Traveling Nurse Information
Answers to FAQs
Since 2001, Aya Healthcare has helped thousands of travel nurses find their dream jobs. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff spends each day getting to know travel nurses from all over the country. We definitely understand “a day in the life.” To learn what travel nursing really is, meet our Aya travelers! Turns out the day-to-day work of a travel nurse isn’t all that different from that of a staff nurse. The biggest difference is that travel nurses move around the country! Travel nurses receive a short orientation which varies from facility to facility, but generally need to be ready to roll up their sleeves and jump right in!
How much experience do I need?
You will need at least one year of experience in your specialty, preferably in a hospital setting, before you can become a travel nurse. Some healthcare facilities require two or more years of experience, and others require previous travel nursing experience. We suggest speaking with your Aya Healthcare recruiter to explore the options that will work best for you.
How far in advance should I apply for a travel nursing assignment?
You can apply as far out as you would like. There is no hard-and-fast rule regarding the best time to apply. We have worked with nurses, like Jessica, who apply and take a year to decide to accept their first assignment and we have others like Jill who apply and are out the door and on their way a few weeks or even days later. If you know you are ready to travel, or will be soon, we recommend you fill out an application so that you are prepared to seize the right opportunity. If you decide to apply well in advance of when you’d like to travel, we’ll keep your information on file and stay in touch until you are ready.
Can I travel with family, a significant other or friend?
This is often one of the first questions we get asked and the answer is a resounding yes! Many of our travel nurses, like best friends Mel and Cat, husband and wife Allen and Amy, and Dakota, her husband Ronnie and their two kids make it work. Even if your travel partner or significant other is not a nurse, it is very possible to figure out a way to travel together!
How long are assignments?
Assignment (you’ll sometimes see them called contracts too) lengths vary, but they are typically around 13 weeks. However, you can find both longer and shorter assignments. Flexibility is one of the greatest things about travel nursing! And there's nothing holding you back from taking a break between assignments. Aya Travel Nurse Glenn says that “one of the things I really like about travel nursing is I build my vacation into my contract. I really like the fact that I can grind hard for six weeks because I know I have a one-week vacation coming up.”
Can I travel with a pet?
Absolutely! Many of our nurses, like Morgan and her Burnese Mountain Dog, Turtle, travel with pets. When it comes to traveling with a pet, housing is often the biggest hurdle. While it’s a fact that many buildings do have pet restrictions you still have lots of options. You can either take Aya housing or choose to accept a housing stipend and search for housing on your own. Whatever you choose, we will always do our utmost to accommodate your furry friends.
How much orientation will I receive?
You will be provided with enough of an orientation for you to get the job done and our clinical support team will help ensure that you are placed in a facility that best matches your interests and skill set. Some healthcare facilities offer a more thorough orientation than others. If you are a less experienced nurse, your Aya Healthcare recruiter will help you choose assignments that offer a more extensive orientation.
What specialties have the most jobs available?
While ER, OR, ICU, med surg, telemetry and labor and delivery tend to have the most jobs available consistently, demand does fluctuate. Take a look at the chart below for the specialties that currently have the highest demand.
Distribution of Travel RN Demand by Specialty
(As of 6/1/2020)
Distribution of Travel RN Demand by Region
(As of 6/1/2020)
We have deep relationships with hospitals throughout the country, so we’re always able to offer open RN jobs across all specialties. If you’d like to see what we currently have available, search all our open jobs.
What if something goes wrong?
Let’s face it, when you travel, things happen. Let’s say you are heading home to South Carolina from your contract in Alaska and your flight is delayed and you miss your connection. You can call Aya in the middle of the night. We won’t leave you stranded. Or you get caught up in bad weather like Aya Travel Nurse Jamie Sue who was evacuated during hurricane Matthew. We found her housing in Atlanta before the entire city sold out of rooms. No matter what bumps you encounter on your journey, the Aya team will always have your back.
I'm an RN from Canada. How are my fellow Canadian nurses working in the USA? Can you help?
We'd be happy to. We have a program for getting Canadian RNs licensed in the US. You could be here in 2-3 months! Check out our travel nursing Canada page now.