First things first…
Do you have a license in your profession?
- You must have your license or have passed your professional board exam to practice your profession. Make sure you have obtained or are in the process of obtaining your license before considering talking with an agency.
- Do you have a license for the states you are interested in traveling to? Most agencies will help you with this process, but you should research the requirements and timeline for your desired states, so you are prepared. The license process varies by state and can be anywhere from same day to several months.
Are you experienced?
- Nursing- (RN / LPN) most facilities require 1-2 years current experience in the setting of the assignment. (CNA) 6 months experience is required in most cases.
- Therapy– New Grads are welcome and there are mentorship programs available to assist in your professional development. See more information on mentorship programs here: https://carestaffpartners.com/rehab/
Do you enjoy change?
- Are you the type to feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar environments? Do you get bored of the same old daily work routine? Being a Travel Nurse / Therapist brings constant change, so being adaptable is an important part of having successful assignments.
- Especially in nursing, there may not be a lot of one-on-one time with supervisors / mentors. Make sure you are comfortable in your craft.
Do you have Pets or Family willing to travel?
- Many Nurses / Therapists travel with their pets and there are plenty of pet friendly housing options. However, remember to consider the size and breed of your petand allot proper time to research the best housing option(s) for your situation.
- You can absolutely make it work to travel with a significant other or kids. If your spouse is also a travel healthcare professional or works remotely, then it is easy to get on your way. With housing and meal stipends offered, this makes it easy to focus on what fun activities you are going to explore in your free time.
Are you organized?
- It takes a bit of time to get yourself ready to take the plunge into a travel assignment. You need to be prepared with a travel plan, personal health and identity information, credentialing documents, packing lists, etc.
- Once on assignment you need to keep with this organized trend since, after all, you are living out of a suitcase for most of the time.
- I also suggest keeping a Nursing / Therapy journal as you learn about different facilities and environments, as well as keeping track of your favorite local places in the event you return to that location on another assignment or want to pass along recommendations to other travelers.