To be placed as a Critical Care travel nurse, you must obtain a Registered Nurse license from an accredited nursing program. Most travel nursing agencies require at least a 2-year Associates degree. However, it is important to realize that this degree alone will not allow you to work in every state. Each state has its own requirements for licensing and you should be familiar with the requirements of any state in which you wish to work as a Critical Care travel nurse.
Critical Care travel nurses must be licensed to work in the state in which their assignment is located. This task can be daunting for some nurses; however, most travel nurse staffing agencies will assist with getting the nurse the appropriate state license. The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) can make it even easier for nurses to take a travel position. The NLC is an agreement that several U.S. states have entered into that endorses a mutual recognition model of nursing regulation. Basically this means that any nurse who is licensed to work in one of the states that participates in the NLC can work in any of the NLC states. As a travel nurse it is important to get licensed to work in one of the compact states since you will have a wide variety of options. Currently, 22 states participate in the NLC.
Make sure that you have an idea of where you want to work before you begin your travel nursing career, as it can help you to get all of the necessary licensing in place before you apply for your next Critical Care travel nursing job.