Can Nurse Practitioners Be Travel Nurses? - TNS 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

You enjoy your work as a nurse practitioner but wish you had time to travel more. 

You love your career but are feeling burned out. 

You like your co-workers but feel the need for a change. 

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, travel nursing might be the perfect fit for you. As a traveling nurse practitioner, you will meet new people, work in different places worldwide, and learn new skills.

Keep reading because this article will discuss the role and skills of a traveling nurse practitioner and much more. 


nurse practitioners be travel nurses


Table of Contents


Can Nurse Practitioners Be Travel Nurses?

Yes, nurse practitioners have the opportunity to: 

  • Work in new environments
  • Earn a great salary
  • Stay close to home or see parts of the United States they have never seen; and
  • Meet new people

The phrase “travel nursing” is well-known to many people; however, “locum tenens” describes traveling nurse practitioners. This is because locum tenens is the Latin word for substitute.  

The difference in terminology has to do with the length of service provided. A travel nurse assignment, for example, typically lasts 13 weeks instead of locum tenens assignments, which can be anywhere from one day to one year. 

Trusted Nurse Staffing is an agency you can trust to find you the right position. 

Whether you’re a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse, or an allied health professional, we can match you with the perfect setting. 

Ready to learn more? Use the Trusted Nurse Staffing Pronto app to find your dream travel nurse assignment.


can nurse practitioners be travel nurses


Where Can a Traveling Nurse Practitioner Work?

The work environment depends entirely on the position accepted by the travel nurse practitioner, which is determined by the specialty.

For example, you will work in the acute care or hospital setting if you are a board-certified nurse in acute care. You may also work as a: 

  • Hospitalist
  • Intensivist; or 
  • In the emergency department

Board-certified family practice nurses usually work in clinic settings as family practice nurse practitioners or as specialists in: 

  • Cardiology
  • Pulmonology; or 
  • Dermatology

Depending on your specialty and board certification, you may assist with surgeries or work in a hybrid setting, including clinic hours and inpatient rounds. 

All of this depends on the job you accept and your area of specialization. 


What Is the Role of a Traveling Nurse Practitioner?

As a traveling nurse practitioner, you’ll be covering for another nurse practitioner or acting as a temporary replacement. In some cases, hospitals and clinics will even hire travel nurse practitioners to cover vacations and sick leaves. 

A travel nurse practitioner can treat patients suffering from various conditions, from water sports injuries in Hawaii to hypothermia in Alaska. Having this variety can enhance the nurse practitioner’s experience, making them more valuable in the future.

In an emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that furloughed some clinicians, locum tenens can provide a career safety net and a bridge between permanent jobs.


What Are the Job Responsibilities of a Traveling Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse practitioners have more responsibilities and abilities in healthcare settings than registered nurses because of their advanced degrees.  

In most states, nurse practitioners have full medical authority, although they may need approval for more complex tasks. 

Registered nurses provide patient care under the supervision of: 

  • Doctors
  • Physician assistants; and
  • Nurse practitioners

Both types of nurses: 

  • Take vital signs
  • Administer medications
  • Monitor patients
  • Chart patient progress for other healthcare professionals
  • Order tests
  • Communicate with patients’ families about their disease; and
  • Assist doctors

However, only a nurse practitioner can: 

  • Prescribe medications
  • Diagnose illnesses; and 
  • Develop treatment plans 

The typical travel nurse practitioner is expected to do all the duties they did in their previous or permanent position.


can nurse practitioners be travel nurses


What Is the Difference Between a Traveling Nurse Practitioner and a Traveling Registered Nurse?

It might seem that traveling registered nurses and traveling nurse practitioners are interchangeable, but they are pretty different. 

Here are some things that set these roles apart: 

  1. Setting — A travel registered nurse typically works in acute care. Among the areas they work in are the ICU, ER, and OR. The clinical settings in which traveling nurse practitioners work are diverse. Doctor’s offices, community health centers, and hospitals are just a few settings they can be assigned.
  2. Demand — Unlike registered nurses, nurse practitioners have more competition for travel positions since sites may hire locum tenens physicians or physician assistants instead. Staffing agencies can provide job alerts when new posts become available.
  3. Pay — Registered nurses receive a weekly stipend that includes hourly wage, tax savings, incidentals, meals, and housing allowances. W-2s are issued to travel nurses. Nurse practitioners are paid hourly and may receive an additional daily per diem if they drive their vehicles. Housing, however, will be paid directly to the landlord/hotel. A travel nurse practitioner can be paid as a W-2 employee or a 1099 sole proprietor.
  4. Assignment length — Most travel RN assignments last 13 weeks. Nurse practitioner travel assignments can last from a day to a year, but most last about three months.


Licensing Requirements for Traveling Nurse Practitioners

A traveling nurse practitioner is often required to obtain two to three licenses per state.

These licenses include: 

  • A nursing license
  • An ARNP’s license; and
  • Sometimes a license to prescribe medications

A nurse practitioner’s licensing process can take much longer than that of a traveling registered nurse since more licenses are required. 

It’s important to note there are different licensing requirements and levels of autonomy in each state. It can range from 75 hours of continuing education credits to a supervising physician. Washington and Maine, for example, allow nurse practitioners to work independently. Meanwhile, Georgia and North Carolina require nurse practitioners to work under a physician’s supervision.

Are you ready to begin your travel nursing career? Trusted Nurse Staffing can help. 

Let your travel nursing adventure begin by creating your free profile with us today. 


can nurse practitioners be travel nurses


5 Skills That Make a Successful Traveling Nurse Practitioner

The skills and abilities necessary to become a travel nurse practitioner are diverse. You will need general skills to succeed in new environments and particular skills specific to your setting and specialty. 

Below you will find a list of skills you need to be a successful travel nurse practitioner.


#1: Team Player

To deliver excellent healthcare, teamwork is essential. No one person can meet all the healthcare needs of a patient.

For the patient’s healthcare needs to be met, everyone from the registration/receptionist to the clinical staff must work together. You may find it difficult in the first couple of days of a new assignment as you have yet to learn everyone, but you will need this skill to deliver excellent patient care.

To deliver high-quality care, you need to develop trust and a working relationship with your coworkers as soon as possible.


#2: Excellent Communicator

Teamwork and communication go hand in hand. When you cannot communicate effectively, things might be missed or delayed, resulting in poor patient care. 

There is a need for communication between the clinical staff and the healthcare team and between the patient and the nurse practitioner. It’s been shown that nurses who listen to and understand their patient’s concerns are better equipped to address issues as they arise, resulting in better patient outcomes.

The ability to communicate effectively is essential for travel nurse practitioners. In addition, the ability to communicate with your new team will help you deliver high-quality care when entering new settings.


#3: Flexible

Healthcare requires flexibility since things often change quickly, and we must adapt. More than anyone else, nurses understand how frequently their jobs can change. 

With a variety of patients to deal with, changing work hours, and a variety of everyday demands, flexibility is a big part of the job. This is even more true with travel nursing. 

For example, working in new settings frequently requires the travel nurse practitioner to learn new: 

  • Computer programs
  • Personalities of the staff; and
  • Organizational rules

It is essential for travel nurse practitioners to avoid becoming frustrated with changes but rather adapt to them.

You will gain a skill highly sought after by many potential employers if you become accustomed to embracing change.


#4: Growth Mindset

When a person has a growth mindset, they believe that they can achieve more if they: 

  • Learn
  • Work
  • Persist through challenges; and 
  • Develop necessary skills

It is vital for all nurse practitioners, including traveling nurse practitioners, to stay current with the latest trends in healthcare. Doing so ensures that your patient receives the most up-to-date care possible. 

Taking part in …

  • Conferences
  • Webinars; and
  • Online education opportunities 

… is one way of accomplishing this.


#5: Confident

A person with confidence believes in their abilities to achieve a goal or complete a task. Nurses must be competent and capable of working independently. This ability can easily be compromised if you lack confidence. 

Travel nurse practitioners must be confident in their clinical skills and knowledge base. 

While they will work alongside other advanced practice providers or physicians, they must be able to interpret lab results and diagnostic imaging and develop appropriate treatment plans. 

In addition to performing specific skills related to their specialty, they must also be confident in the medications they prescribe.


practitioners be travel nurses


Dreaming of Becoming a Traveling Nurse Practitioner? Trusted Nurse Staffing Can Help

Are you interested in a high-paying career as a traveling nurse practitioner? Look no further than Trusted Nurse Staffing.

We offer many professional advantages, such as: 

  • Sign-on bonuses
  • Flexible contracts
  • Full or part-time work
  • Referral bonuses
  • Completion bonuses
  • 24/7 access to your recruiter
  • And much more

We aim to provide exceptional customer service and a personal experience every step of the way. 

You’re more than a number when you work with Trusted Nurse Staffing. 

We promise: 

  • To be there for you when you need us
  • Assist you as you navigate the intricacies of traveling; and 
  • Help you be the best clinician you can be.

With our Pronto app, you can effortlessly search for travel nursing jobs. Recruiters will contact you once you’ve spotted a position that catches your attention, and you’ll soon be on your way to the job of your dreams.


can nurse practitioners be travel nurses