3-PART VIDEO SERIESGet Access!
Get Access!

blog

HOW MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE DO I NEED TO BE A TRAVEL NURSE?

 

FREE 3-PART VIDEO TRAINING SERIES

Over 1.5 hours of free training on everything travel nursing!

it's free!
100% privacy guranteed
FOUND ON
Calendar Planner Organization Management Remind Concept

How many years of experience do I need to be a Travel Nurse?

This is one of the first, most common, and important questions that arise when a travel nurse is getting ready to start the application process.  Like many topics in travel nursing, there is no definitive line in the sand that says you have to have X years of experience before starting travel nursing contract.  The most popular and common guideline (but not a rule!) is a RN must have 2 years of experience in any particular unit before jumping into a travel assignment.  This isn’t a rule that any particular company has, it has just become “the norm” in the industry over the years.

Exceptions to the 2 year guideline

There are some exceptions that could land you a travel contract if you have just 1 year experience.  I can say with confidence that it will be next to impossible to get a travel contract with less than 1 year of experience.  Even if you are lucky and land an assignment with less than 1 year, landing your second and third will be just as hard.  So what are the exceptions to become a travel nurse if you have less than 2 years of nursing experience?

  1. The Unit – There are some units out there that really need nurses badly.  These needs obviously change as time goes on.  At the time of writing this (3/5/3015) units such as L&D, OR and Cath Lab have thousands of openings across the country and there are not many nurses to fill the needs.  So for example, if you are a L&D nurse that has 14 months of experience, (more than 1 year but less than 2) you will still have a very good chance of landing a travel nursing contract.
  1. Overall Experience – Sometimes I will talk to a new RN with about 1 year of experience, but they have been a CNA or some type of nursing assistant for years and years prior to becoming a RN. If you have an extensive background and years of experience delivering direct patient care, but not as a nurse, you will still have a very good shot at becoming a travel nurse.
  1. License/location – There are hot spots, cities and towns, in this country that need nurses so badly that if they don’t get help the hospital is at risk of shutting down. These locations are sometimes the toughest and most challenging travel nursing assignments, but they can also be some of the most rewarding.  What do I mean?

First, to go along with what we are talking about, you could get hired on to one of these spots with less than 2 years of experience, helpful for some.

Second, you could make some big bucks.  Many times since these hospitals are in such need, they are willing to pay a very high rate to get some help.  This is simple supply and demand.

Lastly, it is a huge resume builder.  Many of the hospitals that are in bad shape are well known.  If you can complete a successful assignment at a facility that is infamously difficult, then the next time someone looks at your resume for a travel assignment, there is a good chance the interviewer will be impressed and thus helping your chances land the job.

  1. Education – finally the fourth exception is what type of degree or education the nurse has.  I have said this before, “ADN will get you hired, BSN will get you hired quickly, MSN will get you hired today.”  Well another way to look at that saying is… If you have an ADN, you are going to need 2 years (unless some of the above apply).  If you have a BSN you will have a good shot at getting hired with at least 1 year experience.  And lastly, if you have an MSN or Masters in Nursing, well it’s pretty simple, you have proved you are a master, so let’s get you working ASAP.

A nurse that has any of the above caveats working in her favor could land her a travel nursing job with less than 2 years of experience.  If you would like to hear my personal opinion on your exact situation, simply contact me at TravelNursingClassroom@gmail.com and I promise to respond within 24 hours! (on business days, I have a family that needs some attention on the weekends)

 

FREE 3-PART VIDEO TRAINING SERIES

Over 1.5 hours of free training on everything travel nursing!

it's free!
100% privacy guranteed