If you ever wanted to travel and stay in the healthcare industry at the same time, you should consider a career as a travel nurse. Depending on its nature, the length of each assignment may vary, but generally, it’s around the 13 weeks mark. If you are willing to put in the necessary work, even international travel might not be out of question in the long run. Now, the question is how to become a travel nurse? Let’s find out.
The Necessary Education
As is obvious, you will need the proper education and for that, you will have to become a registered nurse first by completing an accredited college nursing program after high school. In case you are already a registered nurse, it is recommended that you complete your RN to MSN as well. While even BSN is not always a requirement for working as a travel nurse, it will most definitely help during appointment if you have the higher qualifications on your resumé. In case you can’t leave your job as a nurse at the moment, you can complete your MSN online because the program is much more flexible and economic when done on the internet.
Experience is another necessity if you want to be a travel nurse and although the requirements may vary, check out the following general requirements that usually apply in case of most jobs.
- You must have the experience of being a nurse at a registered institution for at least a year or preferably more
- You may also need to have specialization in certain fieldslike critical care, emergency and trauma, cardiac nursing, etc.
Nursing licenses are necessary to practice in any location and in the US, a nurse practitioner’s license from one state isn’t valid in another. The good news is that you don’t need to apply for a license each time you change a state as a travel nurse if your home state is a part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). If it isn’t though, your employer will likely have to take care of the temporary licenses necessary for you to practice in a particular US state.
Tax free stipends are a big incentive for working as a traveling nurse, but you need to first understand how that works. Consider the points below to take full advantage of what’s in place.
- You will have to establish and maintain a “tax home” first
- You will have to establish that your office or place of employment is sufficiently distant enough for you to stay there overnight
- If you do not have a tax home established, your stipends will become taxable
Basically, these four are all that you need to concern yourself with in order to work as a traveling nurse. However, just like any other job that is a bit out of the ordinary, there are a lot of other details as well, which you will come to know with time. Nevertheless, as long as you have your degrees, experience and license, there’s little that can stop you from becoming a travel nurse.