What Qualifications Do you Need to be a Travel Nurse?

To get started as a travel nurse there are a few things you should note:

  • Most travel nurses are registered nurses (RNs)

  • Have 2+ years of experience

In order to start the process for travel nursing with Next Move you will also need:

  • Active license for your specialty 

  • Updated resume (see free resume builder here) 

  • 2 manager references within the last 2 years

  • Completion of skills test for your specialty

Next Move will assign you a recruiter who will work with you one-on-one to find the assignment that best matches your needs. Your recruiter will be your contact person and help guide you through the entire process of locating and applying for that ideal position.

Think about where you would like to go, the type of nursing you would like to do and the size of the facility you hope to work in.  Providing all of the above information to your recruiter will help them find the assignment that is just right for you. The last step is interviewing for the position. The interview will likely be by phone or video chat. If all goes well – you’ll have an offer within a few days.

Educational Requirements

 The requirements to be a travel nurse are much the same as those requirements to become a staff nurse. You should first pursue a nursing degree through a two or four-year university. Obtaining an associate degree (ADN) or bachelor’s degree (BSN) in nursing is required. A BSN is not required to be a travel nurse, but many health care facilities will only hire BSN-prepared nurses. Next Move will match the nurse appropriately based on educational requirements.

After completion of an accredited nursing program, successful completion of the NCLEX-RN is required to obtain your nursing license.

Most travel nurse agencies require a minimum of one year of hands-on experience in the chosen specialty of nursing.

Certification and Credentialing

 No additional exams are required for travel nursing. Based on the specialty, certification(s) may be required. Examples include:

  • Medical/Surgical nursing

  • Basic Life Support (BLS)

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) may be required

  • Stroke care certification

  • Telemetry certification

  • Intensive Care (ICU) nursing

  • Basic Life Support (BLS)

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)

  • Critical care nursing (adults, pediatric, neonatal) 

  • Women’s Health/Labor and Delivery nursing

  • Basic Life Support (BLS)

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) may be required

  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) may be required

  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification 

  • Emergency Room nursing

  • Basic Life Support (BLS)

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)

  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)

  • Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC) certification

Licensing Requirements

 As a travel nurse, you will need to get your nursing license in the state in which you choose to work. Each state has its own nursing license requirements and some states offer a Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) which is an agreement between states that allows nurses to hold one valid nursing license that works in numerous states. Learn more about Nursing Compact States here. Many states throughout the Midwest have an NLC.

At Next Move, we’ll walk you through the process to make sure you’re licensed in the state(s) in which you’d like to work. We pride ourselves on our streamlined nursing license process, which has helped many nurses expedite the licensing process.

Whether you’re interested in a nursing compact license, an RN walk through state or simply need to renew an existing nursing license, we are here to help.


Required Experience

 Most hospitals and healthcare facilities prefer travel nurses to have at least one year of nursing experience in the nursing specialty they will be contracted for. This can vary by assignment and hospital, so the best way to find out if you will qualify for a specific assignment is to reach out to a recruiter directly.

Check out our Nursing Job Board today!


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top