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    "Walk through" states


    Q. I know nurses can walk through South Carolina and California to obtain licensure. Are there any other states that offer this option? Thank you. – Kim M.

    Provided all paperwork is in order—and an applicant has a current, active license and no encumbrances—a temporary license can be acquired by walk through or in as little as one day in California, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Vermont. Depending on each of these state's individual policies, fees vary and temporary licensure may be valid for as little as eight weeks or as long as six months. Keep in mind, too, that there may be additional requirements to meet. For instance, a nurse must make an appointment with the Board of Nursing in North Carolina to obtain a temporary license, even though it's recognized as a "walk through" state.

    Other states give nurses similar opportunities. Those who are interested in practicing in the Last Frontier, for example, can contact the Alaska Board of Nursing to schedule an appointment for a walk through. And while temporary licensure is not issued in Virginia, RNs who wish to practice there are able to work under any current license for up to 30 days, the maximum length of time to process a permanent license in the Old Dominion State.

    If you know which state you will be traveling to for a future assignment, it would be wise to contact its Board of Nursing beforehand to establish its requirements. Contact information, sorted by state, can be found at http://www.HealthcareTraveler.com/ under Web Exclusives.

    Q. Currently, I work as an RN on a critical care transport team. Are there any travel positions for this specialty? – Stephanie W.

    While the demand among critical care subspecialties fluctuates, assignments for healthcare professionals with your skills certainly exist—particularly within large facilities in need of travelers who specialize. However, to broaden your horizons, you might also consider accepting contracts in areas that are more generalized. If you have experience in surgical intensive care (SICU), for example, and would be willing to accept these assignments when those in your subspecialty are not as plentiful, you could greatly increase your marketability and potential to travel to a wider range of facilities and destinations.

    To learn more about your options, read "Delving Deeper: Subspecialties in Critical Care" and "Air Transport: Taking Flight," which were featured in Healthcare Traveler's May 2004 and May 2003 issues, respectively. Both articles are available for online viewing through HT Archives on our website. Also check out the Travel Opportunities section, where you can contact dozens of travel companies with the click of a button.

    Q. Are travel company benefits negotiable? I already have terrific health coverage through my husband and am wondering if I can receive extra pay or other perks in lieu of insurance. Any information you can provide would be appreciated. – Marcy M.

    It would depend on your contract and the staffing firm's protocol. A company might balance the difference in compensation by furnishing a traveler who foregoes this benefit with upgraded housing, a higher hourly rate, or other valuable advantages. Remain open to suggestions, and let your recruiter know about your wish to customize your benefits package.

    Q. Is there a call for dental assistants to travel or work per diem, locally? – Winnie

    Although many supplemental staffing companies have allied health divisions and place these providers on travel assignments, we are not familiar with any that offer contracts or per diem work to dental assistants. To determine if these opportunities are available in or close to your community, try contacting local employment agencies.