Traveler Tips//July 20, 2023

Common Travel Nursing Questions + Answers


So you’re thinking about stepping into the world of travel nursing? I’m assuming you have some questions and that’s what has led you here. Welcome to Next Move Healthcare, a clinician-owned, clinician-operated agency. We tried to keep this short, sweet, and to the point, because we know you’re busy. So without further ado:

 10 commonly asked travel nursing questions

1. Uh… what is travel nursing?

It’s pretty much what you’d think – you get to work short-term assignments at different healthcare facilities around the country. It’s like being a nursing nomad, exploring new places while doing what you love.

  • “Travel nursing” is kind of an umbrella term, so it could be used to describe many travel healthcare professions outside of RNs. So if you’re a PT, respiratory therapist, or any other allied professional, keep reading. This info applies to you too.

2. Am I qualified to become a travel nurse?

To become a travel nurse, you’ll need an active license in the state(s) you’re wanting to work in. 

  • (Pro tip: If you want to work in multiple different states, you should consider applying for a Compact Nursing License).

You’ll need 2+ years of recent bedside experience in your specialty as that is what most facilities require.

  • To learn more about travel RN qualifications, click here.
  • To learn more about travel Allied qualifications, click here.

3. Will I make more money as a travel nurse?

Let’s be real here, the money is a big motivation for many individuals who make the switch from staff to travel nursing. While pay rates vary based on factors like location, specialty, and cost of living, travel nurses often earn more than staff nurses.

Check out how the pay varies for staff and travel nurses from state-to-state.

4. Can I choose where I want to be assigned?

Absolutely! Your preference is the only one that matters. At Next Move, your recruiter will work closely with you to find assignments that align with your skills, interests, and desired locations. It’s all about finding the perfect fit for you.

5. What goes into my travel nurse profile?

  • Updated resume
    • Includes: Hospital name, state, dates worked, unites worked, (level trauma center, charting system) if known
    • Here’s a free Travel Nurse Resume Template made by travel nurses, for travel nurses
  •  Two references from the past 6 months to 1 year (must be a supervisor)
  • Skills Checklist – most recruiters will send this over to complete electronically 
  • Images of all active certifications
  • Image of Covid vaccine or exemptions 

travel nurse resume template

The items listed above are basic requirements for a profile, but please note that some facilities require additional items. For example: Drivers license, DOB/SSN, facility-specific forms, etc. 

Your Recruiter will be able to help you put together your profile and guide you through the entire process. 

Pro tip: If you have a smartphone, scan and keep all of your necessary documents in a folder for easy access. 

6. How long will my travel nursing assignments be?

    • Travel nursing assignments typically last around 13 weeks. This allows you to explore a new place, connect with new colleagues, and make lasting memories. However, we occasionally have longer or shorter contracts available, but 13 weeks is the norm.
      • Extensions: Once you’ve found a place/hospital/people you really enjoy, extending your contract is a great option. Some nurses even stay at a place for up to a year. 

7. What are the benefits of travel nursing?

  • Benefits courtesy of travel nursing: a flexible schedule, increased salary, opportunities to travel, meeting new people, learning new skill and no hospital politics just to name a few.
  • Benefits courtesy of Next Move: Full health coverage, short and long-term disability, life insurance, 401(k), mental health benefits, referral bonuses*, travel stipend, and licensing/certification renewal reimbursements*
    *Some restrictions may apply

    • We would highly recommend choosing an agency that offers the benefits you need, so be sure to check with your agency ahead of signing a contract. 
    • Private insurance is also an option, but can be costly.
    • For more detailed information about our available benefits, click here.

8. Will I have any downtime between assignments?

Entirely up to you. As a travel nurse, you’re in charge of your own schedule. Meaning, if you want to take time off after an assignment to relax and recharge, go for it! Or do you want to jump right into your next assignment? Do it! Do you want to extend your current assignment because you love it so much? We’ll do our best to make it happen. Whatever you decide to do is fine, just make sure you’re openly communicating your plans with your recruiter!

9. Will I have control over my schedule and shifts as a travel nurse?

Full transparency: Some facilities may not have the capacity to give you your ‘perfect’ schedule. Healthcare facilities hire travel nurses to help fill their needs. Whether it’s due to staffing shortages, increased census, seasonal influx, or even a pandemic, they hire you because they need your help, and they may not have the flexibility to give you complete control over your schedule and shifts. 

  • We’ll do everything in our power to get you exactly what you want. At Next Move, we work closely with our partner facilities to accommodate your preferred schedule and shifts. We want to empower you to create a work-life balance that suits your needs.

10. What if I’m not 100% sure I want to be a travel nurse?

Well, that’s quite understandable, it’s a big career change. If you’re hesitant, but your interest is peaked, you could consider taking a local travel contract to ‘test the waters’. It’s basically all of the benefits of travel nursing, minus the travel. You’ll “travel nurse” near the comforts of home.

There you have it, the top 10 questions that people often ask when considering travel nursing, with the most concise answers we could give. At Next Move, we’re not just here to provide information; we’re here to build a supportive community of travel nurses who feel heard, understood and cheered on.

If you have additional questions, be sure to check out our FAQ page, or reach out to us directly – we’re always happy to chat about any and all things travel nursing.

To learn more about Next Move and what makes us different from other agencies, check us out. If you want to hear what our clinicians have to say about working with us, read our reviews.

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