What is Travel Nursing?

Travel nursing is a form of contract nursing where you work temporary contract at a facility that has a staffing need – generally 4 to 13 weeks. These temporary contracts allow you flexibility in employment location, and the ability to travel to different facilities and states for work.

How much experience do I need & what are the typical requirements to become a Travel Nurse?

Generally, 2 years of experience in the specialty you are applying for (e.g. OR, ICU, Med Surg) is required to be considered for a travel position. Some facilities also require previous travel experience. The typical requirements include an active RN license for that state and any certifications applicable to the specific unit (BLS, ACLS, PALS, TNCC, etc.).

How long are Travel Nurse assignments?

Travel nurse assignments can be anywhere from 4 to 26 weeks – but the most common assignment length is 13 weeks. Also, many facilities will offer you a contract extension should they still have a staffing need at the end of your initial contract term.

What are the benefits of being a Travel Nurse?

The main benefit of being a travel nurse is the ability to work at a new facility, or even a new state, every few months. This minimizes your involvement in workplace politics, helps you build skills and gain experience, and allows you to experience new environments and travel the country. You also have complete flexibility over your vacation time by choosing how long you want to take off in between contracts. Additionally, travel nursing assignments are known to offer higher pay than comparable staff assignments – which is another great benefit of being a travel nurse.

Is it possible to take an assignment with a friend?

It is possible to take an assignment with a friend, but requires a higher level of flexibility. It is harder to book two nurses for a contract at the same facility at the same time, especially if you work on the same unit. If you are flexible to the location (state, city, or hospital) and shift you will work, your recruiter will be better able to find you an assignment as a pair.

How do I organize/format my resume as a travel nurse?

When formatting your resume as a travel nurse, you will want to list each hospital/facility you have worked at, and each individual assignment. You do not want to just list the agency you worked for and the time frame you worked for that company. Doing so prevents the hiring manager from seeing important details, such as how many contracts you have completed and what facilities you have worked at. For additional help on formatting your resume, contact your HPC recruiter.

Can I take time off between assignments?

Travel nurses can choose to take time off between assignments. This allows you to take several weeks between assignments for vacations, and not have to request time off during your contract. However, it is important to remember that taking several weeks off between contracts can mean weeks without pay. Some nurses hold a per-diem position at a local hospital near their home that they can pick up shifts during their time off between assignments.

Can HPC find me assignments year-round?

HPC has assignments nationwide, which allows us to find available contracts for nurses year-round.

Can recent nursing graduates get a job as a Travel Nurse?

Facilities generally require two years of experience as a nurse before they will consider you for travel positions. As a general rule, new nursing graduates will need to get at least two years of experience in a specific nursing specialty before applying for travel nurse positions. On occasion, there will be facilities that accept travelers who have one year of experience.

Can I choose where I travel?

Nurses can choose their travel location, and always have control of whether or not they would like to take an assignment. However, some locations will not always have assignments available, or an assignment available in your nursing specialty, at the time you are looking.

What kind of facilities will I work in?

At HPC, we have assignments available at community hospitals, level I trauma centers, and everything in between. This means you can take an assignment in a facility setting that you feel comfortable in.

What are the state licensing requirements?

To learn more about licensing requirements for travel nursing, click here.

What qualities will help me succeed in Travel Nursing?

  • Courageous: Likes a challenge, is eager to work with new teams and new, emerging technology
  • Curious: Enjoys meeting new people; is a creative problem solver
  • Adaptable: Is spontaneous and agile; is quick to fit in
  • Hardworking: Fearless, and does what it takes to get the job done
  • Dedicated: Cares about their contribution, their impact on the team, and the quality of care
  • Unwavering: Is a predictable team member who thrives when presented with new possibilities
  • Committed: Focused on performance and devoted to being an indispensable part of the team

What are some of the most popular career specialties for travelers?

While we see assignments in just about every specialty, some of the most popular are: Operating Room, Emergency Room, Intensive Care Unit, Medical Surgical, and Telemetry.

Do you offer local assignments?

We offer local assignments, and almost any assignment can be worked by a local candidate. Some facilities require that your permanent address be a certain distance from the facility (e.g. 50 miles or 100 miles) to be eligible for contract employment with them. In those cases, you would not be able to apply for a contract position at the facility if your permanent address did not fall within the mileage requirements.

Do you staff nationwide?

We offer nationwide assignments, including Alaska and Hawaii.

How is HPC different from other agencies?

HPC prides itself on being transparent and open with our employees. We want you to feel like we are not just your employer, but a partner in your travel healthcare career. HPC stands by our Mission and Core Values.