hold multiple licenses. To learn more about the NLC and the specific requirements for your state, feel free to consult our comprehensive article here or click on your state to access detailed information on the application process.
The Value of Experience
While the journey may seem arduous, your experience is a vital component of becoming a travel nurse. Most travel nursing positions require a minimum of two years of hospital-based experience. As hospitals strive to employ highly skilled nurses, they typically seek candidates with significant expertise in their respective fields. Therefore, if you aspire to specialize in a particular area within travel nursing, it is essential to gain relevant experience in your chosen field before pursuing travel assignments.
Finding the Right Staffing Agency
Once you have successfully completed the necessary steps, it’s time to find a reputable staffing agency to support you in your travel nursing endeavors. A reliable agency not only handles the administrative aspects of applying for travel nursing positions but also guides you throughout the entire process, attentively listening to your preferences and requirements. They serve as your dependable partner, accompanying you every step of the way. At TheraEx Staffing Services, we possess the expertise and passion to place you in the positions you desire. We take pride in offering highly competitive compensation packages tailored to your individual needs. Our commitment to building strong, trustworthy relationships between our recruiters and nurses sets us apart. As healthcare professionals ourselves, we understand your desires and provide unwavering support throughout your travel nursing journey. If you have any further inquiries about becoming a travel nurse, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
How Soon Can You Embark on Your Travel Nursing Adventure?
In essence, the time it takes to become a travel nurse varies depending on your starting point. For individuals starting from scratch, the transition typically spans approximately seven years, encompassing education, examinations, and required experience. However, if you are already an experienced nurse, all it takes is a simple phone call to us, and we will initiate the process of placing you in your dream position.
Embarking on a travel nursing career opens up a world of possibilities. Not only do you have the opportunity to explore diverse locations, but you can also indulge in your passion for nursing while enjoying remarkable compensation.