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The Basics Of Travel Nursing

Posted Feb 04 2012 1:37am
Travel nursing is an exciting career opportunity available to those in the nursing profession. These positions generally cover a span of three months to a year. Skilled nursing professionals are in high demand from coast-to-coast, allowing an almost unlimited number of job options. A nurse can choose to work at a facility thousands of miles away, or accept an assignment in their own hometown.

Travel nursing also affords the opportunity to work in some of the nation's leading facilities, while enjoying lucrative wages and hefty bonuses. Housing is also provided by many employers, as well as generous benefits including insurance coverage, continuing education, and retirement plans.

Requirements for Travel Nursing: All in all, the requirements of travel nursing differ very little from a traditional nursing position. However, there are some licensing issues that may need addressing. A travel nurse must have a current RN license in the state they are currently seeking employment. However, many states are now offering interstate compacts, which are agreements to honor a nurse's license from the state where they are currently employed. This is far from common practice yet, but it's worth investigating if the state of possible employment is willing to accept the license a nurse holds in a neighboring state.
Some other variables to consider for a career in travel nursing include the following:* As a general rule, one to three years experience is required for most positions for. A travel nurse is only assigned to jobs that match their qualifications. Assignments of this nature are usually short-term, so it makes good fiscal sense to eliminate training expenses by hiring an experienced nurse.* Candidates for employment must be up-to-date with their immunizations, including a recent TB test.*Some travel nurse agencies require a health exam, and a physician's note confirming the applicant's physical ability to perform their job duties.* Pre-employment drug screening is also a requirement.* Prospective travel nurses must be current with all the necessary certifications their specialties entail.*A background check is also part of the travel nursing hiring process. Having a criminal record does not necessarily render a nurse unemployable. If in doubt, it is advised to check with the individual agency.* Applicants must be able to provide the travel nurse agency with at least three good, solid references. If possible, two of these should consist of the nurse's most recent supervisors. Most agencies will want to hear from at least one of the applicant's former bosses.
Finding a Job: Large medical institutions tend toward direct advertising to hire new nursing staff. This can make for a long and tedious job search. One of the most efficient methods of landing a travel nurse position is by signing up with a nurse recruiter or a travel nursing agency. The nurse benefits from the ability to choose from several options well-suited to their own skills and preferences. The recruiter will take a healthy cut, but it saves the busy nursing professional the hassle of an in-depth job search.
Kate Greenwood is a full-time writer hailing from Boston, MA. She graduated from Massachusetts Bay Community College's School of Nursing in 1994, and spends an impressive amount of time writing about her past career. She currently lives in the rural woods of New England with her husband and eight feline overlords. Click here for More Information About A Nursing Degree
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