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How To Become A Travel Nurse

Posted by travel | October 30, 2012 | Nursing Careers

There are few careers left in the health care industry that allow you to travel in addition to helping people. That is one of many things that makes a career as a travel nurse unique. Keep in mind though, as with any career, you will have to meet some goals before being able to apply. You will need to get your RN (Registered Nurse) license and get some valuable experience in the health care field before you make the jump to a travel nurse. After that of course comes the part where you look into potential nursing agencies that offer travel services to their clients. Then, you can pick which ones you match up with and which ones you are interested in pursuing. Before you know it, one of them will be the perfect match and you will be on your way.

Where Do I Start?

Those of you that already are RN’s get to skip this step, but for the rest of you, this is where you are going to want to start your journey to success. You have to find a program that will give you the education and training necessary to get become an RN. This can be a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), or it can be just a program with a diploma, or it can even be an Associates in Nursing Degree (AND). The choice is really up to you. Although, keep in mind, the people with the BSN’s are probably going to have a lot more options available to them as far as advancement once they find a job because of that degree. Usually one year of this experience in nursing is going to be needed in order to make the eventual switch to a travel nurse.

Who Hires Travel Nurses?

Once you have taken the steps to become an RN and you have had some experience under your belt, the next step is to look for places that are interested in hiring a travel nurse. The majority of the time, medical organizations will use travel nursing agencies in order to fill a spot they need filled. The logical thing to do would be to find one of these agencies and get hired by them. Don’t just walk into any agency and flash around your resume though. Do some home work and figure out if this company is going to be a good fit for your needs. Remember, you don’t have to settle for a company that you don’t like and that doesn’t meet your long-term goals.

The Application Process

After you have found a few places that you like, the application process will start. You will need to file all necessary paper work and make sure that you give them everything they need to consider you for the job. Please ensure that if you do go further in the process with a company that you read through everything that they give back to you or that they offer you with the position. If the compensation or benefits are not what you are looking for, try and negotiate a bit and see if there is any wiggle room. When you do find a situation in which you are satisfied, make sure that you read the contract before you sign it as well. Then, you can start to congratulate yourself, you have become a travel nurse!