Traveling NurseTraveling nurse is a job that you get to travel the country in a good paying position as you help people have good health. As a travel nurse you work in temporary fill-ins for people on maternity leave or sick and also undertake local emergencies. In order to become a traveling nurse you need to be an RN and the job duties relate to those of nurse’s specialty. The job responsibilities are the same as those of other nurses working within the health care establishment. There is also an option of working outside the country, but regardless of where you work, traveling nurse is a career that has great benefits.

Working environment

The responsibilities and duties of a travel nurse are determined by the specialty of the nurse. A travel nurse who has specialized in surgery will assist in surgery, while the one specializing in cardiac care will work in ICU (Intensive care unit) or on cardiac care floor. In most cases, travel assignments range from eight to fifty two weeks, although the most common period of time assignments is thirteen weeks. Housing for traveling nurses is part of the employment package and mostly handled by a travel nursing company.


It is mandatory for a travel nurse to have an RN degree. There are 3 ways to become a registered nurse. You can study in a hospital based nursing school which usually takes four years, associate’s nursing degree which takes 2 years and then another one to two years of studying for a bachelor’s degree. You can also undertake a bachelor’s degree for four years. According to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) a bachelor’s degree is the minimum for any career in the nursing field.


Most facilities require a traveling nurse to have at least one year of on the job training or post degree.

Certification or licensing

The nursing boards or N-CLEX exams must be passed in order to be given a license. There is a multi-state license agreement referred to as the Nurse License Compact that gives licensed RNs who have the interest to become travel nurses work outside their states that have agreed to the compact. This is determined by whether their continuing education credits and their licenses are updated. There are varying specific state requirements, therefore it is important to check the Nurse license Compact regarding the state you would like to work as a traveling nurse.

Skills and Qualities

As a traveling nurse you need to be flexible and be able to work in different environments and settings. Great communication skills are a must, because you need to understand both social and medical needs of patients. Just like other nurses, a traveling nurse must be detail oriented and possess analytical skills. If international travels are involved it is necessary to understand local languages of the countries in order to work effectively.


Traveling nurses are paid more than other RNs. Additional benefits include medical coverage, housing, meal subsidies, bonuses and others. There are a minimum number of hours guaranteed for any assignment. The remuneration is higher than for other nurses because they are hired for critical needs.

Job outlook

With the increased demand of nurses, traveling nurses can expect a comparable growth rate comparable to ultrasound technicians.