Before one can become a travel nurse, one needs to be qualified and evaluated. Most travel nurses are working under staffing agencies. So if you want to become one you can contact the nearest nurse staffing agency near you so you can get started as a travel nurse. Know more about travel nurse recruitment by getting familiar with the healthcare staffing guide: 5 steps to becoming a travel nurse.
What are the steps to becoming a travel nurse?
For you to become a travel nurse you can follow the five steps:
Prepare your Licenses
As a nurse you have to be a registered nurse, before becoming one it is important to finish a degree in bachelor of science in Nursing plus passing the NCLEX. Licenses are important since you can not practice your profession without them. Apart from your RN license, a state license is needed if you will be working in a state not included in the list of Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) states. The good thing about working with staffing agencies is they will be assisting you in getting a state license if in case you need one.
Getting the Proper Credentials
Apart from your licenses, certificates can also come in handy. Basic life support (BLS) certificate and Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certificate are the two training required when applying for a travel nurse. For nurses with specialization, they may be required with more certificates since they have more complicated duties and responsibilities that need more skills. Your travel nurse recruiter will be assisting you in this matter if you have a specialization. As a nurse, having specialization can give you more assignments plus a higher hourly rate.
Getting Familiar with Taxes as a travel Nurse
As a travel nurse, you have to maintain your “tax home” which means you have to prove that you are a full resident of your home state when not working as a travel nurse. Maintaining a “tax home” while working in another state gives you exemption in paying taxes on meals, housing, and travel reimbursement. Your salary to the place you are assigned to will still be taxable but getting an exemption on the basics is already an advantage for you. Since travel nurses are considered itinerant workers which means workers who move from one place to another. As a travel nurse, you can save taxes while working in other places.
Years of Experience
Travel nurses need 1 to 2 years of experience as a nurse before they can get qualified. For those with specialization, they need to get an experience-rated with their specialization. This is because travel nurses are put on board immediately which means they have to be ready to perform their duties immediately without the need for training anymore. So having experience matters a lot as a travel nurse. Nursing jobs require hands-on training so having experience makes it easier for nurses to perform their duties immediately when given an assignment.
Maintaining Your License as a Travel Nurse
Travel nurses should always have an active status even if they are on break. Travel nurses can take long breaks but during that time they have to keep their licenses updated. So once they return to getting assignments they will be ready. Renewing licenses is a must for travel nurses as well as updating their state licenses. Having an updated license can make you work immediately despite getting a break or vacation as a travel nurse. Your license is a ticket to job opportunities when you are a nurse, so keep those licenses updated and get more job opportunities as a travel nurse
Having knowledge of the Healthcare staffing guide: 5 steps to becoming a travel nurse can serve as your guide on the needed requirements and qualifications on how to be a travel nurse. Visit the nearest nurse staffing agency so you can get started and they can assist you on how to start as a travel nurse. They will also evaluate you if you still need to provide more documents or experience. Start your journey as a travel nurse by approaching the right staffing agency and be able to get the opportunity to work in different areas of medical facilities plus different places. Getting that exposure can help you build a better career in the future.