How to Change Careers and Become a Travel Nurse

Changing careers is never easy, and it’s often even more complicated in intensive fields such as healthcare. However, transitioning from typical nursing to travel nursing is a viable and lucrative option. Transitioning to travel nursing cannot happen overnight, and you will need to consider the details carefully before making the switch. To make a career change to a travel nurse, you not only need to be able and willing to alter your schedule and availability, but you’ll want to prepare yourself with the appropriate qualifications. Let’s get started!


Get the Certifications


Becoming a travel nurse is not as simple as just making the decision and quitting your current job, especially if you are not currently a nurse. You need specific certifications to ensure that you are professionally qualified to fill the role of a travel nurse. The three major qualifications require are:


  • Completing Your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): Like any nursing job, you must have or be working towards your BSN.
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX): If you are currently not a nurse, you will need to pass this six-hour test that evaluates your understanding of legal, ethical, and communication in the healthcare industry.
  • Finalize Your Registered Nurse (RN) Licensure Application in the State You Are Travel Nursing: Wherever you end up travel nursing, you will need an RN license for that state.


Most of these certifications nurses already have, but if you are currently not a nurse and are looking to start travel nursing, ensure that you have the basic requirements above before proceeding.


Gather Experience


Before you can begin travel nursing, you typically are required to have previous nursing experience. Agencies that fill these roles are looking for individuals who have the skills necessary to complete their responsibilities in any environment. The experience requirements for each agency will vary, but the average minimum is at least one year of professional nursing experience before you will be eligible for travel nursing work. If you already have experience as a nursing professional, you can begin the transition as soon as you’d like.




Once you have the certifications and experience, the only hurdle with becoming a travel nurse is that you cannot simply walk into a hospital and start working. Instead, most travel nurses operate through agencies that track down openings and place them for a specific period. To succeed as a travel nurse, you will likely want to find a recruitment agency that can find the perfect role for you. Working with an agency can be highly effective at helping you progress your travel nursing journey. 


In addition, you will need to steel yourself for abnormal working conditions to cope with the high demand coupled with your short tenure at a facility. As a travel nurse, you are expected to fulfill your regular nursing responsibilities, work odd hours, and leave behind any connections you have to patients and staff when it is time to go. Therefore, to succeed in this specific role, it is essential to be mentally prepared. 


Find Your First Travel Nursing Position with Fidé

Becoming a travel nurse will require you to take a new approach to traditional nursing work. But, with the right qualifications, experience, and mindset, you will have little trouble succeeding in the field. If you have trouble finding the right agency to help you find openings you can fill, look no further than Fidé. We have made it our mission to help nursing staff find the best positions where they can be the greatest help. Please contact us today and see how we can help you to help the world.

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