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A Complete Guide

Table of Contents

Introduction to Healthcare Compliance

There will be several required compliance documents before starting your next travel nurse or travel allied health job. To score a great travel nursing contract, certain legal, identification, and medical documents (for most, electronic versions are accepted) are required.

Healthcare workers, regardless of specialty, should take the time to get their required paperwork prepared before reaching out to a recruiter.

If you are missing any of these critical components, you could potentially be missing out on great opportunities. In most cases, travel nurse recruiters will require candidates to have all compliance documentation prior to submitting them to their contract.

Of course, the goal for travelers is to get hired. To ensure a smooth onboarding process, make sure you have easy access (and multiple copies of) to the following travel nursing compliance documentation:

Travel Nursing Documentation Checklist

  • Government-issued photo identification - driver's license or passport
  • Updated, properly formatted resume (Word Doc or PDF)
  • Digital copy of your state nursing license, credentials and/or certifications
  • Life support completion card
  • Physical exam
  • Tuberculosis (TB) skin test
  • Medical immunization records (influenza, TDAP, MMR, etc.)
  • Skills checklist/assessment (done virtually through a program like Relias)
  • Prophecy exam

  DOWNLOAD  Download a PDF version of this checklist.

Apps to Scan and Store Important Documentation

Personal Identification

Each travel nursing agency will require candidates to provide at least one form of photo identification. Most people use their driver's license as proof of identification.

Depending on if you're a W2 employee, you might also need to submit a copy of your social security card and/or a voided check for payroll.

It's not easy to replace important documents. Make sure you keep these items in a safe place, and make at least a few copies of each one, just in case.

Healthcare Resume

For any travel contract that you're applying to (or any healthcare position in general), always attach an updated copy of your resume.

Make sure all of your personal information is accurate or updated. Double check your phone number and email address are correct. This is the most important part! If someone can't get in touch with you, you're probably going to miss out on some great travel nursing assignments.

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Include dates (month and year is acceptable) as well as facility names on your resume.  Many client buildings  will not accept resumes with gaps (and to make sure to note any personal time off, or PTO, to your recruiter). 

It's a good idea to note your license numbers on your resume, as well as any expiration dates related to licensure or certifications (e.g. Basic Life Support, CNA reciprocity).

Need some guidance? Get resume formatting tips and view a sample travel nursing resume here!

Basic Life Support (BLS)

Almost all facilities will require BLS to be obtained via the American Heart Association (AHA). Depending on your specialty, additional life support certifications may be required, such as ACLS or PALS. Each individual who successfully completes a life support class will receive a course completion card, which is valid for two years.

A full, in-person BLS course takes a little over four hours to complete. This includes skills practices and skills testing with manikins. 

To renew a BLS certification, healthcare workers can complete an instructor-led BLS course, which typically takes about three hours. 

In some instances, basic life support renewal is available through an online course.

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Physical Exam and TB Test

All clinical professionals are required to have a current physical and TB test. 

The physical form should list height, weight, blood pressure, and a statement that the individual is fit to work without restrictions. A physical is typically required every 12 months.

There are a few different versions of a TB test. For a two-step TB test, QuantiFERON-GOLD and blood tests are both good for one year.

If an individual has ever tested positive for TB, they should receive a chest X-ray, which is good for five years.

Nursing Licenses and CNA Reciprocity

For nurses (LPNs and RNs), licensure is verified through Nursys.com. To be considered for a travel contract, nurses should have a current, unencumbered license. If a nurse holds several single-state licenses as well as a compact nursing license, each will appear on Nursys. 

The majority of states in the U.S. require nurses to renew their licenses biannually, or every two years. This is done via the state's Board of  Nursing

Below is a map to show the states that are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, or NLC.

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Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) should appear on each state registry list where they are certified. CNAs are able to get reciprocity across multiple states, which means they are able to practice in those states.

There is not a compact license for certified nursing assistants.

They must apply to each state individually through the state's Board of  Nursing. Some reciprocity applications are accepted virtually, while others must be mailed in, along with a form of payment.

Additional Items to Complete

If you have all of your required documents ready to go, you're in good shape! In addition to having those at the ready, here are a few additional things that you may need to complete prior to starting your travel nurse job:

  • References from two past supervisors (list  their first and last names, title, unit, facility and position)
  • Online credentialing assessment(s) 
  • A background check authorization form
  • A drug screening, either on-site or prior to arriving to your contract location

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Hepatitis B Declination Form

By law, employers are required to offer the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) vaccine series to all workers who have what's called "occupational exposure." This includes healthcare workers in almost every capacity. 

The Hepatitis B Virus can be life-threatening. HBV is transmitted through exposure to blood and other infectious materials. 

Per OSHA, it must be offered at no cost. If an employee has already received this vaccine or declines to receive it, they must complete what's referred a Hep B declination form. If an employee originally declines to receive it but then decides they'd like it at a later date, the employer is then required to provide it at that later and at no cost.


What are the travel nursing contracts like?

Travel nursing contracts vary by specialty and location.

A typical travel nursing assignment in an acute care (hospital) setting is 13 weeks. However, in some instances, travel nursing agencies will offer shorter contracts - four weeks, six weeks, or eight weeks. 

Travel nurses and CNAs usually work 10-hour or 12-hour shifts – days or nights. Those who opt to work in acute care settings can expect to work three or four days per week, prior to any overtime (OT) hours.

Longer shifts (12-hour shifts) are also common in long-term care settings, which includes Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), assisted living (AL), continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and memory care.

LeaderStat has more than 1,800 travel nursing positions open across the country. Whether you're looking for a contract in Med-Surg, ER, LTACH, Home Health, Clinic, Rehab, or LTC settings, we would love to partner with you to help find the perfect fit.

To view a complete list of local and travel nurse contracts, check out our Job Board.


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