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Traveler’s Guide to Nursing and Allied Health: 5 Nursing Specialties

This week’s edition of the Traveler’s Guide to Nursing and Allied Health explores 5 nursing specialties for those looking to make a change.

Travel nursing is a highly demanding as well as gratifying profession. Whether you’re a third-generation nurse or the first in your family, moving from city to city, working 12-hour shifts, and facing life-or-death situations is more than a career, it’s a lifestyle. Still, while becoming a nurse may have been your original goal, you might be ready to explore new areas of the field.

Here are 5 Nursing Specialties to consider.

(All of these specialties require applicants to fulfill the basic prerequisites for a registered nurse, which include: an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program, a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and acceptance by their state nursing board.)


Psychiatric Travel Nurse

Increased mental health awareness has created a greater demand for psychiatric nurses. Their work locations vary from hospitals to mental health centers, correctional facilities, schools, and home-care programs. A psychiatric nurse can work one-on-one with individuals or groups to assess mental health needs, develop a diagnosis and treatment plan, administers medications, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.

To qualify as a psychiatric nurse, RNs need to be Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse-Board Certified (PMH-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To take the exam, an RN must have two years of nursing experience, 2000 hours of clinical practice in psychiatric nursing, and a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education in psychiatric health nursing in the last three years.

For advanced positions such as Psychiatric Mental-Health Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs), RNs need a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a doctoral degree.

Hourly Pay Range: $42 – $80


Labor & Delivery Travel Nurse

 Labor and delivery nurses enjoy the ultimate job security. As long as humankind exists, there will be a need for their specialty. These highly valued healthcare professionals monitor the patient and baby before, during, and after birth. L&D nursing not only takes medical expertise and skill, but it also requires empathy. L&D nurses provide a calm, reassuring, and informative presence for the patient during one of life’s scariest and most exciting experiences.

Many chose to advance within the L&D specialty by becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Obstetrics and Gynecology (for high-risk patients and special circumstances and complications). Others become Certified Nurse-Midwives or obtain an Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB) certification through the National Certification Corporation. You’ll need 24 months of specialty experience to apply.

Hourly Pay Range $45 – $92


ICU Travel Nurse

ICU nurses are highly trained RNs assigned to short-or long-term care for patients facing life-threatening illnesses or conditions. Those wishing to work as an ICU nurse will need ICU nurse certification. The most popular certification is an Adult Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. To be eligible, RNs need to work 1,750 hours of direct care of acutely/critically ill patients in the last two years, with 875 hours worked within a year of applying. They can also apply with five years of experience, with a minimum of 2,000 hours of direct care of acutely/critically ill patients, with 144 hours worked in the most recent year before applying.

Hourly Pay Range $49 – $88


Medical-Surgical Travel Nurse

Medical-surgical nursing requires a broad knowledge base and a good eye for detecting any potentially life-threatening symptoms. These nurses provide patient care before and after a medical procedure in hospitals, specialty surgery centers, outpatient clinics, and long-term care facilities. They tend to do daily and post-surgery assessments, wound care, and asses overall patient health and treatment effectiveness. RNs will need basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certifications. Some employers may also require pediatric advanced life support (PALS) certification, depending on the assignment.

Hourly Pay Range $33 – $77


 Telemetry Travel Nurse

Nursing is not for the tech-savvy faint of heart. Noise from digital monitors has even created a new condition called alarm fatigue. Telemetry nurses are at the top of this digital food chain providing constant digital supervision over patients suffering from cardiac arrest, stroke, renal failure, COPD, sleep disorders, neurological problems, epilepsy, and cancer. Telemetry nurses evaluate a patient’s status by monitoring oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rhythms, respiration, and more.

RNs need one to two years of experience and to be certified in basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). Some facilities prefer a progressive care nursing certification (PCCN). The National Telemetry Association also offers a telemetry nurse certification to qualified applicants, and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses offers a cardiac medicine certification (CMC) or cardiac surgery certification (CSC).

Hourly Pay Range $53 – $77


Working as a travel nurse is an incredibly rewarding career, but it can also be a jump-off point for a more specialized position. Consider one of these popular specialties if you’re looking for a change, challenge, or increased income. Don’t see anything just right for you? Explore more specialties at


Are you looking for your next assignment? Click Here for the latest Travel Nurse and Allied Health positions at MedPro Healthcare Staffing.