Travel nursing offers you fantastic opportunities for national as well as international travel. If you are a travel freak and interested in making a career in medicine, then you can become a travel nurse, but the decision should be taken with care and consideration. Travel nurses don't have to face hospital politics, and can earn more money, but it may not be possible for them to be a part of management team (move up the corporate ladder) like other hospital nurses.
Becoming a Travel Nurse
As a travel nurse, you are expected to work on short-term assignments at different locations. As the duties and responsibilities of a travel nurse are similar to that of a registered nurse, the educational requirements are also the same.
If you want to become a registered nurse, you should start preparing right from your school years. Good grades in science (biology), math, languages, social sciences, while graduating from the high school can help you get admission in a first-class nursing school. These days, due to tough competition, admission to a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Nursing (BSN) is very difficult.
In that case, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or a Diploma in Nursing can be accomplished. If you want, you can apply for the degree course later, or you can become a registered nurse with basic qualification (ADN) or the diploma. To practice as a nurse, you are expected to qualify in the National Council Licensure Examination. Then you can work as a certified registered nurse.
It takes four years to get a degree in nursing. To complete the diploma and get an associate degree, it takes about three years. Any registered nurse can work as a travel nurse, but it is desirable to specialize in a particular area, because cardiac, neonatal, oncology, neurology or surgical nurses are really in demand. A nursing degree with good grades and practical clinical experience can help you gain admission to the desired specialization area. Passing out from a renowned accredited nursing school helps you with better placements later on.
Working as a Travel Nurse
If you want to become a travel nurse practitioner, you should be ready to work in changing environment. Many times, travel nurses enroll themselves with travel nurse practitioner agencies who search jobs for them. These agencies have tie-ups with hospitals and medical facilities. The prerequisites for a travel nurse job may vary from hospital to hospital. Some hospitals accept candidates with one year experience while some demand a minimum of two years experience. Well-known hospitals usually prefer candidates with three or more year's experience. Individual assignments usually last between two and three months, but may vary depending on the needs.
Travel nurse salary range depends on the area where he/she is supposed to work, the employing medical institution and the kind of patient the travel nurse is supposed to take care of. For long-term assignments, travel nurses receive housing allowance and bonus for their work. They can also earn favorable number of leaves. Thus, it is a well-paying career.
Besides required educational qualifications and clinical experience, travel nurses should possess good communication skills. They should be soft-spoken. If they have command over 2-3 languages, then it's a much valued skill. A smiling face, pleasing personality, strong determination can help you achieve your goal. Only those who love to help others, who have a sympathetic mind and capacity to console an ailing person should choose nursing as a profession. Becoming a travel nurse also requires good energy levels (strong health). If you have decided your goal and made up your mind, then the question like 'how to become a travel nurse' should not bother you. Take care of your health and study hard if you really want to become a travel nurse.