Nursing is one of the hottest occupations for employment growth this decade. A national healthcare staffing expert offers tips on how to prepare for a career as a travel nurse.
Thinking about a career in nursing? Your timing couldn’t be better. Rising demand in the healthcare sector has created a critical need for qualified nurses. In February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics identified nursing as one of the fastest growing occupational fields through the year 2020.
Travel nurses fill an important role in helping hospitals maintain adequate staffing levels. Unlike typical nurses, travel nurses work on contract and move from facility to facility based on need. In addition to having the opportunity to live in various parts of the country for short periods of time, travel nurses tend to earn higher salaries than their non-traveling peers.
Aureus Medical Group, a one of the largest staffing companies for travel nurses, offers several tips to help would-be recruits evaluate their options and possibly transition into a travel nursing role.
- Travel Nursing Requirements. Travel nurses need to be flexible and capable of quickly adapting to new work environments. In many cases, travel nurses are filling in gaps and may be asked to work non-preferred shifts or nursing rotations. Although it’s possible to request certain shifts, assume that at least part of the job will involve working in less-than-optimal conditions.
- Certification. Like any other nurse, travel nurses are required to maintain nursing certifications. To qualify as a travel nurse, you must be a RN, LPN, LVN, NP, or APN. If you aren’t certified yet, you will need to thoroughly explore educational and licensing requirements.
- Hospital Experience. Hospital or clinical experience is a prerequisite for travel nurses. Although requirements vary by specialization, it’s likely that you will need to have at least twelve to eighteen months of successful hospital experience under your belt before you’re ready to enter the world of travel nursing.