Nursing Travel February 5, 2024

Tips for Travel Nurses in Washington D.C.

Essential Tips for Travel Nurses in Washington, D.C.

Working as a travel nurse in Washington, D.C. is an excellent opportunity to gain professional growth and experience by visiting new places and meeting new people. Travel nursing launches careers and sparks adventures, but it can also come with challenges. Navigating an unfamiliar city and adapting to a new work environment can be both exciting and daunting. Washington, D.C. is one of the most thrilling destinations for travel nurses because of its vibrant lifestyle and rich history. 

In this blog, we will give you comprehensive insights and practical tips to navigate travel nursing in our nation's capital. 

1. Licensing and Certification Essentials 

First things first – if you're considering traveling to Washington, D.C. as a nurse, it’s essential to know the licensing requirements.  

Since D.C. is not part of the NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact), you will first need a D.C. nursing license. Applying for a nursing license in D.C. requires you to submit the necessary documentation electronically. The state nursing board will evaluate and determine your eligibility for licensure in D.C. You can find application instructions and contact information to submit your documents here. 

Additionally, you will want to obtain specific certifications for your nursing specialty from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). ANCC certification is recognized worldwide and is a strong addition to your resume. For resume advice, read “Expert Tips for Writing Your Nursing Resume.” Travel nurses in D.C. must also follow the unique regulations enforced in the District, including the Safe Nurse Staffing Act, which regulates nurse-to-patient ratios. 

2. Top Healthcare Facilities and Specialties 

Washington, D.C. boasts some of the most prestigious healthcare facilities in the country. As a travel nurse, working in world-class hospitals can have a significant impact on your career and personal growth. Notable facilities include Johns Hopkins Hospital, National Institutes of Health, and George Washington University Hospital. These facilities can offer you a chance to work alongside industry experts and contribute to medical research. 

Another added advantage is the strong job market in D.C., with opportunities in different specialties – and plenty of options to choose from with AMN Healthcare. You can specialize in fields such as emergency medicine, oncology, and pediatrics, among others.  

3. Navigating the District: Housing and Accommodations 

One of the most critical things for travel nurses is finding suitable accommodations during work assignments. Fortunately, companies like AMN Healthcare have a dedicated division of housing specialists whose focus is to help travel nurses secure housing. There are several housing options to consider, such as choosing the housing stipend or stick with the agency’s housing placement. It’s essential to explore these options and determine the most convenient for you. Read “Travel Nurse Stipend vs. Housing Placement” to understand the pros and cons of each. 

Additionally, knowing the right neighborhoods to seek accommodation and the available modes of transportation can go a long way in helping you navigate this bustling city. The Washington Metro system is reliable and serves various areas within the city.  

4. Cultural and Historical Immersion 

To fully appreciate the richness and complexity of Washington, D.C., it's essential to explore its cultural and historical landmarks. From the iconic National Mall and its monuments to the Smithsonian museums, to popular neighborhoods like Georgetown and Adams Morgan, there's no shortage of places to discover. We recommend setting aside time to visit two or three landmarks or museums per week so that you can give each one the attention it deserves and get the most out of your assignment.  

Be sure to check out the many local events and festivals that take place throughout the year, such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Folklife Festival, and the National Book Festival. You'll gain more understanding of the city and its people and have a fun time doing it. 

Want to know more about activities for travel nurses in D.C.? Check out “The Healthcare Professional’s Guide to Washington, D.C.” for a deeper dive into things to do. 

5. Networking Opportunities and Professional Development 

Washington, D.C. is a great city to build professional connections and enhance your career. Attend networking events and conferences, such as those hosted by the D.C. chapter of the American Nurses Association or the National Black Nurses Association, to meet other healthcare professionals and learn about the latest trends and research in your field. Take advantage of the many educational and professional development opportunities available, such as workshops, seminars, and certifications. Update your resume and online profile regularly and remember to stay in touch with colleagues and mentors from previous assignments. 

6. Financial Considerations and Budgeting 

It's important to carefully manage your finances when working as a travel nurse in Washington, D.C., especially given the high cost of living in the city. Research the average pay rates for your specialty and negotiate a fair and competitive salary with your agency or employer. Be aware of the tax implications of working in D.C., which has its own income tax and sales tax laws that may differ from other states. Consider enrolling in a retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) or IRA, to save for your future. AMN Healthcare knows it’s never too early to start planning for retirement and offers a 401(k) plan and Roth 401(k) plan. Learn about Washington, D.C. travel nurse benefits. 

D.C. has something to offer every travel nurse. By taking advantage of the opportunities and resources, you can not only further your career, but also gain an appreciation of the city around you. Embrace the unique blend of professional growth and cultural experiences that travel nursing in Washington, D.C. can offer, and make the most of your time in this exceptional destination. 

Ready to find your opportunity in Washington, D.C.?

Apply Today 


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