How to Become a Travel Nurse

Would you like to become a travel nurse? This career will befit you If you enjoy meeting new people, living in different parts of the country, or traveling around the world.

If you are interested in this career path, then you should gather as much information as possible. This post will provide some helpful information regarding how to become a travel nurse.

How to Become a Travel Nurse

The tips below will guide you into becoming a travel nurse:

Have A Good Knowledge About It

Travel nurses work for independent staffing companies that recruit nurses in America and abroad. A shortage of nurses due to several factors is a challenge facing hospitals and clinics. One way to meet this staffing need in hospitals is through travel nurses. They help in curbing these staffing issues by filling in temporary gaps when permanent nurses go on leave, take a vacation, or even get hired by a different hospital.

To work as a travel nurse, you will sign a contract to fill a temporary position for a specific duration. Depending on the need, this could be for days, weeks, or months. Whenever contracts are up, travel nurses will either extend their stay at the hospital or move to a different location. Most placements are usually between 8 to 26 weeks. Some of them can find a great temporary placement that they love and decide to convert it into a full-time position.

This career path will be exciting if love to try new experiences, visit new places, and meet new people.

Get an ASN/ADN or BSN Degree

To become a travel nurse, you must first complete an associate's or bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program. This could be an LPN to Associate in Nursing (ASN) degree for licensed practical nurses ready to take their skills and experience to the next level. Alternatively, you can acquire an Associate of Science in Nursing degree for entry-level RNs that takes between 20 to 24 months to complete. Another option is to go for an LPN to BSN bridge program for licensed practical or vocational nurses that can be acquired in 28 months.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which can be earned in 3 years or less, based on transfer credit and prior learning experience, is another program to go through to become a good travel nurse. You can also choose an online RN to BSN program that can be completed in 12 months if you are already working as a licensed RN and want to seek for BSN.

Finally, an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree that can be completed as quickly as 20 months if you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university can equip you to become a good travel nurse.

Passing the NCLEX and becoming an RN

For you to become a registered nurse in the United States, you must first take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN). You take this exam when you are done with your associate's or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Once you have passed your NCLEX exam and have met the Board of Nursing requirements in your State, you gain eligibility to become a registered nurse. From there, all you will need is to gain more experience in your nursing career, then you can pursue a career as a travel nurse if that’s what you want.

Gain Enough Experience in your Area of Specialization

Apart from acquiring the state license, you will also need certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) before you can sign on to a travel nursing agency.

If you choose to specialize in a particular field, know that you may need to get additional licensing. Some places require you to have at least two years of experience in your specialty. Hospitals are constantly on the lookout for experienced nurses with certain specialties.


This post has shown you how to become a travel nurse. Ensure that you gather as much nursing experience as possible to make the switch easily. Do you have any questions regarding this topic? Feel free to drop them in the comments section below.

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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