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How do I get licensed in another state, and how do I determine if travel nursing is for me?

Wednesday August 14, 2013
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Dear Donna,

How do I get licensed in another state? I want to do travel nursing, but I wonder if it really is for me.

Wants to Travel

Dear Donna Replies:

Dear Wants to Travel,

When you have an active RN license in one state, you can apply to another state for a “license by endorsement.” That process usually takes six to eight weeks. Some states will issue a temporary license for those applying for endorsement.

If you live in a state that is part of the nurse licensure compact (NLC) (https://www.ncsbn.org/156.htm) and wish to work in another NLC state, you are able to do so without any further applications. See which states participate at https://www.ncsbn.org/158.htm. Travel nurse agencies also will help you with licensure issues.

Regarding travel nursing, many nurses love it but you do need to know what you’re getting into since it is different than being part of a regular employee team. The best thing to do is to talk to other nurses who are doing or have done traveling to find out what you need to know. Find these nurses by asking around, approaching any travel nurses you come in contact with, or asking a travel nurse agency if you can speak to other travel nurses. Here’s an article you may find helpful: "On the Road Again - Travel Nursing" (http://news.nurse.com/article/20060717/NY/607170362).

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.