One of my favorite things to hear when I am on an introduction call with travel nurses is “I’m a first-time traveler, and I’m open to anywhere.” Usually it doesn’t mean they will go everywhere (“So Barrow, Alaska, this January sound ok?”), but if they are calling me to talk about all of the places they want to visit and explore as a first-time travel nurse, my heart skips a beat!
An important part of being able to help these nurses, is knowing where to direct them, and how to guide them in the travel nursing licensure process. My job is never to push/bully/force my nurses toward a certain location, but rather to guide them; to educate them on what I know from sitting in this seat for the last 9+ years. That means exploring what their ideal first travel assignment looks like, and comparing that to what is actually available for their specialty & start date.
A major component of the travel nursing conversation is state licensure. I pride myself on knowing where I can submit my new travel nurses’ profile so that they don’t have to apply (and therefore spend money!) on state nursing licensure UNTIL they have an offer. This helps the nurses because they don’t have to invest any money on a license until they know they will actually go there and use that license, and as long as we allow time for that license to come in, they will be able to start that assignment on time.
The easiest travel nursing licensure is obtained in “Walk-Through States”. Nursing walk through states are states where travel nurses are able to go to that particular board of nursing, apply in person, and walk out with a nursing license for that state either that day or within 48 hours
The other states fall into “must be licensed prior to submitting” (GA, NJ, CA to name a few, and these take 6 weeks to 6 months) or my favorite, the secret gems “Submit.
Offer. Get Licensed.” Travel nursing state license criteria are constantly changing due to updates and changes to various Boards of Nursing, and sometimes it will even depend on a specific hospital. A great recruiter will always be aware of the “secret gems” and match you to the right travel nursing position opening.
Whether you are a first time travel nurse ready to get started or an experienced travel nurse looking for your next adventure and have questions about licensure, we’d love to speak with you! The perfect travel assignment is probably closer than you think!