How to Travel the World and Help People (Become a Travel Nurse)

Not many think of traveling or seeing the world when they think of a career in nursing. However, a nursing degree – RN, BSN, or an MSN degree – can take you around the world. The degrees open horizons by beefing up a resume that gives you more employment options. You will simply be more in demand.

travel nursing

by jasleen_kaur on Flickr


Travel nursing companies – not unlike traditional registries – place qualified licensed nurses wherever they are needed. They may be needed because of talent shortage in a region, unexpected growth or under-staffing, needs for certain specialties, or union actions. The company pays you well to make the temporary move – usually a specific number of weeks. They arrange and pay for the housing and travel. You can refuse the appointment because of the timing, location, or pay.

Paid to travel!

Travel nursing lets you travel throughout the US. Respective state licensing requirements have evolved to a universal license. So, if you want to try out the northwest or southeast, you can make the decision to go. If you want to be where it is warm during the winter or cool during the summer, you can plan on that. If you want to spend 13-weeks in Napa Valley, the fall in New England, or a winter in Hawaii, you can leverage your talents, experience, and degree to make the moves you want to make.

World travel, too!

The shortage of qualified nurses is a worldwide problem. An aging population is not just a United States issue. The world population is aging and medical technology is extending longevity, but sustainability requires your expertise.

Working outside of the United States is more of a process. Various governments may have demanding or complex license requirements. There may be real issues with language and ability to communicate in a foreign healthcare environment. You need to allow time for passport approval and visa processing. And, with the exception of the Middle East, most countries pay nurses considerably less than your US earnings.

But, if you can handle these issues, travel nursing can take you around the world in interesting and rewarding work positions.


  • Work as much or as little as you want.
  • Enjoy – depending on the company – health, dental, and retirement benefits.
  • Control your workload and schedule by accepting the assignments you want: money, location, and shift.
  • Continue education – often at the employer’s cost.
  • Travel for personal fulfillment, sheer adventure, or just plain fun.
  • Seek assignments with a friend in nursing or travel with a companion.
  • Live in a region long enough to decide if that is the place for you.
  • Build a resume with different experiences in varied healthcare environments.

For some nurses, the best benefit is the opportunity to serve in the neediest environments, to bring their skills as providers to worlds and cultures that need them badly.


  • You must be a Registered Nurse (RN) and pass the N-CLEX exam (National Council Licensure Exam).  A MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing) in a specialty area will develop your skills and make you more attractive. Certainly, you will need to complete at least one year on the job after completing your degree.
  • You must pass the Nursing Boards to be licensed. With successful completion of the N-CLEX, you are eligible for the Nurse Licensure Compact with allows licensed nurses to move from state to state without additional licensing.
  • You have more independence and increase your demand with language skills, and that includes travel nursing within the US. You need to be able to understand the medical and cultural needs of patients.


Nursing work in Thailand, Indonesia, India, Cambodia, Angola, or regions following natural disasters offer rare experiences for a developing resume. The experiences are admired and respected as evidence of exposure and maturity.

But, you do not have to put yourself in harm’s way to exploit this career opportunity.

  • You can travel the world by taking assignments on cruise ships or at resorts.
  • You can travel the world as the private nurse companion to a traveler.
  • You can accept teaching or specialist positions at teaching hospitals.

Your nursing degree opens worlds in more ways than one. It empowers you to design a future that is new and exciting, fulfilling and profitable, and profitable and empowering. Make the travel part of your nursing plan.

Dee enjoys freelance ghost writing and also does some guest blogging/writing as well. She writes mostly about current events or trends in various industries.

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