California Travel Nursing Tips:

1. Learn about Where You are Living

Learning about your new community and hospital facility will be extremely helpful in making your new transition easier.

Best Places
Learn about climate, crime, schools and cost of living

See California
Check out travel tips, activities and attractions

Dog Friendly
Don’t leave your pet at home, bring him along

Traffic Alert
Keep up to date on current traffic patterns in many California cities

2. Prepare Your Records and License

As a traveling nurse, organization and communication is key. Be sure to have all of your documents together and sent to your travel company before you leave. Your recruiter and document specialist will be there to give you advice and guide you through your entire process. They can be a valuable resource in learning how to obtain a license, complete the necessary testing and find classes to be sure you are ready and prepared for your new working environment. Many nurses bring their records (with extra copies of everything) while traveling so that they can insure that they start their assignments on time.

Obtaining a California nursing license can be done in two ways

1) Apply in person Temporary CA licenses can be issued on a walk-through basis in the same day (as long as the nurse does not have any convictions on their record)
2) Apply by mail The most important thing to ask yourself before applying for a license in CA by mail is, when do I want to start working in CA? While a permanent license takes four to six weeks to be issued, you must also realize that it takes two to three weeks for your mail to be processed and request to be reviewed. It could be more than six weeks before you are licensed to work in CA.
California Board of Registered Nursing

California Board of Vocational Nurse

American Heart Association PALS, ACLS, or BCLS course

National Institute for Healthcare Education

3. Know Your Contract and Travel Assignment Package

Make sure before you sign your contract you ask the right questions and confirm your assumptions

Pay Rate For many this is the most important issue, so be sure you confirm and understand rate information (e.g. hourly pay, overtime rules and bonus pay info).
Float Policy When you work multiple specialties it may be important to state in contract if floating is acceptable and in what specialties you are comfortable to float.
Benefits/Health Coverage Be sure to ask who your insurance provider will be and which healthcare facilities you can attend.
Housing Ask questions regarding community safety, traffic patterns and school systems.

4. Take Advantage of Your Free Time
California has tons to offer and exciting places to go—whether it’s hiking, shopping, dining, entertainment, fishing, horse-back riding or relaxing on the beach, it’s always best to plan out activities and explore your new location.

Sierra Club
Explore your new city with great outdoor activities
Great reviews and suggestions about restaurants, shopping, entertainment and more.
Top destinations, reviews and activities
Digital City
Local entertainment guide for Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco

5. Be Positive

During your assignment, being a positive, flexible and eager team member will be extremely helpful in making your experience rewarding and successful. While there may be bumps in the road, there are resources that you can utilize to help ensure that your travel experience is as enjoyable as possible.

Other Helpful Sites

National Council of State Boards of Nursing
Compact state information and more
Health Finder
Top destinations, reviews and activities
Visit California
Travel Itineraries, events, must sees
Ask an Expert about California
Ask questions about California and volunteers will give you answers.