Everything You Need to Become a Travel Nurse

Is travel nursing in your future? Many clinicians become travel nurses because of the incredible opportunities and destinations, but also the myriad of benefits that come with the job. A career in travel nursing offers excellent pay rates, schedule flexibility, access to a variety of clinical experiences, and adventure.

If you are interested in becoming a travel RN, it’s important to do some research on everything you need. Most agency requirements align on experience, certification, and documentation so here is everything you need to prepare for your first travel nursing assignment.

Everything You Need to Become a Travel Nurse


Most travel nursing companies require two years of bedside experience as a nurse in order to travel. In addition, GIFTED Healthcare typically requires at least one year of experience in your preferred specialty.

It is recommended that you get experience in an acute care setting, and preferably on staff at a hospital. If you are a new nurse graduate, try to get the bulk of your experience in one area. This will help you build substantial and reliable experience.

GIFTED Chief Nursing Officer Maggie Candon, RN, says “A good clinical base is important for your career. Be humble, be patient, and prepare your resume. I chose pediatrics, and it’s solidified my assessment skills, my time management, and my patience.”


The most important requirement to become a travel nurse is to have an active Registered Nurse (RN) license.

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)is the best option for travel nurses because it allows you to obtain a multistate license and practice in any state that is part of the compact. Getting a compact license will dramatically increase your job opportunities.

Most states are a part of the NLC, but if the state you are currently working in is not, you will need to obtain a license in the state you would like to work in. However, if you received your original license in a state that is part of the NLC, then you have a compact license.

Credentials & Certifications

Two certifications are required to be a travel nurse: Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

There are additional certifications that can build your resume and increase your earning potential. Some of these certifications include: Acute/Critical Care Nursing (CCRN), Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP), Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), AIDS Certified Registered Nurse (ACRN), Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN), Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) Certification, and more.

These certifications will also give you the knowledge and experience it takes to provide excellent care for your patients!

What Next?

Once you have your NLC, two years of experience, and the required certifications, you are ready to become a travel nurse! Apply here and connect with a recruiter today!

Your recruiter is an essential part of finding the perfect assignment to fit your goals. Let your recruiter know whether you are interested in a large or small facility, if you are willing to float to other units, and where you are looking to travel.

Having transparent conversations with your recruiter will lead to your long-term success as a travel nurse!



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