Travel nursing is a popular career option for most nurses. In order to travel, you typically need 12-18 months of experience, and sometimes more, depending on your specialty. Facilities we work with have different requirements and preferences for different types of units and practice settings. Please see the FAQs for more information on minimum experience required by specialty.

Ready to explore your travel options? Chances are, the assignment you want is out there waiting for you.

7 steps to becoming a travel nurse

Follow these seven easy steps to get started with your first traveling nurse job:

1. Choose a staffing company

You can find information on travel nursing companies such as our staffing partners by looking through nursing journals or searching on the Web. Do some research and see what different companies offer, and then decide which services are most important to you. To find the company that's best for you, compare pay rates, benefits and the variety and number of traveling nurse jobs available. You can also ask for recommendations from other nurses. Call the companies and ask to speak to a recruiter; then judge for yourself whether they are able to answer your questions and treat you in a professional and friendly manner.

2. Complete an application, skills checklist and professional reference request has partnered with the nation's top travel nursing companies: American Mobile Healthcare, Medical Express, NursesRx and NurseChoice. NurseZone provides a one-step application that will allow you to apply to one or more of our travel partners. This online application process is simple, free and 100 percent confidential. You are under no obligation to work with a company after sending in an application. Simply complete the online application and skills checklist to get started. You will then be matched with a travel nursing company, and will be prompted to fill out the professional reference request form. So apply online today to get started on completing these three steps. 

3. Work with a personal recruiter

Once your application, skills checklist and professional reference request forms are processed and accepted, you will be assigned a personal recruiter. Your recruiter will be an important resource throughout your traveling nurse career, so it's important to discuss your needs in detail with him or her. Think about what's most important to you-working in a specific area of the country, type of facility, particular clinical setting? Utilize the resources on NurseZone to learn more about travel nursing through our traveler stories, FAQs and Ask the Expert sections.

4. Choose a destination

Are you interested in living in a big city or a small town? Is there a particular area of the country you'd like to explore? Are you partial to mountains and snow, or beaches and sun? Do you want to stay close to home or travel across the country? Review our state and city guides and talk to your recruiter to learn more about your options as a traveling nurse. Review the pay rates, compare hospital requirements and determine which assignment best suits your needs.  Remember, most facilities prefer travel nurses to have at least 18 months to two years of recent experience working in an acute-care setting.

5. Interview with the facility

Once you and your recruiter have decided on an assignment, you will have a telephone interview with the hospital, usually with a nurse manager. Your recruiter will help you prepare for the interview so you'll have the best opportunity to secure the position of your choice. Be sure to check out NurseZone's interviewing tips before the big day.

6. Accept the assignment

Congratulations, you've chosen your traveling nurse assignment! Your staffing company will help you with the licensing and credentialing in your assignment state. Housing account executives will secure your housing arrangements and will set up utilities and furniture delivery for your new home.

7. Get ready for an exciting new adventure!

Your travel nursing company will provide you with everything you need to get started-information about your new area and driving directions to your new home and to the facility. You can also find a wealth of practical information in our traveler links. After you arrive, your recruiter will be in touch to make sure you are settled in properly and are well-prepared for your new assignment. Let the adventure begin!

Upon completion of your first assignment, you can either renew at the same hospital or travel to a new location. There are no annual contracts or other strings attached. You can work for as many assignments as you like.

Benefits of travel nursing

Once you become a travel nurse, you can:

  • Enjoy great pay and benefits 
  • Choose from top assignments across the country
  • Gain valuable clinical experience at leading hospitals
  • Get medical, dental and life insurance with a number of options, such as day-one coverage
  • Receive clinical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Take advantage of reward and incentive programs, including bonuses
  • Live in free, private, fully-furnished housing or receive a housing stipend
  • Save for retirement with a 401(k) matching plan
  • Receive continuing education at no cost
  • Get tax-free travel reimbursement
  • Explore a destination before making a permanent move into the area, or "travel" within your own hometown while receiving a housing stipend
  • See the country while traveling with a friend or spouse (most pets are OK, too)
  • Meet new people and create new friendships
  • Enjoy all this and much more!

For more information on travel nursing, check our FAQs section, read our traveler stories, or visit the Web sites of our travel nursing partners.

Visit our staffing partners

NurseZone offers you an opportunity to apply with one or more of our partners for a wide selection of travel nurse employment opportunities across the United States. American Mobile Healthcare, Medical Express and NursesRx offer 13-week assignments, while NurseChoice offers short-term, quick-start options, generally four to eight weeks in length.

You can apply to our partners by completing a single online application. Choose the partners that interest you by checking the boxes at the bottom of the online application. The selected companies will contact you to discuss travel nurse employment opportunities.

Visit NurseZone's Our Partners page for more information on each travel staffing company.

Apply to start your travel nursing adventure

Complete a single online application and you can access travel nursing jobs in thousands of facilities across the United States! Applying for travel nurse employment is free and confidential, and there's no obligation.

Start today on your traveling nurse adventure!

Apply Now gives you the information to start your career in travel nursing. Learn the benefits for traveling nurses and seven steps to getting started.