Step #3: Where and When Are You Willing to Go

Step #3: Where and When Are You Willing to Go

In this series of posts, I’ll show you how to become a Travel Nurse step by step. Following these steps will help you be successful in your travel nursing career.  I recommend that you follow them in order and if you have any questions that I don’t cover, please feel free to add them in the comments section at the bottom of this page.



where do you want to travel nurse mapThe Next step is to determine where your willing to go and when you can start.  Some travelers are completely open on this and willing/able to go where ever there is a need.  If this is you; you can skip this part.

If you have some restrictions on where/when you can go, you have a little planning to do.  Do you want to avoid extreme weather?  That would mean no Minnesota in the wintertime.  There are a lot of travel nurses that will follow ‘summer’ and will not accept a wintry destination. On the flip side; there are others that love winter sports and will choose locations that provide the maximum possibility of enjoying them.

Maybe you have a compact license and will only work where it’s accepted.  There are a currently 24 states in the compact.  The NLC has a handy MAP to see which states are part of the compact.

Another consideration might be family.  Do you need/want to be close to your family?  Is your family traveling with you and you need to start after your spouse retires, children are out of school for the summer, etc?  Perhaps you simply want to be within a days driving distance?

The type of hospital may also play a factor.  Will you work for a rural hospital?  How about a teaching facility?  Is Magnet status a factor?  Do you prefer a Level II Trauma hospital?

Amenities might also play a factor.  Perhaps you have an ailing family member and want to be close to a major airport in case a family emergency arises.  Will you be unhappy if you’re in a small town and they don’t have a major shopping mall?  Does small town living drive you to madness?  Cities make you dizzy and disoriented?  Only you know where you are comfortable.

Regardless of what your answers were to the above, I would encourage you to leave this as open as possible.  Some of my best experiences were those that I was dreading the most due to location or type of facility.

Return to the Treatment Plan to review the next step.

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As a travel nursing educator, Candy aka Gypsy Nurse, RN has worked in healthcare for nearly 20 years, working up the ranks from CNA to LPN to RN. For the past eleven years, she’s worked as a travel nurse, allowing her to practice and live in 15 states throughout the U.S. Candy still works occasionally as a travel nurse but spends most of her time providing a supportive information and resources through and it's affiliated social networks.

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