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how to prepare for travel nursing as a career

Mohamed Basha
RN CMC Founder and CEO of TLC Nursing Association
Updated November 22, 2023
In home health services

Everyone likes to travel and see new places, but that is not the only thing to having a career as a traveling nurse. Many things need to be done before knowing and wanting to start travel nursing as a career. You want to be sure if this is the career you have been longing for your whole life. Becoming a traveling nurse is a big deal because of a nursing shortage; they are needed more than ever right now, so if this is something you are interested in, here are 10 ways to prepare yourself for a traveling nurse career.

1. Research and Explore Traveling Nursing

There are so many blogs and information on the internet about traveling nursing and a stable career. If you have any questions or doubts about becoming a traveling nurse, your worries will be eased with the amount of information out there. If someone has experienced it, there is an article out there.

2. Network, Network, Network! Especially If you have Friends Who are Traveling Nurses

You want to network with other traveling nurses. You can find communities online, or you can communicate your questions with friends and family who are or have been traveling nurses. They will answer your questions and relieve your doubts.

3. Research Companies for Travel Nursing as career

You want to explore your options; see what the company works for your needs. You don’t want to commit right away, and you want to keep your options open. Find out the benefits, rules, and assignments before accepting anything. TLC Nursing is a great place to start. Their company provides all the information you need to become a traveling nurse. They have a knowledgeable staff that can guide you through your first assignment.

4. Don’t Burn Bridges

You always want to be sure that you are planning ahead. If you are interested in becoming a traveling nurse while working elsewhere, be sure not to ruin that opportunity, you never know when you will need them again.

5. Consider a Float Nursing at your Current Job

As a traveling nurse, you will be going into a strange hospital where you are not used to, and you will need to perform with skill and ease. You want to be sure you can do that before taking a career as a traveling nurse. To have a traveling nurse experience, you can become a float nurse. If you have done it before and hate it because you don’t know where certain supplies are, you’re not with your typical crew, and you are unsure of the location you are in, then becoming a traveling nurse is not for you.

6. Saving Account

Most agencies officer a housing allowance, but there are things you will have to pay upfront. Of course, most places reimburse you. It is not a pleasant feeling to be in an unknown location without money. You want to be sure that you have funds for emergencies, to purchase food, housing supplies, etc. You never know what you are going to need while on the road.

7. Gain Specialty Experience in Needed Areas

You want to consider gaining experiences in areas that travel nurses are most needed. This will help with finding many assignments. The more versatile you are with your skills, the better options for you as a traveling nurse.

8. Obtain Specialty Nursing Certification

To increase your potential career opportunities as a traveling nurse, you want to obtain a specialty nursing certificate in those areas. It will set you apart from others who apply.

9. Keep your Basic Certifications Up to Date

Just like your driver’s license, you need to keep your work documents up to date. It is not acceptable to have a lapse in different certifications. Depending on your assignments, you will need most of the certificates.

10. Keep your Medical Records Portfolio Up to Date

Every agency is different, and they all handle medical documents that are required differently. You want to keep it up to date as much as possible, such as flu shots, TB, immunizations, etc.


Becoming a traveling nurse sounds fun, but a lot of work needs to be put into the job. You want to be fully confident in yourself and your abilities to correctly and efficiently get the job done. Traveling to destinations is fun and all, but you can’t forget why you are there; for the patients who require your specialties. TLC Nursing can jump-start your career as a traveling nurse; apply for your next assignment today.