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Traveling Nurse Requirements: How to Get Started

Whether you’re a nurse now or you’re setting your sights on a nursing license so you can become a travel nurse, getting started can seem daunting! Take a breath and settle in—we’re here to help you learn about traveling nurse requirements so you can get yourself on the road.  

First, Your License 

Your license is your key to nursing—traveling or not. Travel nurses can have an RN or LPN (Triage doesn't often staff LPNs).

You’ll need to understand your license. Some licenses are limited and only valid in the state they were granted. But, if you’re lucky enough to have a license from a compact state, you have greater freedom in assignment choices. A compact state is a state that has an agreement with others to accept a nursing license. It means you’ll have a lot more opportunities, for instance, if you have a license in Georgia and want to take a travel assignment in New Jersey, New Jersey will accept that Georgia license and you’re cleared to work in New Jersey. It’s a huge benefit, especially for travel nurses.  

What if you’re not in a state that recognizes the nursing compact or you want to go to a state that’s not a part of the compact? You’ll need to contact the board of nursing for the state you want to travel to and apply for a nursing license in that state.  

Second, Your Profile 

As you’re getting your license squared away, you can start on your profile. Many agencies have their own, which means you might have to spend days updating each one individually, especially as those new licenses come in or information changes.  

Instead, look for a universal travel nurse profile to make your life easier. Triage uses Kamana as its travel nurse profile. With Kamana, you can manage, store and track your information, including job history, vaccine records, licenses and more. Even better, you can use this profile with multiple agencies. Simply grant them access to your information and each company can check out a neatly packaged profile. Even if your create this profile to work with Triage, you’re able to take it to another agency. We call it our Profile-Back Guarantee. 

Third, Find a Recruiter You Click With 

Lastly, find yourself a great recruiter. A good recruiter is one who understands that an assignment needs to fit what you’re looking for, not the other way around. So if you’re looking for an assignment in a warm weather climate, the recruiter shouldn’t be sending you assignments in the northeast in the winter.  

Be on the lookout for these traits that make a great recruiter: 

If you don’t click with the first recruiter you connect with, but you like everything else about the agency, you can always change. Just send a note to your recruiter’s manager or call into the main number and you’ll be connected with a new recruiter. Recruiters understand that not all relationships are a good fit. 

If you’re thinking about taking the travel plunge, search the Triage job board and then connect with a recruiter who can make your travel transition a smooth one.  

 

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