As a travel nurse, you don’t need any additional degrees or certifications that are different from what you’d need to be a staff nurse.

1. RN degree: You will need a degree as a registered nurse (RN) with a minimum of an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree.
2. NCLEX-RN Exam: After graduating from a nursing program, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). This is a standardized exam that each state board uses to determine whether a nurse is ready to practice.
License to practice in the state you choose. At Nurse First, we can help you with the licensing process. You will be reimbursed for any licensing fees.
3. Additional Certifications: Depending on your specialty of choice, you may need additional certifications

Nurse First will help with any licensure or certification costs. Check out our Benefits & Pay Page for a complete list of what we help with.


With Nurse First you will need at least one year (preferably two) years of experience in your specialty, preferably in a hospital setting before you can become a travel nurse. Some specialties require two or more years of experience, while others may require previous travel nursing experience. Make sure you check-in with your Nurse First recruiter to find an assignment that best suits your experience.

At Nurse First, your recruiter will be your go to for anything regarding your travel nursing experience including compliance requirements.

1. Licensing & Certification: Make sure to keep all of tour licenses and certifications for your records. We will always keep these on file, but it is good to keep these on hand while traveling.
2. Vaccinations & Physical Exam: Just like a staffing nurse, travel nurses are required to have a physical exam completed and proof of immunizations before starting your first assignment with Nurse First.
3. Drug Test & Background Check: Drug screens and background checks are mandatory before you begin your first assignment.

4. Additional Documentation: The list above will be mandatory for most assignments, however certain facilities may require additional documentation. If you feel an assignment you’re interested in may require additional documentation, do not hesitate to verify this with your Nurse First recruiter.