Traveling Nurse | Homecare Nurse
- Best Fitting Careers
- Work Personality Strengths
- Work Style Preferences
- and more
What They Do
As a travel nurse, you can expect to perform the general rundown of RN duties, which will vary somewhat from one assignment to the next. Typically, you will be doing things like recording patient history, performing routine check-ups, measuring vital signs, assessing symptoms, making diagnoses, discussing treatment, and administering medicine to the patient.
- Using the nursing process of assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and evaluating to care for patients in a variety of healthcare settings
- Administering medications, fluids, assisting with activities of daily living and patient mobility
- Reviewing and interpreting diagnostic tests such as lab work and imaging
- Provide monitoring and oversight in all aspects of patient care
- Collaborating with physicians in developing a plan of care
- Assessing the psychosocial needs of patients and families
- Recognizing and intervening in clinically unstable patients
- Providing resources for patients and refer as necessary
- Educating patients and families in all areas of healthcare maintenance and prevention
- Working in assignments anywhere from eight to thirteen weeks (on average) in the U.S., one to two years if outside the U.S.
- Learning various patient care systems/documentation
- Providing immediate medical care and aid for large populations during times of war or disaster
- nursing and residential care facilities
- physicians' offices
- government agencies
How to Become One
Once you apply at the agency or agencies that fit into your career vision, you will meet with an agent or recruiter who will manage your assignments. You will need to establish a relationship with your agent so that he or she will be aware of your preferences, your specialization, and can make sure any travel needs you may have (such as arrangements for a pet, child, or partner) can be met. Your agent can also help to ensure you get the assignments you prefer. Finally, your agent will make the final contract, housing, and travel arrangements for you when you choose to accept an assignment. You will touch base with him or her periodically, and you may choose to renew your contract if you wish to remain in one place, or you can move on to the next one.
An associate's degree in nursing is usually the minimum educational requirement for a travel nurse, but some employers prefer candidates who hold bachelor's degrees in nursing. You must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses, usually called the NCLEX-RN, in order to obtain licensure. It will also be necessary to fulfill any additional state-mandated requirements. One or two years of working as a staff nurse is a common prerequisite for traveling nurse positions, and specialized experience is often requested.