How to Become a Travel Nurse & Other Frequently Asked Questions

Travel nursing is can be an exciting healthcare contracting opportunity for the right nursing professional. Knowing what you can do to become a travel nurse and what it takes to succeed at the travel nursing lifestyle can help you decide whether or not travel nursing is for you.  

How can you become a travel nurse?

Although there's more than one way to become a travel nurse, many people find that it's easiest to become a travel nurse if you work with a healthcare staffing agency. Many staffing agencies work with different medical facilities across the country, so they can offer their travel nurses opportunities in whatever part of the country is most desirable. Aligning with a staffing agency takes the footwork out of finding a travel nursing position, and allows nurses to compare different positions and pick the right position for them.

How long to do travel nursing assignments last?

Travel nurse assignments may vary, depending on the needs of the facility where the nurse is working. The length of a standard assignment is 13 weeks, but some assignments are as short as 8 weeks or as long as 26 weeks.

Where do travel nurses live when they're on assignment?

Many staffing agencies provide housing for their travel nurses. This might be a hotel, a furnished condominium or some other form of housing. It's a standard practice for healthcare staffing agencies to pay for utilities and other bills.

Do you have to live in the housing provided by the staffing agency?

Some staffing agencies will give nurses a stipend and allow them to find their own housing. If you wish to live in housing that you find, talk to your recruiter about your staffing agency's policies.

What are the qualities that staffing agencies look for in travel nurses?

The qualities of a successful travel nurse include:

  • Diverse skill set. Nurses who have experience floating within institutions and working with a variety of patient types will be more valuable than nurses with limited experience and skill set. The more desirable a traveling nurse is, the more likely he or she will get competitive, desirable assignments.
  • Problem solver. It takes a particular kind of critical thinking ability to walk into a new job site and hit the ground running. Travel nurses must be good problem solvers with the ability to make smart choices even when working in unfamiliar environments.
  • Positive attitude. Travel nurses shine at the work place when they bring with them a positive attitude and a sense of adventure.

For more information about how you can become a travel nurse and what it takes to succeed in this profession, talk to companies like HEALTHCENTS.