How to Become a Travel Nurse

Compliance Requirements & Steps for Certification and Licensure

We can expedite your license in all 50 states!

Ready to travel, but not sure where to start? No problem. We’ve got you covered.

Our team will help streamline and expedite the licensing process for you in any state. We can even help you plan your travel career. Because we have deep relationships with healthcare facilities nationwide, we know when they’ll need you and can book you in advance.

A map of Aya Healthcare's state licensing coverage.

Degrees and Certifications

If you’re a staff nurse, you’ve already got all the degrees and certifications you need to be a travel nurse.

RN Degree

You will need a degree as a registered nurse (RN) with a minimum of an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree.


After graduating from a nursing program, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

State License

You’ll need a license in any state you work. Want to work in a different state? No problem. We can help! More info below.

Additional Certifications

Depending on your specialty of choice, you may need additional certification.

Work Experience

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 hospitals require two or more years of experience, and others require previous travel nursing experience. Speak with your recruiter to find assignments that will best fit your level of experience.

Compliance Requirements

Your personal Aya team will include a credentialing specialist to help you navigate and stay on top of any required paperwork. If you ever need guidance, they will be right there to help you with any of the following:

Vaccination Records & Physical Exam

You will need to complete a physical and provide proof of a current TB test and specific immunizations before you start an assignment. Again, your credentialing specialist can help you set up any necessary vaccinations and your physical exam.

Licensing & Certifications

At Aya Healthcare we keep these on file for you, but it’s best if you keep all documents for your records as well. The licensing process varies state to state, and we may be able to help you expedite the process.

Drug Screen & Background Check

You’ll also need to complete a drug test and a background check before your first assignment. But, don’t stress. Your credentialing specialist will help you book any necessary appointments!

Additional Documentation

The items listed above are the most commonly required, but there may be other documents needed by specific healthcare facilities. Your credentialing specialist will help keep you up-to-date by alerting you to any pertinent deadlines and helping you meet them.