Charting Your Course: Travel Nursing in Virginia

Looking for your next adventure as a travel nurse? Look no further than the picturesque state of Virginia. With its captivating history and flourishing healthcare industry, Virginia presents an array of opportunities for nurses to grow their careers. In this blog, we will guide you through the steps necessary to fully maximize your travel nursing experience in the remarkable state of Virginia.

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1. Understanding Virginia's Licensing Requirements

Good news – Virginia is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). So, you will not need to obtain a state-specific license to work as a travel nurse in Virginia. If your primary license is from a non-compact state, you can apply for license by endorsement.  

A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Travel Nurse in Virginia 

Complete Your Education: Ensure that you have completed the required educational requirements to become a RN by obtaining your nursing degree from an accredited institution and passing the NCLEX-RN. 

Apply for Licensure: Begin the process of applying for licensure as a registered nurse in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Health Professions has a user-friendly application guide on their site to help you down the right path.  

Gather Required Documentation: Collect all the necessary documents required for your application, including your nursing school transcripts, proof of passing the NCLEX-RN examination, and any additional documentation requested by the Virginia Department of Health Professions.  

Submit Your Application: Submit your completed application along with the required documentation to the Virginia Department of Health Professions. Pay the applicable fees and wait for your application to be processed. 

Obtain a Virginia RN License: Once your application is approved, you will receive your Virginia RN license. This license is essential for practicing nursing in the state. 

Gain Experience: Gain valuable experience as an RN in different healthcare settings. Consider working in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities to enhance your skills and knowledge. 

Research Travel Nursing Agencies: Research and identify reputable travel nursing agencies that operate in Virginia. Look for agencies like AMN Healthcare that have a strong track record of placing nurses in desirable assignments and offer competitive benefits.  

Submit Applications to Travel Nursing Agencies: Prepare your resume, gather your references, and submit applications to the travel nursing agencies you have selected. Tailor your applications to highlight your experience and qualifications. Need help with your resume? Learn “Expert Tips for Writing Your Nursing Resume.” You can search jobs, apply, and complete your credentialing using AMN Passport. Download for free today!  

Interview with Travel Nursing Agencies: If selected, you may be invited for interviews with the travel nursing agencies. Prepare for these interviews by researching the agency, understanding their assignment offerings and benefits, and showcasing your enthusiasm for travel nursing. Find new-grad interview tips here. 

Accept an Assignment: Once you have been offered an assignment, carefully review the terms and conditions of the contract. Consider factors such as location, duration, pay, and benefits before accepting the assignment. The staffing agency will help guide you with next steps to working your assignment.  

2. Selecting a Reputable Travel Nursing Agency

Choosing the right travel nursing agency is vital to the success of your assignment in Virginia. With so many agencies to choose from, it's important to do your research and select a reputable one that aligns with your career goals. When selecting the ideal travel nurse agency, it is important to follow these steps: 

Research: Begin to thoroughly research travel nurse agencies. Look for agencies with a positive reputation and a track record of satisfied nurses. "Choosing a travel nursing agency that has your best interests in mind is one of the most important things a traveling nurse has to do," explained Victorya Y., a seasoned recruiter with AMN Healthcare. "And, the only way to find out if a company is a solid choice is to do your due diligence and conduct plenty of research. This should include online research as well as talking to various contacts at each travel nursing agency that you are considering." 

Evaluate Specialties: Consider your specific nursing specialty and ensure that the agency you choose has opportunities in your field. This will help you find assignments that align with your expertise. 

Location Options: Determine the locations you are interested in working. Look for agencies that offer assignments in those areas, allowing you to explore new places while working as a travel nurse. 

Assignment Availability: Assess the availability of assignments offered by each agency. Look for agencies that consistently have a wide range of opportunities, giving you more options for assignments that match your preferences. AMN Healthcare offers exclusive assignments to help nurses advance their careers. 

Compensation and Benefits: Compare the compensation packages and benefits offered by different agencies. Consider factors such as pay rates, housing allowances, health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks. 

Victorya addressed travel nurse compensation packages, which are closely watched by the IRS due to stipends and reimbursements, noting it’s important that your travel nurse agency is financially savvy. She said, “One cool thing about AMN Healthcare is that our pay rates are determined by a financial analyst who has been doing it for a very long time and is good at it. This kind of expertise is one of the many things nurses should look out for when researching a travel nursing company." 

Support and Resources: Look for agencies that provide comprehensive support and resources to their travel nurses. This can include assistance with licensing, credentialing, travel arrangements, and 24/7 support during assignments. 

Contracts and Agreements: Carefully review the contracts and agreements provided by the agencies you are considering. Ensure that you understand all terms and conditions before committing to any agency. 

Communication and Transparency: Choose an agency that maintains open and transparent communication throughout the entire process. Clear and frequent communication is essential for a positive travel nursing experience. 

Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts when selecting a travel nurse agency. Choose an agency that aligns with your values, meets your needs, and gives you confidence in their ability to support you throughout your assignments. 

Remember, the decision of choosing the right travel nurse agency is a personal one. Take your time, do your research, and consider all factors before making a final decision. 

To help make your decision, read “6 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Travel Nurse Agency.” 

3. Navigating Housing Options

When considering a travel or contract nursing assignment, the living arrangement becomes a crucial factor. Reliable companies like AMN Healthcare recognize the significance of housing type and location. They have a specialized department solely focused on securing suitable housing for travel and contract nurses. Virginia has an array of options for travel nurses – city life in Richmond, rural communities in the mountains, or seaside living at Virginia Beach.  

While some nurses may opt to search for housing independently, they can still receive a housing stipend as part of their contract. For further information on housing options, read “Travel Nurse Stipend vs. Housing Placement.” 

Virginia provides travel nurses with a combination of professional growth opportunities and personal adventures. Keep an eye out for the upcoming second part, where you will discover more about Virginia's culture and activities and the professional network you can establish. 

Ready to find your opportunity in Virginia? Apply today to get started! 

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