Travel nursing provides a unique opportunity to gain experience and build your career while traveling to various locations across the country. The excitement and opportunity associated with a travel nursing career offers an excellent way to work your way across the U.S!
But when pursuing travel assignments, don’t forget licensing.
One of the most frequently-asked questions posted to our recruiting team here at MedPro pertains to state licensing:
“Do I need multiple licenses to work on a travel assignment?”
The short answer is, “Yes,” but here are some tips to help you make sense of the laws and requirements that affect travel nurses:
When seeking licensure in your state of assignment, give it enough time. The best way to approach licensure in various states is to apply for the states you are considering ahead of time. That way, if you’re contacted for a last-minute assignment, a lack of license won’t cause a missed opportunity. Some states can process licenses in as little as a few business days, but others can take up to 10 weeks. Be proactive and obtain your licenses well in advance.
Make sure you meet all the requirements. Certain states, including Florida and New York, require prerequisite contact hours, and more than 12 states require notarized copies of your home state nursing license or birth certificate. Still other states require fingerprint checks from the FBI – which can take up to 12 weeks or more. It’s best to dot your i’s and cross your t’s when applying for your licenses.
You might not need a permanent license. Some states will allow you to obtain a temporary license; however, the process can still take several weeks or months. Once you’ve been granted a temporary license, it is valid anywhere from three to six months, depending on the state. For the time and effort required, and if you’re planning on returning to that state for another assignment, your best bet is likely to obtain a permanent license.
Look into a multi-state license. In the late 1990s, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing bonded together to form the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Compact is basically an agreement between states to recognize licenses and certifications. There are 18 member states, and you must have permanent residence in a member state. For information about member states and requirements, visit the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators website.
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