Travel Nursing Requirements and FAQs

Traveling Nursing Information You Want to Know

Ever wonder how to become a travel nurse? Or what does a travel nurse do? is here to help guide you through all the necessary travel nursing requirements.

Take some time to review our traveling nursing information and FAQs regarding topics like travel nursing jobs, travel nursing housing, RN salary and benefits and more. 

If you don’t find the traveling nursing information you’re looking for, we’re here to help. Simply contact us and we’ll get you the answers you need.

Are free CEU hours offered?

The best travel nursing companies, including our partners, offer courses to their travel nurses at no charge, and discounted continuing education courses to travelers who aren’t currently on assignment.

Are travel nurses eligible for 401(k) programs?

Retirement or 401(k) programs vary by company, so check for details. Many offer excellent programs and a few provide immediate eligibility.

Can I earn bonuses as a travel nurse?

Many travel nursing jobs offer bonuses, paid at the end of your assignment. Companies also offer sign-on bonuses, referral bonuses, and tenure bonuses in the form of incentive programs. Bonuses and incentive programs vary among companies, so ask for complete details.

Can I travel with family or friends to my assignments?

Yes. Travel nursing is a fantastic way to explore the country with your family or friends. Let your recruiter know whom you will be traveling with to ensure you have housing that suits your lifestyle.

Do I have to sign a long-term contract?

No. The contractual relationship between you and your travel nursing recruiter is strictly on an assignment-by-assignment basis. You have the flexibility to choose travel nursing jobs that suit your lifestyle.

Do I need a new license for each state I work in?

Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding licensure. The top travel nursing job recruiters have specialists who work with you to ensure you obtain the required state licensing well before your start date.

How do I keep up with my mail?

There are a number of ways to handle your mail while traveling. One solution is to forward it with the postal service every time you move. Some travel nurses maintain a permanent address at a friend's or family member's house and have their mail forwarded to them on a weekly basis. Or, other travelers prefer to rent a private post office box and have the proprietor forward the mail on a predefined basis.

How is my travel reimbursement determined?

Travel reimbursement is usually paid at the rate of 30 cents per mile. Best of all, it's tax free. Travel nursing agencies generally pay this directly to the traveler.

How long will it take before I can begin my first travel nursing job?

Much of it depends on you and when you want to start. After your application has been processed, many travel nursing companies immediately present you as a possible candidate to hospitals, unless you ask them not to. Some nurses have started working a week after submitting their initial application, while others have waited a few months before leaving their permanent position to begin a travel lifestyle. It's entirely up to you.

How much experience do I need to become a travel nurse?

The minimum experience requirements for travel nursing depend on your area of specialty, the facility, unit, and sometimes even the location. Employers have different requirements and preferences, but the majority that work with our staffing partners request a minimum of 10 - 18 months of experience for RNs; recruiters can start working with you even sooner to get prepared, however. There are limited opportunities for LPNs/LVNs to travel, but when available they normally require at least six years of experience.

Is it possible to take an assignment with a friend?

Yes. Many travel nurses select assignments together, either working at the same hospital or at different hospitals in the same city. Some travelers share apartments and others arrange to have their own private apartments in the same complex.

What about pets?

Pets are definitely welcome on travel assignments. Apartment complexes often require a separate pet deposit, which you will be responsible for paying.

What are the initial requirements for getting a travel nursing job?

You must be a graduate of an accredited nursing program in the U.S. or Canada, and will also need to provide a valid license or certification, along with proof of your right to work in the U.S.

What can I expect for a travel nursing salary?

Travel nursing salaries vary depending on the facility, location, and specialty, but RNs can receive competitive pay rates with our travel nursing partners. Nurses who travel with our partner companies can see up to 15 percent more in each paycheck. Apply now or contact our partners for more details on take-home pay.

What is a full-time schedule for a travel nurse?

Forty hours a week is considered full-time for travelers working eight- or 10-hour shifts. Travel nurses who work 12-hour shifts are considered full-time at 36 hours per week.

What qualities will help me succeed in travel nursing?

If you’re flexible, have a positive outlook, excellent clinical skills, easily adapt to change, and are a quick learner, we’ve got travel nursing jobs in some great locations.

What type of housing accommodations can I expect when I’m on a travel nursing job?

Travelers typically share a comfortable two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment or condominium, close to their workplace. Apartments and condos are always fully furnished, and the travel nursing company sets up and pays for utilities. You can also choose to handle your own arrangements and receive a monthly rent stipend, known as a housing subsidy. Each travel nursing agency’s housing benefits differ, so be sure to check with a recruiter. Our travel partners offer travel nurses free, private, quality housing, so be sure to find out what each company offers.

What types of facilities can I work in as a travel nurse?

You can choose to work in a variety of hospital settings, ranging from prestigious teaching institutions to small, rural facilities. Whatever your preferences are, your travel nursing recruiter will match you with hospitals and healthcare facilities that suit your needs.

Where are travel nursing jobs located?

When you work with the top travel nursing companies, you'll have access to assignments across all 50 states and in a wide range of healthcare facilities. Our partners have access to the widest selection of travel nursing jobs, including some of the nation’s top hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Will I have flexibility in choosing travel nursing jobs?

As a travel nurse, you’re in charge of your career. Just let your recruiter know your preferences for locations, facilities, clinical settings, and any other details that are important to you. Your recruiter will seek assignments that meet your requirements.

Will I receive medical and dental insurance?

Most travel nursing companies offer full healthcare coverage. Be sure to ask for details before you accept an assignment with any travel nursing agency - it could help you decide which company to travel with.

Will travel nursing jobs look good on my résumé?

Yes. As a travel nurse, changing locations demonstrates both your flexibility in clinical practice and your ability to excel in different environments. Travel nursing is appreciated and well-understood by nurse managers and hospital human resources professionals, so a list of travel nursing jobs will strengthen your résumé and experience.