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Travel Nursing Requires What Type of Degree?

 

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The short answer to this question is that any nursing degree from an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN), up to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) will allow you to start your travel nursing career.  However, the landscape is changing and that might not always be the case.  Many hospitals today (I would say less than 10%) are requiring a minimum of a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher.  Don’t be fooled though because the number of hospitals requiring a BSN is rising.  Maybe by only a few hospitals per year, but someday you may need a BSN.  There are some other advantages of having a BSN to consider as well.

Other advantages of having a BSN or higher.

Competitive advantage – As mentioned above, as long as you have ADN or more, you can be just as successful as any other travel nurse.  But, the road getting there might be a little tougher.  As a recruiter, talking to nurses, hospitals and building profiles every day, I can tell you with certainty that a nurse with a BSN has a competitive advantage over a nurse with an ADN.  In fact, it is a recruiter’s job to highlight a BSN or MSN in a traveler’s professional profile when presenting it to the hospital (a profile is essentially a supercharged resume covering all professional/nursing aspects of a candidate wanting a travel job).  A BSN degree is usually highlighted at least 3 times in these profiles, if not 5 or 6 times!  So the recruiters are looking for a BSN or MSN as a competitive advantage and the hospital is too.

Pay! – A BSN can earn you more money at your nursing job!  Since this is a website for travel nurses though, I have to give the disclaimer that earning more with a BSN in a travel contract isn’t very common for a travel nurse.  The reason being is that typically a hospital and travel company have a signed contract with an agreed upon rate before any travel nurse is in the picture.  It’s not all that likely that the hospital will agree to an increase this contracted/agreed upon rate just because a nurse has a BSN or MSN.   But in a roundabout way, a BSN or MSN does earn you more money because you are going to be getting more jobs over more candidates.

 

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