What To Know About Travel Nursing as a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are critical in the healthcare and nursing community. They work independently and provide care to patients of all kinds. They can leverage their unique skills through travel nursing to provide care across the nation. Doing so opens up the opportunity for new experiences, adventure, and better pay for NPs. 

How To Become a Travel Nurse Practitioner

To get started as a traveling NP, there are a few steps you need to take. 

  1. First, you’ll need to pass your NCLEX examination, have your BSN, and get your initial license as an RN. 
  2. Next, you must complete NP-focused graduate classes in a master’s or doctoral program. 
  3. Following that, you’ll have to pass the NP certification exam of your choice. Some examples of these exams include the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Family Nurse Practitioner Certification (FNP-BC) examination or the ANCC Nurse Practitioner Certification

Once you have completed your NP, you will need to obtain a license in the state you wish to practice in. In the future, the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Compact will allow you to practice as an APRN. This Compact will allow NPs to hold multistate licenses that give them the right to practice around the country so long as the state they want to work in is a part of the agreement.

Presently, there are four states with the APRN Compact in place: Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Delaware. Once seven states choose to join the APRN Compact, it will go into effect immediately. Until then, NPs interested in travel will need to apply for licensing in the individual state they wish to work in.

Where Can Nurse Practitioners Travel?

Nurse practitioners have a wide scope of practice and traveling can open up new doors in your career. That’s good news for anyone who enjoys excitement, challenge, and adventure because this role allows you a significant amount of flexibility. 

Travel NP roles include all kinds of activities such as performing assessments and managing treatment plans, coordinating care, or educating patients. You may also make diagnoses, supervise or perform some diagnostic or laboratory testing, and prescribe medications. And, even better, you can do those things in a variety of settings. 

As a travel nurse practitioner, you can work in many different facilities or areas of practice. Some nurse practitioners work in family medicine and clinics, while others choose to work in hospitals or long-term care facilities while traveling. Other options may include working in public health, correctional facilities, or government services.

Key Highlights of Traveling as a Nurse Practitioner

There are lots of potential perks to a travel nursing career.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that the 2022 median pay for nurse practitioners was $121,600 per year, which is around $60.53 hourly. Salary.com states that the range usually falls between $114,823 and $134,429 across the country. That said, the 90th percentile (or top-paid) nurse practitioners earn upwards of $144,160 annually based on Salary.com’s estimates and $165,240 based on the BLS’s estimates.

If you don’t have your APRN yet, there’s plenty of time to get licensed and find a job. The BLS estimates that the employment rate for nurse practitioners will increase by 45 percent between 2022 and 2032.

And, of course, you can’t forget about the flexibility of a travel NP job. When you can travel across the country, it opens up the opportunity to have educational opportunities across state lines. You will get more choice over where you work and the populations you serve, and you will even have an easier time serving during disaster responses or in times when there is a heavier need for those with advanced nursing skills. 

Many nurse practitioners love their jobs because of the direct impact they have on patients. You can still develop relationships with those you care for, see immediate or long term progress (depending on the specialty), and work with underserved populations while travel nursing.

In a more personal sense, becoming a travel nurse means you will get to choose where you live and can enjoy local culture, try new activities, and just experience more of the country. The entire process of traveling, even just between states, can be a life-changing adventure and one that helps the future of your nurse practitioner career. 

SHC is Your Travel Partner

It’s time to find the perfect travel NP assignment for you! If you have a desire to move or visit new places, then becoming a traveler may be the right decision for you. Travel nursing is an amazing way to experience new places and people, learn from new colleagues, and grow as a professional in your field.

At Supplemental Health Care, we are here to be your career partner. We have a nationwide network and connections to jobs all across the country — if there is a role you’re interested in or you’d like help deciding on your next big move, we’re here to help.