How to Become a Travel Nurse as a New Grad

Travel nurse new grad

Now that you’ve successfully completed nursing school and passed the NCLEX, (YAY!), you’re likely looking for a job and want to know if you can become a travel nurse.


Every facility and travel nurse agency have requirements for hiring. In this blog we will share our requirements and advice on how to land your first travel nurse assignment as a new nursing graduate.


Being a travel nurse is a unique job. Facilities hire travelers because they need people who can hit the ground running. Most facilities require travel nurses to have at least 1 year of RN experience in their primary specialty. But wait! Don’t stop reading. You can still start working towards your travel RN career. We believe it is essential to have this crucial experience under your belt before taking on a travel assignment. We wouldn’t want to throw you in the deep end while you’re still learning. We want you to feel confident in your skills as you join a new team, on a new floor, in a new place.


If you recently started your first staff position, use the time to learn all you can.  The more skills, knowledge, and confidence you acquire during that time and the more flexibility you demonstrate, the more opportunity you will have as a new traveler.


ProTip* Although you may not have enough experience yet, we encourage you to start taking the necessary steps to gain the experience you need. Reach out to a FlexCare recruiter when you hit your one-year mark. This way, they can help get your profile and possible jobs lined up while you finish the required time of experience.


“Make sure you have enough experience to feel confident and competent. Be confident in your knowledge and competent in your capabilities to advocate for your patients because on a travel assignment, you’re the newbie.” – Bailey C., Stepdown RN and FlexCare traveler of 10+ assignments


Creating your profile is one of the most important things that you can do. Read more information about what goes into your RN profile so that you are ready to build your when the time comes. Consider this your key to unlocking a great career as a traveler.

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Side Note* At this time, we do not currently staff LPNs, LVNs, or Nurse Practitioners. Our travel nursing assignments are exclusively for registered nurses.


Remember when we said to get back in touch once you’ve you got your first year of RN experience down? Well, during this time your recruiter can work with you to acquire licensure for the states that you are interested in traveling to. Some states like California will take a bit longer to get a license, so start that application process early.


You have probably already heard about Compact states. Find out all about the states that are part of the Compact. Check out our information for travelers who live in a Compact state.


The more skills you have, the more marketable you are as a traveler. Make sure to document all your skills – and that goes for skills acquired after you start traveling. Also, inform your recruiter of any updates so they can revise your profile, especially updated EMR or charge experience. Also, experience at a teaching or trauma hospital looks great on your profile.


You and your recruiter are your best advocates - it's an important part of the traveler life. The most successful travel nurses are the ones who hit the ground running and require little handholding. Every new skill helps you edge out those who don't have the experience and pushes you higher up the list of exceptional candidates.  


Flexibility in location and shift and limiting demands for days off and blocked schedules will also help you nail a great assignment.

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At FlexCare, we have a SINGLEPOINT experience which means that your recruiter will be the only person you ever have to communicate with while traveling. Other agencies require you to speak to multiple people and let’s just say, phone tag is not part of our business. Having your recruiter as your only point of contact will help make this career transition a lot smoother.


Our HIGH PAY. HASSLE FREE model means we eliminate the stress of having to negotiate pay.

Our pay packages are made available on our website and our recruiters are transparent with the way pay works. Our main focus is getting you the assignment you want.


Lastly, PREMIER TRAVELER ACCESS gives you the tools you need to stay up to date with your profile and jobs that interest you.

On a serious note, we have been doing this for a while and strongly believe that we can help you in this new chapter as a nurse.


Although it may take some time post grad before you become a travel RN, it is always best to be prepared and know the steps in taking this career path.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

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