Working as a travel nurse can be an exceptionally exciting, rewarding and financially smart career choice.

And, while many newly minted nurses look forward to such a career, most –- as in just about all – travel nursing staffing services and their client medical facilities require that someone who wishes to be considered for travel nurse opportunities have at least 12 or even 18 months of nursing experience. In fact, that experience should be acute care clinical experience.

The 18 months isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but is pretty consistent throughout the United States.

Some facilities, units within those facilities and even different cities will have different requirements. Some want as much as two years (medical-surgery, psychology and rehab). Many facilities also are looking for traveling LPNs/LVNs, but they want at least six years of experience under candidates’ wings before considering them for positions.

If you’ve just graduated from nursing, it can’t hurt to contact travel nursing companies such as MedPro Healthcare Staffing to let us know that you’re interested. You can send us your CV/resume, let us know what types of nursing work you seek and where, and keep in touch. Be sure to keep us updated regarding your work experience.

Another tip for aspiring travel nurses: Assess objectively your attitude to change and the unknown. Travel nursing assignments will ask you to change plans on a moment’s notice. You’ll need excellent clinical skills, the ability to think on your feet and the knack of getting along with a vast array of personalities within your colleagues and patients. Can you handle it? Be honest with yourself; travel nursing really isn’t for everyone.

And, yes, working as a travel nurse, even if it’s just for a year or two, can be a terrific addition to your resume/CV. Working travel nursing assignments shows your flexibility and your willingness to learn new ways of doing things. In addition, nurse managers and those in a position to hire understand the critical role travel nurses play in healthcare today. Your work history will be bolstered by your months or years working as a travel nurse.

Whether you’re just graduating from nursing school or you have years of experience, contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. New grads: We’d love to place you in our database for assignments in a year or so. Experienced pros: We need you now. We look forward to hearing from you!