Tips to Travel Nursing in Florida

1. Learn about Where You are Living.

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

Visit Florida:
Check out travel tips, activities, hot deals and attractions

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

Information Florida:
Find out about the different areas in Florida and what each place has to offer

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

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

2. Prepare Your Records and License.

As a traveling nurse, organization and communication is key. Be sure to have all of you 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 Florida nursing license:

1) Apply by mail or online. The most important thing to ask yourself before applying for a license in Florida by mail is “When do I want to start working in Florida?” While a permanent license takes five to seven weeks to be issued, you must also realize that it takes three to four weeks for your mail to be processed and request to be reviewed. It could be more than nine weeks before you are licensed to work in Florida. Work around a 9-10 week timeframe to obtain Florida licensure.

Florida Board of Registered Nursing

National Council of State Boards of Nursing: Compact state information and more

Florida Hospital Association

Florida Center of Nursing

American Heart Association: PALS, ACLS, or BCLS course

National Institute for Healthcare Education

3. Understand 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 nearby healthcare facilities you can attend.

Housing: Ask questions regarding community safety, traffic patterns and school systems.

4. Take Advantage of your Free Time.
Florida has tons of fun activities to offer and exciting places to go—whether it’s rafting, fishing, shopping, dining, entertainment, horseback riding or relaxing on the beach, it’s always best to plan out activities and explore your new location. Here are links to some helpful sites:

Yelp: Great reviews and suggestions about restaurants, shopping, entertainment and more.

Florida Menu Guide: Great food and dining suggestions

Sierra Club: Explore your new city with great outdoor activities.

Igougo: Top destinations, reviews and activities

Digital City: Local entertainment guide for Miami, Tampa, and Orlando

Florida Attractions: Check out the attraction information section that gives you a listing of attraction operation hours and admission prices.

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.