10 IMPORTANT STEPS TO BECOME A TRAVEL NURSE

10 IMPORTANT STEPS TO BECOME A TRAVEL NURSE

A travel nurse is a great career to grow as a professional in the healthcare industry. Meeting new
people, visiting new places and having new career experiences are the few facets of the travel
nurse. If you like to travel around new places and wish to do work that helps patients then the
travel nurse is the right career for you.
The requirement for travel nurses in the healthcare industry is always high. If you determine your
skills and interest, plan your career and put all actions in the right place, you can definitely
achieve great success, make a huge fortune and live a rewarding travel nurse career. Here are the
10 steps to becoming a travel nurse.
1. Qualification
The very first thing that you must do if you wish to become a travel nurse is getting the
required education. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or an Associate of Science in
Nursing (ASN) is the basic education that enables you to write the NCLEX exam and
qualifies you for the job. You can get the ADN or ASN degree from an accredited nursing
school within 2-3 years if you hold a High School Diploma or General Education Diploma
certificate.
However, most hospitals these days considering a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing as
a basic education for a candidate to qualify for this job. Though it is still not a legal
requirement, there is a possibility in the future to make BSN a prerequisite for an individual
to qualify for this position.
2. Clear NCLEX Exam
The next step on your way to becoming a travel nurse is the National Council Licensure
Examination (NCLEX) exam. The NCLEX is a standardized exam administered by the
National Council of State Boards of Nursing to grant licenses to nurses. You need to pass
this exam if you want to get the RN license and have an authority to practice anywhere in the
U.S.
3. Experience
Get hands-on nursing experience in the specialty you would like to make your travel nurse
career. Though one year of experience in the area of specialty you applied for is enough to
kick start your travel nurse career, the more experience can make you the most sought-after
individuals for the position. There are too many specialties available out there in the
healthcare industry to choose from, but ICU, MS, ER, TELE, MS/TELE, OR, CVICU,
CathLab, PEDS, PICU are the few specialties in demand. The experience in these specialties
can give the required mileage to your travel nurse career.
4. Check your Tax Home
Usually, travel nursing pay packages are almost always offered with some form of tax-free
compensation. You may hardly find an agency that offers you a pay package which is all-
taxable. Before you start looking for your next assignment, be sure you are tied up with the
agency who takes care of your tax jargons, covers you up for all types of payable taxes and

helps you maintain legitimate tax-home. Remember, if you do not qualify for tax-free
compensation, you have to pay income taxes on the money that you have earned throughout
the year.
5. Checklist Your Needs
Before you start looking for agencies, be sure where you would like to have your next
assignment and which hospital will be a good place to advance your career. Every agency
offers different pay packages and reimbursement plans based on the location and hospitals
you select so it will be easy for you to compare and weed out the agencies if you know what
exactly you want in your next assignment in advance.
6. Checklist Your Pay Package
As it is said earlier, the different agencies offer different pay packages. There is a possibility
to get baffled between the packages. The common benefits that you find in a pay package
are housing, 401k, travel stipends, rental cars, etc. It will be good to make a list of benefits
that you expect in a pay package and practice a strategy that helps you compare and identify
the benefits before you choose the agency to process your profile for your next assignment.
7. Find a Perfect Agency
Once you determine what is good for your travel nurse career and what you expect in a pay
package, start looking for the agencies that can get you what you need. You can visit
websites and get referrals from your colleagues to identify the top agencies. When you find
an agency, make sure all your queries are answered and you end up with the agency that can
help you get what you need from the next assignment.
8. Maintain Your Profile
The most tedious task in landing the right travel nurse job is managing a profile. You need to
go through a time consuming laborious paperwork when you submit the profile. Usually,
hospitals expect an agency to submit a proper candidate profile and the agencies make you
fill the papers that may include redundant details. This is not only an exhausting but also an
onerous process. Instead, you can sign up with the online network platforms which maintains
the complete profiles of the healthcare professionals, including the required details like skills
checklist, clinical references, certifications, experience, etc. and also assists the recruitment
and onboarding needs of the agencies and healthcare centers.
9. Ensure All Papers are Up to date
Most of the time, we lose a job because of improper paperwork. You should make sure that
all your certificates and licenses are up to date and you should able to share them with your
new employer as soon as they asked you to do so.
10. Get the Nursing Assignment You Want
The last and final step is to start applying to the jobs, attending the interviews and signing the
contract. Remember the contracts are negotiable and the contract negotiation is the trickiest
part during the selection process. We suggest you do proper research on the contract terms
and pay package conditions before you negotiate with the hospitals and agencies. Make sure,
you get the right pay package and appropriate travel healthcare compensation at the end of
the negotiation.

All the steps discussed above may help you become a travel nurse. Once you get the first
assignment of your travel nurse career, there will be no turning back. You may get plenty of
travel nurse opportunities on your way that not only advance your career but also help you earn
more money.
If you have any queries, please feel free to contact our Protouch Staffing team