First, thank you for a great question! Typically, most travel assignments are for RNs, but we do have a few for LPNs, as well. Healthcare facilities usually require a minimum of one year of experience, although for some high acuity areas the requirements may be two years of recent experience. RNs with a BSN are always preferred, but this is not required.
Certifications may be required as well, depending on the unit and type of patients for which you will be providing care. For example, Basic Life Support (BLS) is required in almost every assignment. Advanced Cardiac Support (ACLS) is often required for ER, ICU and Critical Care areas. Neo Natal Resuscitation (NRP) may be required for the Labor/Delivery/Post-Partum/NICU areas.
These requirements vary by state and facility – but, no worries -- we will walk you through the process to make certain you are a great match for the assigned location. It is your recruiter’s job to review the requirements of the assignment to ensure that you meet them.
Many nurses become certified nationally in their field of expertise and this certification will set you apart because you have proven your expertise in a particular field or area of nursing. Please, once again, communicate this to your recruiter.
You will need to hold a current license in the state that you are assigned to and will practice in. The license may be an individual license for that state or a compact nursing license accepted by that state.
Other items such background checks and various other searches are done as required by state and federal agencies. Again, this may vary from state to state and facility to facility.
In addition to the above, I would add that a great travel nurse needs to have excellent communication skills and analytic abilities and be knowledgeable in his or her area of nursing. It is so important for you to present yourself with confidence and knowledge immediately upon arrival to the new assignment.
Finally, you will need to be prepared to discuss with your recruiter the geographical location you would like to be in for your assignment, the length of your assignment, housing needs, insurance coverage for you and/or family members and any time off requests needed during the assignment. Please also have any other questions listed so you are fully informed before you begin this new adventure.
If you are a first-time traveler, no worries! We do this more than 30,000 times a year. Allow us (the experts) to walk you through this process.
I look forward to more questions from our nurses. Our goal is to make you successful. Please submit your questions here. Remember: no question is out of order - send them all my way!
Always remember the words of Florence Nightingale: “I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.”