Travel nursing is a dynamic, exciting, and adventurous career choice. But it’s not all glamorous, especially as we approach the holiday season. If you’re considering a career as a travel nurse or if you’re heading into your first holiday season on the road, there are some challenges to be aware of.
Time Away from Family
Perhaps the biggest difficulty for many travel nurses who are working during the holidays is spending this time of year away from family. It’s tough to be away from the comfort of home during the holidays, especially if you’re working in an entirely different state or the whole way across the country. And since patients need care year-round – even on the major holidays – it’s possible that you won’t have off work on these important dates. You’ll need to make peace with the fact that your job comes with sacrifices; but remember that you’re doing something good for other people and spending your holidays with the patients who need you.
Logistics can be a hassle any time of year, but it tends to get even worse around the holidays as more and more people are traveling. Dealing with time zone changes, unfamiliar weather, adjusting to new places, arranging flights, and more can really take a toll – especially if you’re taking on a new assignment for the first time.
Visit nursing.org’s travel nursing page for a list of online resources on everything from packing tips and tax information to networking hints and certification resources.
No matter the time of year, licensing can be a challenge for travel nurses. Travel nurses are required to have an active license for every state in which they work, and that can take a lot of planning. Of course, many states are covered under the Compact license agreement, allowing nurses to get just one license. Note that additional certifications might be needed if you’re hired for a specialty position like a role in labor/delivery or the emergency room.
To keep it all straight, trust an experienced travel nurse staffing agency like Medical Talent to help you on your journey.
Get Help with Your Travel Nursing Career
Medical ’ talented recruiters are here for you every step of the way. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help your travel nursing career progress, and browse our current openings here.
Travel nursing is an exciting, rewarding, dynamic career choice. If you’re interested in this profession, it can seem a little daunting – we get it. So, how does one get started on the journey to become a travel nurse?
Get the education.
First things first – you need the proper education to work as a travel nurse. Like any nursing career, you’ll need either your Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited program to start working at all. Once you have that, you can sign up for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam, which is the federal examination nurses take to become certified.
Pass the NCLEX.
Now it’s time to pass the NCLEX and meet all your licensure requirements. Note that travel nurses can either gain certification in the state they plan to work in or get a nursing licensure compact (NLC), which allows you to travel from state to state and work without having to obtain permanent licensure in every state.
Gain experience in your specialty.
Most hospitals and healthcare networks require nurses to have some experience as staff RNs before coming to work for them as travel nurses. Usually, at least two years of experience are desired. Gaining this experience in your field allows you to hit the ground running once you decide to take the next step and look for travel nursing placements.
Pick your placement.
Once you’ve passed the NCLEX, obtained the proper licensure to start working as a travel nurse, and gained crucial experience in the field, the only thing left to do is decide where you’d like to go. Travel nurses typically work in hospitals, but their services are also needed in specialty clinics, outpatient facilities, home health settings, nursing homes, and more. The choice is up to you – it’s a great way to work in a variety of settings while getting to explore multiple cities across the country.
Launch Your Travel Nursing Career With Us
One of the best ways to start your travel nursing journey and find the placements you really want is by working with a healthcare staffing firm like Medical Talent. Partnering with our recruiters means you get your choice of top placements in the area where you want to work. Contact our healthcare recruiters today to get started.