When you were going to school to become a nurse you were probably told several times that each individual state requires its very own license in order for an individual to practice medicine. You are probably already licensed to nurse in the state where you became accredited, that is probably the same state that you plan on working as a nurse. However if you are a travel nurse you don’t know what state you should be licensed in.
Each state has its own set of policies and laws when it comes to travel nurses. Some states have a grace period, a period of time that a nurse can work in the state without a medical license, provided they are certified nurses in some state. In some states this grace period is a mere thirty day, in other states it can be ninety days. It varies from state to state. Some states will even award a temporary nursing license for the duration of the job.
Before accepting a job, do your homework, a quick Internet search is a quick and efficient way learn what the state you are considering working in requires in the way of licensing. After reading decide if you are qualified to work in the state. If you aren’t qualified decide how big a hassle will it be to become qualified and then decide if the job is worth the hassle.
The nice thing about being a travel nurse is that you work through a travel nursing agency. The agency typically helps match jobs to your personality, provides you with a travel and housing allowance, makes sure you paychecks arrive in an orderly fashion, and makes sure you are qualified for each and every position you take.
The people who are in charge of your travel nursing agency know each individual states requirements for practicing medicine within their state lines. They know if you can work in the state for a certain amount of time without a license and they know if you have to get a license before you start working. Best of all they know the names and phone numbers of the people to contact if you aren’t yet qualified to work as a nurse in a particular state. The people who run your travel nursing agency know how to get a license for a state in and efficient and expedient fashion. They can make the whole process painless. The people who are in charge of the nursing agency should know, maybe even faster then you will, what you need to accept a job.
If the agency tells you that you have to get a license in order to practice medicine in a certain state, find out how much getting the license will cost and know who pays the fee, you or your agency.
After being granted permission to work in a state find out how long you can legally practice medicine in the state. This information is especially important if you are working on a grace period. You don’t want to get arrested for practicing medicine without a license because you spent a few extra days working.
If you had to become licensed before you were allowed to practice medicine, find out how long the license is good for. This could be useful information when you decide its time to hang up your traveling shoes and become a permanent nurse.