Tips & Tricks to Get the Travel Nurse Job You Want

Dream Travel Nursing Job

By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom, contributor

Are you currently in the hunt for a travel nursing assignment, or are you considering applying in the near future? 

A top travel nurse contract that offers competitive pay and great benefits can have a lot of applicants. So what can you do to ensure you have the best chance of securing it?

The experts at offer the following tips for travel nurses in search of their dream job. 

 How to Secure your Ideal Travel Nursing Job

 Tip #1: Start Early 

There’s no such thing as getting started too early in travel nursing, and it all starts with your recruiter. If you have already submitted an application and are working with a recruiter, keep the lines of communication open. 

Talk about your current travel nursing assignment, your next assignment and the one after that. Starting early can help your candidate file get to the top of the stack for the jobs you really want.

The recruiters who work with our nurse staffing partners are currently recommending booking assignments up to five months in advance.

Booking early not only gives you more job opportunities, but it can help you secure your holiday time off, plan ahead for the new year, and get any new state nursing license or other arrangements done in plenty of time.

If you haven’t yet partnered with a recruiter or travel nurse agency, now is the time to do so.

Tip #2: Get to the Point

Let your recruiter know what means the most to you in a travel nurse contract: location, facility, experience, salary … or some combination of these factors. 

Your recruiter can then connect you with assignments that can provide the professional and personal experience you are seeking.  

Tip #3: Be on the Lookout for Opportunities

While your recruiter will be doing most of the legwork to find you the right travel nursing assignments, you can aid in the search by signing up for job alerts with We have thousands of jobs to choose from, and some are exclusive opportunities.

These alerts will help you be aware of new job postings to discuss with your recruiter.

If you are not already working with one of our nurse staffing partners, you can apply for a specific job to start the process, and ultimately land the job you want.

Tip #4: Don’t Procrastinate on Paperwork

Timely documentation is a necessity for nurses on the job—and it’s just as important when you are in the hunt for a travel nursing job. The most important requirements include:

  • Nurse licensure. If your home state is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and you hold a multistate license, you will be able to practice in the other compact states without having to apply for an additional state license. If you don’t have a multistate license or you have your eye on a travel nurse contract in a non-compact state, it is important to apply for your new state license early. The licensing process can take a few weeks or a few months, depending on the state.
  • Nurse certifications. Many travel nurse jobs also require basic or advanced certifications such as ACLS, PALS, BLS and more. Keeping current on certifications for your specialty will show potential employers that you are committed keeping your skills sharp and providing the very best in patient care.
  • Skills checklists, references, immunization records, and other required documents. Your recruiter can let you know exactly what employers will require, and provide assistance with all of your documentation.

Tip #5: Nail the Interview

Once you and your recruiter have agreed on a travel assignment that fits your needs, your recruiter will present your application file—including some of that important paperwork mentioned above—to the facility. If the employer is interested, your recruiter will then help arrange an interview.

Your interview will normally consist of a phone call with the hiring manager, so your ability to connect and convey your clinical skill set will be crucial to getting that travel nurse job you want. Preparation for this step is key!

Use our comprehensive resource, The Travel Nurse’s Guide to Interviewing, to prepare for the interview, showcase your skills and put your best foot forward. 

Then, don’t be surprised if you receive a job offer on the same day as your interview! 

Tip #6: Just Say “YES” 

Experienced recruiters tell us that one surefire way to secure a great travel nurse contract is to be open to new places and types of facilities. 

For example, you may have never thought of traveling to the East Coast, but your recruiter presents you a potential travel nursing assignment in New York or another nearby state. What do you do? 

Just say “Yes!” 

Not every assignment will be for you, of course, but travel nurses who are flexible, adaptable and open to new ideas will have the best chance for success in this career.

Every travel nursing assignment offers the ability to learn and grow in a new environment while exploring the country, so make the most of every opportunity.

START TODAY to get the travel nursing job you really want!

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