Travel healthcare is a great way to build your resume, meet new people and see the world. But as you travel, you’ll need to make sure you obtain a license to practice in each new state. Most states have reciprocal agreements, so it’s fairly simple to gain licensure in another state once you’re already licensed in your home state. Here’s what you need to know.
Since it may take up to a few months to obtain a state license, think ahead to your next travel assignment so you can plan. Depending on the state, you may need to produce a notarized copy of your nursing license and/or birth certificate, college transcript, passport photo or even a fingerprint check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For more information on state licensing requirements for nurses, you can visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website at www.ncsbn.org. You may simply need to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX. Also, you’ll need to pay a fee for each new state license.
If you are planning to travel to one of the 25 states that currently participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact, obtaining state licensure couldn’t be easier. With this form of licensure, travel nurses get licensed in their home state of residency, with permission to practice in other states, based on the state’s practice laws and regulations.
Travel therapists and allied health professionals
Similar to travel nurses, physical and occupational therapists must apply for licensure to each state they plan to travel to for work. This requires submitting the appropriate paperwork, based on the state, and paying the applicable fee (a one-time expense). Depending on the state, you may be required to submit an application, pass a licensing exam, and possibly even a background check. Like travel nursing licensure, it’s always good to plan ahead to where you’d like to travel so you’ll have plenty of time to obtain your state licensure—it can take up to a few months. Most forms you’ll need to apply for state licensure can be found on the state licensing board’s website.
State licensing is much the same for travel pharmacists. To practice in another state, you’ll need to submit a copy of your active pharmacy license, which the state will verify. State requirements for licensure are different, so you’ll need to complete the licensing requirements and provide the required paperwork and fee to obtain licensure in each new state.
A staffing agency can help
If you’re currently securing travel placements through a staffing agency, good news. Your recruiter will help you complete your state licensing requirements. This way, you can rest assured that all necessary paperwork is complete before you set sail for your new assignment.
Looking for a recruiter?
Check out MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We work with nurses, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and other allied health professionals for travel placements across the country. We’re a Joint Commission–certified staffing agency, and our expert recruiters will work with you to find placements that fit, as well as help obtain state licensure. To learn more, contact us today or click below to apply now.