Do you want to make a change in your career as a nurse? You may be considering becoming a travel nurse but do not know where to start. 

Travel nursing can be a great way to see the country and a great way to make more money, but how do you leap from staff nurse to travel nurse? 

Keep reading because this article will answer many questions and provide tips for transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse. 


transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse


Table of Contents



5 Tips for Transitioning From Staff Nursing to Travel Nursing 

Are you feeling burnt out? Do you get tired of working at the same place every day? A travel nursing career is a great way to add a little adventure to your life. 

Transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse opens doors to: 

  • Diverse healthcare environments
  • Enhanced professional growth; and
  • The chance to explore different regions

However, this change also demands careful consideration and preparation. To navigate this transition successfully, it’s essential to be armed with knowledge and strategies that ensure a smooth and fulfilling experience. 

Here are five invaluable tips to guide you as you begin your travel nursing adventure.


transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse


Tip #1: Find a Knowledgeable and Caring Staffing Agency  

Finding a trusted nurse staffing agency during the shift from staff nurse to travel nurse is vital for several reasons: 

  • Reliable agencies guarantee safe assignments by rigorously vetting healthcare facilities. 
  • They provide transparent contracts which detail responsibilities, compensation, and housing, preventing misunderstandings. 
  • Fair payment and timely compensation are assured. 
  • They offer support in adapting to new environments and address accommodation concerns. 
  • Trusted agencies aid in navigating licensing requirements for different states. 
  • They mediate conflicts and provide professional development opportunities. 

Essentially, these agencies act as advocates, ensuring smooth and successful transitions while prioritizing your welfare and career growth.

Are you worried about transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse? You’ll get expert guidance when you work with Trusted Nurse Staffing

Switching from a staff nurse to a travel nurse doesn’t have to be complicated. Exploring a new career avenue can be daunting, especially if it means you’ll be working in a new or unfamiliar location. Let us set you at ease. 

You can start by searching for available jobs using Pronto. 

Once you find the position that interests you, our recruiters will do what it takes to make that assignment a reality, from connecting you with the top candidates to arranging interviews with the hiring facility to negotiating your contract. 


transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse


Tip #2: Prepare for the Application Process

There are several crucial steps to ensuring a smooth, successful transition to travel nursing. 

The following will help you navigate the application process effectively:

  1. Gather documents – Ensure you have all the necessary documents, including your nursing license, certifications, immunizations, and resume. A simplified application process can be achieved if these documents are readily available.
  2. Refresh your resume – Make sure your resume highlights relevant experience, skills, and certifications. Be sure to emphasize flexibility, adaptability, and any prior experience with diverse clinical settings. 
  3. Reach out to references – Obtain references that attest to your nursing abilities and character. Make sure they are reachable and willing to provide recommendations.   
  4. Refine interview skills – You should expect to have an interview with the agency. The meeting may be conducted over the phone or via video call. Prepare to discuss your nursing experience, preferences, and career goals. 
  5. Organize – Establish a system for tracking applications and agency contacts. Digital tools or spreadsheets can help you manage deadlines and requirements. 

Various travel nursing agencies have slightly different application processes, so it’s essential to carefully follow the guidelines provided by the agency you’re applying to.


Tip #3: Apply for Local Nursing Licensing

After selecting a travel nurse agency and signing a contract, it will be time to apply for licensure in your assigned state. 

You must apply for an “endorsement license” to obtain another license in a new state. While keeping your original state’s license, you will be “endorsed” to practice in another state. To apply for endorsement, you must fill out an application and send verification of licensure, but you do not have to retake the NCLEX.  

An endorsement license application process varies by state and may require the following:

  • Continuing education units (CEUs) CEU requirements vary from state to state, but most require a certain amount of hours per year. 
  • Livescan or fingerprints Most states now require fingerprinting for RN licensing. Some states will require “Livescan,” which uses digital fingerprinting as an alternative to ink and roller fingerprinting.
  • Transcripts A nursing education transcript is required in many states for an endorsement license.

You might avoid a lot of unnecessary paperwork if the state you’ll be working in is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC provides registered nurses with a multistate license that allows them to practice across all NLC states. 


Tip #4: Establish Yourself in the Travel Nursing Community

Joining the travel nurse community online is a fantastic way to: 

  • Meet fellow travelers
  • Share experiences; and 
  • Gain helpful information

The following ideas will help you become part of this supportive and informative community:

  1. Social media groups – Find travel nurse-related social media groups on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. You can discuss assignments, get advice, and get support from groups dedicated to travel nursing. 
  2. Online forums – Take part in online forums and discussion boards dedicated to travel nursing. You can ask questions, share stories, and connect with others in the field. 
  3. Instagram and Twitter – You can follow travel nurses on Instagram and Twitter for their advice, insights, and experiences. Interacting with their posts can lead to connections and interactions. 
  4. Webinars and online events – Attend webinars, virtual workshops, and online events focused on travel nursing. Experts often share their knowledge and experiences at these events, and attendees can interact with each other. 

Immerse yourself in the online travel nurse community by: 

  • Participating in discussions
  • Asking questions; and 
  • Sharing your experiences

In addition to building connections, your contributions can provide valuable insights to others. 

Integrating successfully into the online travel nurse community requires: 

  • Respect
  • Professionalism; and 
  • A willingness to share and learn

Connecting with fellow travel nurses and contributing positively to various platforms can enhance your travel nursing journey. 


Tip #5: Prepare for Your New Adventure

Travel nurse assignments require several logistical preparations to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some critical logistics to remember:  

  • Housing – Decide whether you’ll use agency-provided housing or secure your accommodations. If necessary, research and secure housing that meets your needs and budget. 
  • Transportation – Make arrangements for travel to your assignment location, whether by car, plane, or other means. If you will not have a car, plan how to get to and from work and other places. 
  • Packing – Pack clothing, personal items, and any specific gear you need for your nursing specialty.
  • Ship belongings – Arrange for shipping or storage of your belongings. 
  • Financial preparations – Set up a direct deposit and provide your banking information for direct deposit of paychecks.
  • Explore the area – Research local attractions, restaurants, and activities to enjoy during your free time.
  • Share emergency contacts – Provide your emergency contacts to the agency and make them readily accessible. 

Your focus can be on providing excellent patient care while making the most of your unique adventure if you carefully address these logistical aspects before you start your travel nurse assignment. 


transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse


FAQs for Transitioning From Staff Nurse to Travel Nurse


What Are the Benefits of Transitioning From a Staff Nurse to a Travel Nurse?

Travel nursing can offer a range of benefits that can enhance your professional and personal life. 

Taking this step has several advantages: 

  • Variety of experiences – Travel nursing offers a variety of experiences, such as working in different hospitals, specialties, and regions. This exposure broadens your skill set and knowledge, making you a more versatile and adaptable nurse. 
  • Improving skills – You will be challenged to learn new protocols, technologies, and procedures as you work in diverse clinical settings. Continual learning can boost your confidence as a nurse and sharpen your clinical skills. 
  • Higher salary – Travel nurses are often paid competitive rates and receive stipends for housing and meals. This can result in higher overall compensation compared to traditional staff nursing positions. 
  • Flexibility – Travel nursing offers flexibility when it comes to assignment duration. It is possible to choose short-term contracts to experience new places or long-term assignments for more stability.
  • Professional growth – Different healthcare settings expose you to various best practices and approaches. You can develop your leadership skills and professional growth through this exposure.
  • Networking – Travel nursing allows you to connect with healthcare professionals from different regions, building a diverse professional network. For future career opportunities, these connections can be valuable. 

It may be challenging to transition to travel nursing, but the rewards can be substantial, providing you with a rewarding career.

Are you ready to take the next step toward becoming a travel nurse?

The team at Trusted Nurse Staffing can help. 

With us, your career is in the best possible hands. Every step of the way, we strive to provide our customers with exceptional customer service and a personal experience.  

Start making the most of your career today with Trusted Nurse Staffing.


transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse


How Long Should You Be a Nurse Before Traveling?

It depends. 

Typically, two years in the same specialty are recommended. By doing so, you will be able to develop strong clinical skills, confidence, and adaptability before transitioning to the dynamic and diverse world of travel nursing. 


Can a Regular RN Become a Travel Nurse?

Yes, an RN can transition to becoming a travel nurse.

A career in travel nursing is an excellent opportunity for experienced nurses seeking a new environment. Some agencies recommend 1-2 years of experience, but the requirements vary.

Success in this rewarding career path requires adaptability, flexibility, and licensure in multiple states.


Trusted Nurse Staffing Is by Your Side as You Transition to Travel Nursing 

Are you ready to transition into travel nursing? 

Unlike other staffing agencies, Trusted Nurse Staffing provides accessibility you won’t find elsewhere. With our honest dedication to helping employees and clients, you can achieve your goals and work in a position you’ll enjoy. 

In addition, Pronto streamlines traditional recruitment processes so you can focus on what’s important: getting your dream job.

Click the link below to get started today. 


transitioning from staff nurse to travel nurse