How to become

How to become a travel nurse

How to become a travel nurse

What exactly are travel nurses?

RNs are sought after by independent staffing firms that hire travel nurses to fill vacancies both domestically and internationally. Hospitals and clinics struggle to keep up with their staffing requirements due to the persistent nursing shortage. In addition to helping with staffing concerns, travel nurses can fill in for short periods of time when regular nurses are on leave, vacation, or are hired by another hospital or healthcare institution. Some travel nurses work at nearby understaffed hospitals, so they do not necessarily need to travel to other states.

A contract is signed by travel nurses to fill a temporary role that may continue for a few days, weeks, months, or longer, and there may be prospects for work abroad. Travel nurses might choose to stay put once their contracts expire or move on to another area and job opportunity. Although the majority of assignments last between 8 and 26 weeks, the length of their contracts might vary. Some temporary positions for travel nurses might convert into full-time jobs if they discover one they enjoy.

Being a travel nurse may be a rewarding career choice if you’re eager to do new things, make new friends, travel to new places, and further your understanding of healthcare systems in different countries.

What do Travel Nurses do?

In the hospitals where they work, travel nurses are subject to the same duties as regular employees. To make up for a staffing deficit, they are nonetheless employed on a temporary contract basis. The typical assignment for a travel nurse is 13 weeks at one hospital.

Job Description for a Travel Nurse

Similar to regular nurses, the travel nurse’s work description involves providing patient care utilizing diagnoses, evaluations, and assessments. If a patient is immobile, you could be compelled to visit them at home. Despite your temporary position, you will care for patients alongside the regular personnel as a travel nurse. In fact, many of your coworkers would be shocked to hear you weren’t a permanent employee after your contract expires!

A travel nurse’s primary responsibilities also consist of:

  • Patients and their family should be made aware of diseases and treatments.
  • Care for those who are injured or ill
  • Conduct tests and review test findings
  • dispense medication
  • after therapy, follow up with patients

Traveling Nurse Requirements

You should be aware of some travel nurse criteria if you’re prepared to work as one. You must first have some hospital experience and at least be a registered nurse (RN). A Bachelor of Science in Nursing, like the one provided by Gwynedd Mercy University, is preferred by many hospitals. An expedited degree for people who already have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline is the Accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing, which you might obtain if you already hold a bachelor’s degree. You can pursue a graduate degree in nursing after receiving your bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, you must confirm that you have the necessary credentials to work in the state where your assignment is located. You are qualified for a single multi-state license if your home state is a signatory to the Nurse Licensure Compact, which Pennsylvania is not. A license in another state shouldn’t be too difficult to get, though, as the NCLEX is a nationally recognised licensure test. Additionally, your staffing company will be able to help in some way. You may be confident that your new profession as a travel nurse won’t be delayed by the licensing requirements for certification!

Steps to Becoming a Travel Nurse

STEP1. Get a BSN degree, first.

Although many institutions offer RN-to-BSN programmes for nurses who already hold an ADN, a BSN degree requires at least four years of study. Most often, at least some credits for an expedited BSN can be transferred by students with a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than nursing.

A high school diploma or GED is required for BSN programmes, as well as at least some math, science, and chemistry education. Students who didn’t do well in high school might increase their chances of getting into a BSN programme by getting better marks from an ADN programme because the GPA criteria for ADN programmes are frequently lower than for BSN programmes. (Learn More About Training for Travel Nurses.)

STEP2. Become NCLEX-certified.

RN license requires passing the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs (NCLEX-RN). This six-hour computer adaptive exam covers nursing practice, medical problems and treatments, the operation of the healthcare system, moral and legal considerations, and patient education and communication.

STEP3. Become licensed as an RN.

A nurse license obtained in one state is recognised in other states that take part in the Nurse Licensure Compact. You might need to submit applications for licensing in many states since other states have different standards. You can get help with this procedure from a travel nursing agency. All states recognise board certificates.

STEP4. Develop your nursing skills.

The majority of travel nurse agencies also want at least a year’s worth of experience.

STEP5. Locate a staffing company for travel nurses.

One of the key distinctions between travel nursing and temporary nursing employment is that travel nurses are placed through travel nurse staffing firms. The majority of schools will assist in making connections between their graduates and travel nurse staffing companies, or you can search for travel nurse staffing companies that are hiring.

Wherever there is a scarcity of nurses or a rise in healthcare requirements, travel nurses work in a range of settings. They can work at residential care facilities, private practices, ambulatory surgery centers, clinics, and hospitals. International nursing employment is another option for traveling nurses.

Travel Nurse Education

The qualifications for travel nurses vary depending on the business and the role. The minimal prerequisite to become an RN is an ADN, which typically takes at least two years to get.


The majority of travel nurse jobs call for a BSN, however some nurses begin with an ADN, which takes two years as opposed to four for a BSN. There are several RN-to-BSN bridge programmes in BSN schools.

A high school diploma or GED is required for admission to ADN programmes, and many of them also need passing marks in math and scientific courses, notably biology and chemistry.

Program Curriculum: The ADN curriculum covers patient education and communication, nursing practice, the fundamentals of evidence-based practice, giving tests and monitoring patients, and nursing practice. It also includes clinical hours, which are spent honing skills in a medical environment.

The majority of students finish their ADNs in two years. Students who have taken AP courses or have equivalent college credits from another institution may finish the course sooner, but those who are full-time workers may need more time.

Graduates of an ADN programme have learned the following skills: performing testing and monitoring, such as taking blood pressure and other vital signs; safely lifting and moving patients; effectively communicating with patients; comprehending the healthcare delivery system; and addressing legal and ethical issues in nursing.


By receiving a BSN or ADN in nursing at the undergraduate level and passing the NCLEX-RN test, all travel nurses are required to be certified as RNs. However, a BSN is greatly preferred or required by many companies.

BSN programmes typically demand at least a 3.0 high school GPA as well as passing marks in math, science, and English for admission. Teachers’ or counselors’ recommendations are also necessary.

Program Curriculum: The BSN curriculum covers community health, healthcare systems and management, nursing practises, preventive and health promotion, following evidence-based practise, statistics/research methodologies, and patient communication and education. In healthcare contexts, it also involves clinical experience.

What Sort of Pay Does a Travel Nurse Get ?

Hourly: The typical travel nurse’s hourly wage is $56.49. However, newly qualified travel nurses often start off with a significantly lower wage of $37.71, but their more seasoned counterparts typically make $82.06. While the availability and need for overtime will vary from one assignment to the next, some of this may include working overtime hours.

Monthly:Travel nurses typically make $9,790 a month, however this amount might change depending on bonuses or hours worked.

Annual: Travel nurses make drastically different salaries on average. With a beginning pay of $78,430 and an increase to $170,680 as they get more experience, they make an average of $117,490 a year. However, aside from experience, the general nature of the assignment is the main impact in the wage differential. Again, overtime and incentives may be considered. Travel nurses frequently make more money working long overnight shifts at trauma centers than they do working shorter daytime shifts, for instance, in doctors’ offices.

(Source: NP Editorial Assessment)


What is the monthly salary of a traveling nurse?

The average gross weekly travel nurse income is $1,786, although actual pay varies greatly depending on a number of criteria, including education, experience, speciality, location, and whether or not accommodation or a stipend is offered.

Who works as a travel nurse?

Travel nurses can undertake any sort of nursing task, filling in for regular staff nurses, providing temporary staffing solutions, or both (as during COVID-19). Compared to administrators, they are more likely to work as floor nurses. Some specialize in working as foreign travel nurses, while others work across the nation or in a specific area.

How can I locate a staffing company for travel nurses?

Recruitment for travel nurse staffing companies may take place at nursing schools, through recommendations, in adverts for particular opportunities or broad placements. Additionally, you may use networking to find travel nurse staffing companies or search online for them. Verify references and the agency’s reputation twice.

Are there positions available for travel nurses who simply possess an ADN and no BSN?

I would suggest choosing the BSN path. While it is still possible to get employment with merely an ADN, doing so is getting harder and more challenging by the day. If you just seek the BSN, you will stand out as a more desirable and competitive candidate.

Which facilities am I able to work at?

Travel nurses are employed by a wide range of healthcare institutions, including clinics, outpatient surgical centers, tiny community hospitals, and prominent academic medical institutes. Here, you may perform a keyword, speciality, etc. search for employment.