How to be a travel nurse

The nursing profession is truly fulfilling as it enables you to influence the lives of others positively. However, have you ever considered combining your passion for nursing with your love for traveling to new destinations?

This is where travel nursing comes in, allowing you to offer healthcare services in various locations while embarking on an exciting adventure.

As a travel nurse, you get to explore different parts of the healthcare industry while being a nomad, and I am here to help you embrace this thrilling career path.

1. Research and Preparation

Before diving headfirst into travel nursing, it’s essential to do your research and have the necessary qualifications. The first step is to obtain a nursing degree and secure a nursing license in your state.

To become a registered nurse (RN), you may need to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. While it’s not always a requirement, having a BSN can increase your chances of landing desirable travel nursing contracts.

2. Gain Experience

Travel nursing usually requires some experience, as hospitals and healthcare facilities seek candidates capable of adapting quickly to new environments.

Acquiring experience as a staff nurse in a hospital unit or specialized area will make you a competitive candidate. This experience will familiarize you with the dynamics of healthcare and expand your skill set and knowledge base.

Furthermore, consider obtaining certifications such as Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). These certifications make you a desirable candidate and increase your chances of securing coveted assignments.

3. Partner with a Travel Nursing Agency

When venturing into travel nursing, partnering with a reputable travel nursing agency is advisable. These agencies act as intermediaries between travel nurses and healthcare facilities. They assist in securing contracts, managing paperwork, and organizing accommodation and travel arrangements.

Choose an agency that aligns with your values and has a proven track record. They should have a broad network of hospitals and healthcare facilities, ensuring various assignments. Contact multiple agencies, compare their benefits package, and gather all the necessary information before deciding.

4. Set Your Goals and Prioritize

When working as a travel nurse, it’s important to set clear goals and prioritize your preferences in order to take full advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

man in blue scrub suit wearing blue stethoscope

Consider the type of assignments, locations, and duration that are in line with your personal aspirations.

Some travel nurses opt for shorter assignments to experience different cities, while others prefer longer contracts in regions they’ve always wanted to explore.

5. Adaptability and Flexibility

One of the most critical attributes of a successful travel nurse is adaptability. As you move from one assignment to another, you’ll encounter different healthcare systems, cultural norms, and workplace dynamics.

Embracing change, being flexible, and having excellent communication skills are vital. Remember, you’re there to provide high-quality healthcare while being a team player in each new environment.


How long does a travel nursing assignment typically last?

A1: Assignments can vary in length, ranging from 8 to 26 weeks, with occasional shorter or longer durations based on specific needs. Remember that the duration can depend on the healthcare facility and its contract requirements.

Can I bring my family along as a travel nurse?

A2: Yes, many travel nurses bring their families with them. However, it’s important to consider factors like the availability of suitable housing, schooling for children, and healthcare facilities in the area. Discuss these aspects with your travel nursing agency and loved ones before deciding.

Will I receive benefits as a travel nurse?

A3: Yes, most travel nursing agencies offer benefits such as health insurance, housing subsidies, travel reimbursements, and retirement plans. Make sure to inquire about the specific benefits your chosen agency provides before signing any contracts.


To sum it up, becoming a travel nurse is a thrilling and rewarding way to combine your love for nursing with your passion for travel.

By conducting thorough research, obtaining the necessary qualifications and experience, teaming up with a reputable agency, setting achievable goals, and staying adaptable, you can embark on an incredible journey that lets you make a positive impact on the lives of patients while discovering new places.

So, don’t forget to pack your stethoscope, open your mind to new experiences, and dive into the extraordinary world of travel nursing.

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