If you’re interested in a travel nursing job but aren’t sure how to get started — or what happens AFTER you apply for a job — you’re not alone. And you’ve come to the right place. Samantha Wines, a senior recruiter at RNnetwork, offers you this quick, step-by-step explanation on how to prepare and apply for a travel nursing job.
1. Working with a recruiter – the first step to apply for a travel nursing job
“To get a job here at RNnetwork, you first get connected with a recruiter,” Samantha says. “We ask about your years of experience, types of units you’ve worked on, and what motivates you to take a new job. You fill out an online application, including a skills checklist, and provide references. We need two references to get your paperwork out the door.”
Once you’ve filled out an application, your recruiter gets to know you better so he or she can find a job that fits your skills and personality.
2. Searching for the perfect travel nursing job
“We talk about what jobs you’re qualified to do and where you want to work so we can match you up,” Samantha says. “We build a profile based on your application, skills checklist, and references. Then you apply to the jobs you and your recruiter have decided are a good fit.”
After applying, it’s time to cross your fingers and wait. If the nurse manager likes your profile, he or she will set up an interview — but you may have to wait a few days or even weeks to hear back. Once you’ve interviewed, though, it’s important to act quickly if the manager offers you a job.
“You usually have 24 to 48 hours to accept or decline a travel nursing job offer,” Samantha says. If the job looks good and you accept, you’ll begin the next steps: licensing and credentialing.
3. Getting credentials and licenses
“RNnetwork aligns you with a specific credentialer to walk you through all the paperwork,” Samantha says. “The great news is that once you’ve done the initial paperwork, most of it is valid for a year. If you need a new state license, we help you not only apply for the license but get in contact with that state’s nursing board.”
Compact state licenses, which currently allow you to work in 29 states, save time as well.
Once the credentialing and licensing process is underway, it’s time to find a place to live during your assignment.
4. Finding safe and affordable housing
“We connect travelers with a housing coordinator who specializes in the area where you’ll be working,” Samantha says. “They ask if you’re bringing any pets or have any special preferences. Then they do the research for you. We want to make sure you live in a safe community, close to the hospital, and have a great 13-week stay.”
While filling out paperwork and packing your car is ultimately your responsibility, working with a travel nursing company can simplify the the whole process and dramatically improve your experience on assignment.
“We have an amazing team of recruiters trained to help understand your specialty and the hospitals you’re going to,” Samantha says. “RNnetwork really gives you the full turnkey experience when you begin traveling.”
Lindsay Wilcox is a communication professional with experience writing for the healthcare and entertainment industries as well as local government. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.