Travel Registered Nurse: Requirements, Recruitment Process, and Job Outlook

The concept of travel nursing originated during early 1980s when many US states were passing through nursing shortages and required nurses to ease their temporary staffing shortfalls. Hospitals hired travel nurses to meet their staffing needs because these nurses were willing to travel to new destinations and offer their nursing services. Nurses also enjoyed working in this field because this career offered them a flexible schedule and option to visit new states and cities.

Over the years, this form of nursing became widely popular among nurses because travel nursing career offered higher wages and benefits, job flexibility, free housing and stipend, and exposure to new technologies. In addition, nurses also got the opportunity to visit new destinations and gain extensive clinical work experience. The demand for travel nurses also increased among health care facility owners because these nurses could meet their short-term staffing shortages or help them during local emergencies. They were also able to avoid unnecessary costs that otherwise be spend on permanent nurses for filling the temporary staffing needs.


A travelling nurse must have an RN degree and 1-1.5 years clinical work experience to work as a Travel Nurse. There are typically three paths that can lead to an RN degree. These streams include a) Associate degree in Nursing (ADN), b) Hospital based Diploma Program, and c) Bachelor’s of Science (BSN) degree in Nursing. ADN lasts about two years; Diploma program has duration of three years, and BSN is four-year program. The completion of any of these programs offers eligibility to challenge the NCLEX-RN exam for an RN credential.

However, in the travel nursing industry, RNs with bachelor’s degree are in high demand because they have extensive clinical experiences. However, for the faster career growth, lucrative employments, and earnings, registered nurses must also specialize in specialities because there are greater requirement for advanced practice registered nurses with specialty certification.

Recruitment Process

There are hundreds of employment agencies throughout the United States that provide temporary staffing and recruitment services. Registered nurses must apply to these agencies for travel nursing jobs because these agencies are also contracted by the facility owners to provide and fill-in their temporary staffing needs. These agencies have few hiring requirements that are to be completed by RNs including submission of the resumes, completed Applications, State-Issued Identifications, and references. Nurses must also be free from criminal background, drug abuse and addiction, and required to complete Checkups, Shots, and Vaccinations. Once these requirements are completed by the applicants, the recruitment agencies schedule their interview with the owners. The selected nurses receive short-term nursing assignments for 4 to 13 weeks or few months.

However, there are few points that must be remembered by nurses before accepting these assignments. The nurses must demand a written and signed contract for the offered job. The agreement must include necessary employment information such as job description, working hours, leaves, wages and benefits, and employment termination clauses. The signed contract is helpful for any job-related disputes in the future.

Job Outlook

Travel nursing career has a bright future because health care industry is largest and fastest growing sector in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 526,800 additional RNs will be required to work in different positions from 2012 to 2022 and their demand will increase 19 percent during the same period. The nursing shortages will further boost the demand for Travel nurses in the country.

Job Jumping and Unemployment Payments Can Ruin Your Resume

Finding a job has become increasingly complicated because the Resume Police at many companies are often looking for more reasons not to hire, than they are looking for good candidates to fill positions. It’s a shift brought on by the realization that many companies have a serious employee productivity problem. This problem is more a social disease than an issue for corporate concern.

Employees in starter positions do not often grasp the fact that everything they do reflects on both their job history and their ability to move up the corporate ladder. Although they do not qualify for anything better, they may feel underpaid and under appreciated. So they hide in the restroom and text, check email and even play games on their phone. They are part of the “gimme money and leave me alone” crowd.

People look at the huge volume of online job listings and believe that they can always find another job. In many cases the job history section of their resume proves that point. To make matters worse, many have spent just a few weeks or months at the jobs they have listed without realizing what a huge red flag that is to future employers. However, not everyone that Job Jumps does so because they are lazy or bored.

Bills have to be paid while you wait for that dream job you were educated to fill. A lot of people will jump jobs for a position that might pay another buck or two an hour. My suggestion to those folks is that they try Temping. Find a Temp Service that offers a variety of jobs that pay well. Manpower is a surprisingly good place to start. They are often considered the largest employer in the USA.

The Manpower hiring process can be a bit laborious, but I know people who have landed good jobs with them, then moved onto even better permanent positions. The key to successful Temping with any employee provider is to make sure you read all the fine print and ask lots of questions. Some employers that work with Temp Agencies do not pay Temps for holidays if they don’t work. Example: If a Temp is off on Thanksgiving or Christmas they will not be paid anything for those days. Others will not pay extra for Temps to work on those holidays.

The immediate benefit to Temping is that it is one company in your job history where you may have worked for ten different companies, instead of ten companies where you did one job. It shows employee loyalty and your ability to stick with one company for a decent period of time. Fortunately, Manpower and most other Temp Agencies have an almost zero tolerance policy for shiftless workers there to collect a check without doing their job. Companies know this, so listing a Temp Agency in your job history is actually a huge positive.

Another big mistake made by job seekers is working just long enough to qualify for unemployment payments. That’s another red flag for employers. And don’t expect them to buy the old excuse, “If I had a serious job, I would take it seriously.” The job you do at any level displays your work ethic. Regarding unemployment payments; The longer you receive them, the worse it looks to prospective employers. No one is going to list the fact that they received unemployment on their resume. However, the time between jobs will easily allow prospective employers to figure it out for themselves.

Job Hopper Alternatives, 5 Ways to Build Variety Into Your Career

One of the reasons that many ENFPs and ENTPs become a job hopper is that they love variety and may have a low boredom threshold, so if their current job doesn’t offer them some variety or challenge they end up job hopping.

One way to get round this is by building variety and change into your job or even into your entire career path. This can be a really effective way of not only making sure that you are more likely to enjoy the job, but also helping you to stay there longer.

The good news is that there are many ways to do this, and below are some that I’ve used and have seen work for others.

Areas that are change focused

Industries that are changing quickly, for example high growth areas, those that depend on technology and those that are very competitive, can be of interest to people who are adaptable and like change. In these areas innovation is often seen as a competitive advantage and ‘the old, established’ way of doing things becomes obsolete very quickly.

Project-based work

Personality Page describes both ENFPs and ENTPs as being project-oriented and there are a lot of project-oriented jobs out there that are worth looking at. Careers that fit this description can be found in many areas, commercial and non-commercial, and include business consulting, architecture, marketing, event planning, wedding planning, coaching and training.

Transfer to a different department

An intercompany transfer will allow you to do the same job in a different part of the organization, a different part of the country, or even a different part of the world. You may also be able to transfer to a different job. A transfer maybe permanent or temporary depending on the policy of the organization in question.

Work for a small company or start-up

I love working for small companies as you often get to ‘wear many hats’, i.e., do you many different roles so there’s a lot of variety to every day. This is particularly the case if the company is growing quickly, in which case there may be the opportunity to craft a new role for yourself.

Recraft your current job

Everyone has parts of their job they enjoy a lot more than others. Why not look into delegating the parts of your role you don’t enjoy as much, or arranging an exchange with a team member. If you love the bit of your job that involves getting out and talking to people but don’t like doing detailed planning and reports, try teaming up with someone who likes the opposite things to you.

Not only could you both end up enjoying your jobs more and increasing your performance, but who knows what good things could come from the close collaboration.

Choosing one, or a combination of these ideas as you plan your career can be really effective in making sure that you are more likely to enjoy a job. They may also help you to stay there longer, so although you will still change job at some stage, you will probably have enjoyed it a lot more while you were doing it and will have stayed long enough to have got something out of it. And very importantly, when you come to craft your resume or CV, you won’t look like a job hopper.