Do you wish to change your work environment or need a change of pace? Perhaps you should become a traveling nurse practitioner, a position that’s more advanced than that of a typical registered nurse. You get an opportunity to travel and work in different parts of the world while learning new skills and meeting new people.
But what does it take to become a traveling nurse practitioner? Since the role differs from a standard registered nurse position, the qualifications are also different.
Before you leap into this exciting career path, here is everything you need to know about becoming a traveling nurse practitioner.
What’s the Difference Between a Travel Registered Nurse and a Travel Nurse Practitioner?
Nurse practitioners and registered nurses provide patient care. However, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two nursing positions.
For instance, a traveling nurse practitioner pockets about $123,044 each year in the US, while the average travel nurse earned $108,070 in 2021. However, other benefits like license reimbursement, loan forgiveness, and health and dental insurance are the same.
Also, nurse practitioners have more abilities and responsibilities in the healthcare setting than registered nurses. This explains why their salaries are higher than those of registered nurses.
Registered nurses are supervised by physician assistants, doctors, and nurse practitioners while providing patient care. Nurse practitioners have full medical authority in most states, although they sometimes need consent for advanced tasks. They can prescribe medication, officially diagnose illnesses, and develop treatment plans.
However, both nurse practitioners and registered nurses can;
- Take vitals
- Monitor patients and chart progress for other healthcare professionals
- Order tests
- Assist doctors with work
- Communicate with families of patients about the disease
Also, the level of education for registered nurses differs from that of nurse practitioners. RNs spend two years in school, while NP’s should complete up to eight years of education.
How to Become a Travel Nurse Practitioner
Being a nurse practitioner allows you to work alongside different healthcare providers, which helps expand your knowledge and skills. It also raises your confidence as a nurse.
If you would like to become a travel nurse practitioner, there are various things you should know. Depending on your license, degree, and certifications, you’ll work in different healthcare settings. Here’s how to become a travel nurse practitioner.
- Earn Your BSN Degree
An associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited institution is required to become a travel nurse practitioner. It will take you about four years to complete your BSN degree.
During this period, you’ll be able to learn courses in microbiology, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, statistics, nutrition, ethics, and psychology, among other things. Additionally, you’ll be working in labs to understand fundamental concepts.
At some point, you’ll need to complete clinical rotational hours. This will allow you to work in a healthcare facility and apply what you’ve learned. You’ll be learning how to deal with different kinds of people and cultures in a healthcare facility.
- Pass the NCLEX Exam
After earning your bachelor’s degree, you’re now eligible for a National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). This is a requirement to become a registered nurse (RN) in the United States and was developed by (NCSBN) National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
The regulatory boards use the NCLEX exam to identify if you qualify for a nursing license. From 1994 to date, more than six million candidates have taken the NCLEX exams. Once you pass the exam, you can now apply for licensure as a registered nurse in your state.
- Get a Master’s Degree
A master’s degree in nursing is essential for becoming a travel nurse practitioner. After you’re through with your degree program, you’ll have a chance to enroll for a master’s. And at this level, you will select any specialty in nursing. Some of the courses you’ll be taking include nursing management, pharmacology, healthcare policy and informatics, and nursing education. Also, note that there are programs from certain institutions that provide accelerated learning in this field.
- Pass the NP Board Examination
Some states require a passing score on the state board before working as a nurse practitioner. Sometimes the board exams can be challenging and require you to prepare adequately. You can do this by taking practice exams or reviewing your previous course exams to test your skills. Once you’ve successfully cleared the NP board exam, you can apply for a license in any state or place you wish to practice.
- Gain Experience
Most facilities will require you to have 1-2 years of experience. When they bring on contractors they pay a premium and need them to have experience because training will be minimal. Plan on finding a position for a year or two where you can gain experience in your area of specialization before you try to start traveling.
- Connect With a Staffing Agency
Now that you have all the knowledge, skills, experience, and certifications, it’s time to find jobs. But how and where do you find these jobs?
Sometimes it can be challenging to land a job as a traveling nurse practitioner. Being flexible on location and type of setting will help you be more When you work with a staffing agency, they’ll connect you with a recruiter to help you find a job. There are may agencies out there and you should find one that has your interests and needs in mind.
Work with AB Staffing
Are you tired of working in the same location or just need a change? Take the next step and become a travel nurse practitioner. This gives you the freedom to move to any state and interact with different people and cultures in your profession.