No License? No Problem! How to Get the Licenses You Need for Travel Assignments
Let’s face it – getting your nursing license is not an easy task! With nursing school, the NCLEX and all the other requirements, getting licensed is a huge accomplishment. But fortunately, getting the additional licenses you need for your travel nursing career is much less difficult. With the proper planning and a little help from your travel agency, you’ll be on your way to the assignment of your dreams!
The Basics of Licensure in a New State
To get another license in a new state, you need to apply for an endorsement license. You will remain licensed in your original state, but you will be “endorsed” to practice in the new state. You will need to fill out an application, comply with all requirements from the new state, and send verification of licensure. You will not be required to take the NCLEX again. Most verifications can be completed quickly online using the Nursys.com system. Each verification request incurs a $30 fee, but when you travel with TNAA, all costs associated with getting the licenses and credentials you need for each assignment are completely paid or reimbursed. In fact, our experienced Quality Assurance team members will walk you through every step of the licensure process once you’ve signed a contract with us.
Watch out! The verification process can sometimes slow down your license. One way this can happen is if a state requires verification from every state in which you’ve been licensed. Many states only require verification from your original or current state of licensure, but some have different requirements. Another potential delay comes from states that do not send verification via the Nursys.com system. For example, California does not use Nursys.com, and it can take 8-10 weeks for the new state to receive your paperwork. Make sure to work with your agency on planning ahead.
Compact States – More States with Just One License!
Are you a resident of one of the 25 states that participate in the Nursing Licensure Compact? If so, then you just made the process of getting licenses in additional states 25 times easier! The NLC allows registered nurses whose permanent addresses are in one of the 25 compact states to have one multistate license and practice in both their home state and other compact states. When beginning an assignment, many facilities will ask for proof of residence (usually a driver’s license), but that’s it! There’s no additional paperwork needed to practice in another compact state.
Plan Ahead! These States May Make You Wait
Many times as your current travel assignment begins to wind down, your recruiter will get in touch to find out if he or she can help you decide on your next assignment. With a few weeks left at your current job, there’s usually enough of time to get a new nursing license in another state where the process only takes a few days to a few weeks. However, some states can take up to a few months to grant licensure, so nurses wishing to travel to these locations should begin planning early – even as much as the assignment before – to allow enough time to get licensed. States with the longest wait times include California (12 weeks), New Jersey (8 weeks), Ohio (6-8 weeks), New Mexico (6-7 weeks), New York (6 weeks) and Colorado (6 weeks)*. At TNAA, we have a Licensing Specialist on staff who works to make the licensing process as efficient as possible in some of these slower-moving states. Our goal is simple – we’re always working to make our nurses’ travel experiences as smooth as possible!
*Licensure information is subject to change at any time at the discretion of each state’s board of nursing. For the most up-to-date information available, please consult with each state’s board of nursing website.
If you’re dreaming of beginning your travel nursing adventure, don’t let the paperwork hold you back! Let TNAA’s Quality Assurance team walk you through every step of getting all the licensing and credentials you need once you’ve accepted your assignment. Apply now and get started today.