How to Build a Knockout Travel Nurse Resume and Portfolio

If you’re a travel nurse, it’s important to have an amazing resume and portfolio. After all, you need to stand out from the crowd!

In this blog post, we will discuss how to build a knockout resume and portfolio. We’ll provide tips and advice on how to make your resume and portfolio stand out from the competition. So whether you’re just starting out in your travel nursing career or you’re looking for a new job, read on for helpful tips!

Table of Contents

Travel Nursing Resume

First, let’s start with your resume. To make your travel nurse resume stand out, you should include:

Your education and training: Be sure to list all of your nursing education and training, including any travel nursing courses you’ve taken.

Your professional experience: Include all of your professional experience, including any travel nursing assignments you’ve completed, professional certifications, and basic certifications like Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support to name a few.

Your skills and qualifications: Be sure to highlight any special skills or qualifications you have that make you a great fit for a travel nursing position. For example, if you’re proficient in a certain language or have experience working in a specific country, be sure to mention that!

Any awards or recognition you have received: If you’ve received any awards or recognition in your nursing career, be sure to include that on your resume. It will show potential employers that you’re a top-notch nurse and can provide value to their unit!

Nursing Skills Checklist: Include a list of your nursing skills on your resume. For example, if you are working in a Cardiovascular Intensive Care, it would be good to know that you can handle post-operative heart patients and chest tubes. This will show potential employers that you have the skills and experience they’re looking for in a travel nurse.

Written Recommendations: Be sure to include any written recommendations from past employers, colleagues, or patients. These can be a great way to show potential employers what others think of your nursing skills and bedside manner.

Contact Information: Finally, don’t forget to include your contact information! Be sure to include your name, email address, and phone number so potential employers can easily get in touch with you for an interview.

In addition to including this information on your resume, it’s also important to format your resume in an attention-grabbing way. Use strong verbs and action words to describe your experience and skills, and be sure to proofread your resume carefully before you submit it.

For more tips on how to write an eye-catching resume, read this blog post.

Travel Nursing Portfolio

In addition to an amazing resume, you should also have a portfolio. Your portfolio should include:

Your Travel Nursing Resume: As we mentioned above, your travel nursing resume should be included in your portfolio.

Professional Nursing License: It is important to include a copy of your nursing license in your portfolio. It is also important to note if your license is a multi-state license so you can work in multiple states associated with the NLC.

Professional Degrees, Training, and Certifications: Many potential employers hire nurses with Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in Nursing. As many organizations are making advancements towards magnet status, higher education has become a priority even with travel nurses. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get an assignment; however, it definitely helps your odds of having a higher education degree.

Phlebotomy Training, Electrocardiogram courses, and higher acuity training such as Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy are great courses to have completed as they show potential employers that you are dedicated to your profession and willing to learn new things.

Healthcare Provider CPR Certifications: All travel nurses should have certificates based on their level of acuity. These certificates can include:

  • Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS): BLS is the most common certification that is required by all hospitals.
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS): ACLS is another certification that is often required by hospitals.
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS): PALS is a certification that is often required for nurses who work in pediatrics or who may care for pediatric patients.

Copies of Immunizations and Physical: All travel nursing agencies will require that you have copies of your immunizations and physical on file. Be sure to keep these up to date and in an easily accessible place.

  • Proof of TB Test/Chest X-Ray: Many organizations require a two-step TB test or a chest x-ray to ensure that you do not have tuberculosis.
  • Varicella: The varicella vaccine is often required for nurses who work in pediatrics or who may care for pediatric patients. However, all units will require either a titer or vaccine record for varicella.
  • Hepatitis B Series: All travel nurses should have their hepatitis B vaccinations.
  • Influenza: Many organizations will require that you have the influenza vaccine if you are working during flu season.
  • COVID Vaccine: All travel nurses should have the COVID vaccine or some form of documentation as to why they are not vaccinated. Due to recent guidelines, some organizations may or may not accept candidates dependent on their COVID vaccine status.

Get Prepared for Travel Agency Competency Testing

In order to work as a travel nurse, you must complete a variety of competency tests. These tests help potential employers assess your knowledge and skills in a specific area. The most common competency tests for travel nurses include:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): An electrocardiogram is a test that measures the electrical activity of your heart. It is often used to diagnose heart conditions.
  • Acuity-Specific Exams: Many travel nursing agencies require that you complete an exam specific to the type of unit you are applying for. These are specific to Medical-Surgical, Progressive Care, and Intensive Care as well as population-specific including Cardiovascular Surgery, Oncology, and Dialysis.
  • Nursing Skills Exam: A nursing skills exam is a general exam that tests your knowledge and skills in a variety of areas.

Organizing Your Travel Nursing Paperwork

Once you have all of your paperwork in order, it’s time to start organizing it. This may seem like a daunting task, but it is essential to keeping your travel nursing career on track.

One of the best ways to organize your travel nursing paperwork is to create a folder for each assignment. This will help you keep track of your paperwork and make it easy to find when you need it.

Another great way to stay organized is to create a travel nursing binder. This binder can be used to store all of your important documents, such as your resume, credentials, and contact information.

It is also good to save these documents electronically as many travel nursing agencies will request for documents to be uploaded into a database system.

Keeping your travel nursing paperwork organized will help you stay on top of your career and be prepared for anything that comes your way.


Now that you know how to build a knockout travel nurse resume and portfolio, you are one step closer to landing your dream assignment. Be sure to follow these tips and you will be on your way to a successful travel nursing career. Thanks for reading!

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.