how to become a travel nurse as a new grad

Travel NurseSource:

If you are a new nursing graduate and want to explore the world while working, becoming a travel nurse can be an excellent option for you. As a travel nurse, you will get the opportunity to work in different healthcare facilities across the United States, gain valuable experience, meet new people, and earn a higher salary. However, before embarking on this exciting journey, you need to know the steps to become a travel nurse as a new grad.

Step 1: Obtain your Nursing License

Nursing LicenseSource:

The first step to becoming a travel nurse is to obtain your nursing license. To become a licensed registered nurse, you need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam, which tests your nursing knowledge and skills. Once you pass the exam, you can apply for a nursing license in the state where you want to work. Most states require a criminal background check and a certain number of continuing education credits to maintain your license.

Step 2: Get Nursing Experience

Nursing ExperienceSource:

Most travel nursing agencies require at least one year of nursing experience in a clinical setting before considering your application. It is important to get nursing experience before becoming a travel nurse because you will be working in different healthcare facilities with diverse patient populations and medical procedures. Nursing experience will also give you the confidence and skills needed to adapt to new environments and provide excellent patient care.

Step 3: Research Travel Nursing Agencies

Travel Nursing AgenciesSource:

There are many travel nursing agencies that offer job opportunities to new grads. However, not all agencies are created equal, and it is essential to research different agencies to find the one that best suits your needs. Look for agencies that offer competitive pay, housing and travel reimbursement, health insurance, and support services such as career counseling and continuing education.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Travel Nurse ApplicationSource:

Once you have researched different travel nursing agencies and found the one that suits your needs, submit your application to the agency. Your application should include your nursing license, resume, nursing experience, and references. Some agencies may also require you to complete a skills assessment test or a drug screening. Make sure to follow the agency’s application guidelines and provide accurate and updated information.

Step 5: Prepare for Your First Assignment

Travel Nurse Assignment PrepSource:

Congratulations! You have been accepted as a travel nurse. Before starting your first assignment, make sure to prepare yourself by researching the healthcare facility where you will be working, the city where you will be living, and the state’s nursing regulations. Pack essential items such as clothing, toiletries, and documents. Prepare to adapt to new environments and meet new people.


Q: How much does a travel nurse make? A: The average salary for a travel nurse is $80,000 per year.
Q: What are the benefits of becoming a travel nurse? A: Some benefits of becoming a travel nurse include higher pay, free housing and travel reimbursement, flexible schedule, and diverse work experience.
Q: Are there any risks of becoming a travel nurse? A: Some risks of becoming a travel nurse include being away from family and friends, working in a new environment with different protocols and regulations, and dealing with homesickness and culture shock.
Q: Can new grads become travel nurses? A: Yes, new grads can become travel nurses, but most agencies require at least one year of nursing experience in a clinical setting.
Q: Can travel nurses choose their assignments? A: Yes, travel nurses can choose their assignments based on their preference, experience, and availability.