traveller nursing in US


  • Specializes in Med/Surg 3 years, ICU 2 years.

This is my first posting and I already have a dilemma. I would like to try some traveller nursing in US. Which traveler nursing company would you recommend. Is there anyone who can help? Thanks any responce appriciated.



413 Posts

You should check out the travel nurse thread, they have lots of discussion on this point.


22 Posts

Hello Pancia!

What did you decide to do re:travel nursing in the US? If you do decide to take the plunge, make sure you do your due diligence and research the travel company, hospital and accomodations/area you will be staying at. Have you considered travelling within Canada? With the Canadian dollar doing so well, it is less adventageous to travel south of the border these days, especially since Canadian companies can offer much of the same perks and benefits the American companies do.


36 Posts

Specializes in LTC, public health, School, now Med/surg. Has 20 years experience.

I know there are some fairly decent agencies in Northern Maine. I ran into a couple of the nurses in Cariboo. I don't remember the names. But I think it was a localized agency. I will tell you though that the pay there isn't all it's rumored to be. The cost of living is a little cheaper but not much, at least by Maine standards, which is one of the most expensive states.

Now that I have a Canadian check to look at, the amount taken out of the check for taxes here is what I was paying out in insurance and taxes there. I'm taking home about 20% more up here. The qualitiy of the benefits is much better up here too.

But money isn't everything.

On the upside there is now significant reciprocity between States and for example if you have a Maine license your automatic in about 25 States now. You will have to sit the NCLEX and go though that process of a license transfer and getting immigration lined up and all. The NCLEX is quite a bit different than the Canadian exam, but there are plenty of study guides out there.

On the other hand, Hawaii sounds pretty sweet after a long winter doesn't it.

Research it thouroghly. Immigrating is stressful. It took its toll on me I know. You need to be prepared and have that license in your hand before even thinking about moving.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Not entirely correct. We do not have license reciprocity in the US, what you are speaking about is the Compact License, and if the person does not have their legal residence in the US; then it does not apply and the Maine license would be valid for only there.

And if one has the legal residence in Maine when they get their license, then it is valid for the Compact License, and they use that license for the other states. However, if they do move from there, then the license is only valid for Maine and they will have to apply for License by Endorsement to the new state.

Licenses do not get transferred, they are endorsed. Meaning that one will continue to hold the license in the state where it was issued, it is not moved to the new state. Until it expires, if it is not renewed, then that is when it is no longer current.

Canadian RNs qualify for the Nafta TN Visa if they hold a Canadian passport, so minimal requirements for immigration. They can get a visa issued right at the border when coming to the US to start working.

Check out the International forum for specifics on what to do to be able to get this visa.


22 Posts

thank you for clarifying that suzanne4! spiritmagejkt's info. presented is not entirely true. I returned from travel nursing in the US in the last few years and when I left, there was no reciprocity with our Canadian nursing exam in any state therefore, if a new Canadian nurse wants to travel to the US, you must have completed the visascreen process (which by the way is expensive, arduous, and you must have taken the NCLEX) and that whole process can take up to a year or more. I just received information about the reciprocity 2 days ago from a US travel company re:this very topic so the info I'm giving you is fresh off the press. This is why I question why so many Canadians are still opting to leave Canada, when there are travel and agency nursing opportunities here that are the same and better than what you find in the states! I should know, I've worked for several of them! I wonder if it's just that people don't know about them or what?

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Some states in the past accepted the Canadian license and gave reciprocity. But that is no longer the case anymore since the requirement of the Visa Screen Certificate. That requires either passing of the NCLEX-RN exam or the CGFNS exam. One is going to need the NCLEX to work in the US, as well as get a license; so that is the one that most usually use.

Salaries in Maine are also much less than many other places further down the East Coast, and their cost of living is definitely not high when compared to others.

And with the exchange rate being topsy-turvy right now, it does not make much sense to want to come to the US with higher pay in Canada in many cases.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Also just to wish to come down here, you need to apply for licensure to a state BON, then get permission to sit for the NCLEX exam. Many of the states require fingerprinting. And then you have the Visa Screen Certificate that needs to be in hand before you can get the TN Visa issued at the border.

All told can be $700 to $800 and may not be reimbursable by the agency for all of it.

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