Travel nursing can be a rewarding and exciting career, but before you can start working, there are several credentialing, compliance, and onboarding requirements that must be met. These requirements ensure that travel nurses are qualified to work in their chosen specialties and meet the legal and regulatory standards of healthcare facilities across the country. In this blog, we’ll discuss the most common credentialing, compliance, and onboarding requirements for travel nurse RNs.
Credentialing is the process by which healthcare facilities verify the qualifications and experience of healthcare providers. For travel nurses, credentialing includes verifying RN licensure, completing a skills checklist, and providing documentation of education and experience. The credentialing process typically takes several weeks and must be completed before a travel nurse can start working.
Licensure: All travel nurses must hold an active RN license in the state where they will be working. Some states require additional certifications, such as ACLS, PALS, or TNCC. Your staffing agency can help you navigate the licensure requirements for each state.
Skills Checklist: A skills checklist is a document that verifies the clinical competencies of a travel nurse. It includes a list of skills and procedures that the nurse is qualified to perform, as well as documentation of the nurse’s experience with each skill.
Documentation: Travel nurses must provide documentation of their education, work experience, and any certifications or training they have completed. This documentation may include transcripts, employment verification, and copies of certifications or licenses.
Compliance refers to the legal and regulatory standards that healthcare facilities must meet to ensure patient safety and quality of care. Compliance requirements for travel nurses may include immunizations, background checks, and drug testing.
Immunizations: Healthcare facilities require that all employees, including travel nurses, be up-to-date on certain immunizations. These typically include the flu vaccine, MMR, and hepatitis B. Some facilities may require additional vaccines, such as varicella or meningococcal.
Background Checks: Travel nurses may need to undergo a criminal background check and drug screening before starting work. The background check verifies that the nurse has no criminal history that would disqualify them from working in a healthcare facility. The drug screen ensures that the nurse is not using illegal substances or prescription drugs that could impair their ability to provide safe patient care.
Onboarding refers to the process of orienting new employees to the policies, procedures, and culture of a healthcare facility. For travel nurses, onboarding typically includes attending an orientation session, completing facility-specific training, and obtaining access to clinical systems.
Orientation: Healthcare facilities typically hold orientation sessions for new employees that cover policies and procedures, safety protocols, and facility-specific information. Travel nurses must attend orientation before starting work.
Training: Travel nurses may need to complete additional training to familiarize themselves with the electronic medical record (EMR) system or other clinical systems used by the facility. This training may be provided online or in-person.
Access: Travel nurses must obtain access to the clinical systems used by the facility, including the EMR system, medication dispensing system, and communication devices. This access is typically granted after completing orientation and training.
In conclusion, credentialing, compliance, and onboarding requirements are critical components of the travel nursing process. By understanding these requirements, travel nurses can ensure they are prepared to meet the standards of healthcare facilities across the country and provide safe and effective patient care. Your staffing agency can help you navigate the credentialing, compliance, and onboarding process and ensure you are prepared to start your next travel nursing assignment.