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Licensing in Each State: Tips for Medical Travelers 

Treyvon Kurr
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Are you a medic planning to travel soon to another state for a job assignment? This guide is for you.  

Traveling as a healthcare provider is one of the best ways to improve your work profile. And if you have the chance to travel while practicing what you love, then why not? 

All states have different laws governing the medical field. Licensure is a concern when it comes to practicing across different states. If you’re planning your next job trip, you need to prepare ahead by getting all your travel documents ready. You need a valid license in each state to discharge your services. So, what’s next? 

Travel Nurse 

As a travel nurse, you must obtain a license for each state you visit. But how do you go about this? Find out below: 

The Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) 

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) made an agreement that allows nurses to move around different states while offering their services. 

The Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC), created in 2000 and later renamed the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) in 2018, allows you to practice in different participating states with one license.  

What do you need to qualify for this multistate license? 

Below are some of the essential things you should have when applying for this license: 

  • Have graduated from a board-approved education program or any international education program approved by an authorized accrediting body and verified by a credentials review agency (independent). 
  • Claim residence in a participating state 
  • Have a USA Social Security Number 
  • Pass an English proficiency exam 
  • Not participating currently in an alternative program, and much more. 

Visit the NCSBN to learn more requirements and see if you qualify for the license.  

Walkthrough License 

Licensure time varies significantly in different states. A walkthrough license is a temporary license offered by some states to nurses awaiting their permanent permits.  

Usually, a walkthrough license is processed in less than a day and is valid for up to 6 months. You should be waiting for a permanent state license to qualify for a walkthrough license. 

State-Specific License  

Another license you might need as a nurse is this state-specific license. This applies to those states that are not NLC participants and do not also have the walkthrough license opinion.  

In such states, you must acquire specific state licensure to be able to work there. It can take up to months in states like California, meaning you must prepare in advance if you’re planning on taking up some contracts in such states. 

Physical Therapist 

Just like nurses and any other healthcare provider, you need a valid license to practice across multiple states. If you are a regular PT or PTA, obtaining a permit every time you want to travel can be expensive and inconvenient.  

Physical Therapist Compact aids travel therapists. If you live in a member state, you don’t have to obtain a license whenever you land a contract in any state.  

Applying for this license will save you time and money. Also, it allows you to work across many states, including famous ones such as the state of Washington, Colorado, and many more. 

Tips for Medical Travelers  

1. Research on the state’s licensing 

As a medical traveler, you need a valid license to practice in a different state. Before starting your journey, you should research licensing requirements and how to obtain one.  

2. Avoid tax hurdles 

Every state has different tax requirements. When traveling, make sure to keep all your financial records to avoid any complications. Hiring a tax compilation specialist can be a good option if you’re too busy. 

3. Be ready for “hospital politics”   

Many hospital workers are grateful for the help of travel healthcare practitioners. Most likely, they suffer from frequent burnout.  

If you relieve them of the burden, they’ll surely be grateful. However, there are always ungrateful human beings who might complain of stolen positions or reduced hours. So, keep this in mind for your peace. 

4. Read through the contract carefully 

As a traveling medic, you must sign the contract before traveling. To be on the safe side, ensure you read it well before signing it. This ensures you understand all the stated terms to avoid any disagreement with your recruiter at your destination. 

5. Arrive ahead of your assignment 

Arrive a few days ahead of your first workday to familiarize yourself with the place. Exploring the areas around the hospital will help you feel more at home.  

Also getting some rest before embarking on your work gives you a better experience. 

6. Find a suitable agency and recruiter 

An agency works better when looking for an opening in a different state. Different agencies are known to have different offers. Some may offer good pay, while others never run out of openings. Identify the one that favors you. 

At Melee Healthcare Staffing and Recruiting, we’ll help you get your dream job. Contact us today and let us organize your next destination! 

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