Travel Therapy: How to Streamline the Credentialing Process

To say that things have changed a lot since we began our travel therapy journey in 2015 would be an understatement. Starting out as new grad travelers back then, there was limited information available on the internet to help us figure everything out. There weren’t the “social media influencers” of today. We had to learn a lot of things “the hard way,” such as choosing travel therapy companies and recruiters to trust, figuring out how to handle our job searches, applying for all of our state licenses, and managing all of our credentialing documents.

Fortunately for new travelers starting in the 2020’s, things have come a long way. Not only are there many experienced travel therapists such as ourselves out there to teach you what we’ve learned along the way, there are new and innovative technologies available to travelers to help make our lives easier!

One of the new technologies that we love is Kamana, which offers a secure digital wallet for travelers to keep up with all of their important credentialing documents, as well as allows travelers to safely send their entire profile to any recruiter at any company. Kamana’s goal is for us travelers to have one universal profile that will be accepted by all travel companies, instead of having to fill out separate ones when we work with different agencies! Best of all, their services are totally free for travelers. As financially savvy travel therapists ourselves, we love tools that don’t cost us anything and make life easier!

Understanding the Credentialing Process

If you’re new to the travel therapy world, you may not yet be aware of all the different credentialing documents you have to keep track of as a travel healthcare provider. If you’ve been in travel therapy for a while, you may already have developed the frustration of trying to keep track of everything.

As a traveler, here are some of the things you’ll need to maintain:

  • Resume
  • References
  • State licenses
  • CPR certification
  • Specialty certifications
  • Copy of driver’s license
  • Copy of Passport
  • Annual physical exam
  • PPD tests
  • Vaccine records
  • Drug screens

All of these need to be kept up to date, and you need to have them easily accessible in case you need to send them to your recruiter when searching for a new contract, or often to a different recruiter if you decide to search for jobs at another company on your next contract. The recruiters need these documents in order to keep your profile up to date and submit you to jobs. Often, hospitals and other facilities won’t accept your application if these documents aren’t up to date.

When we first got started as travelers, one of our recruiters recommended keeping a physical binder/folder with all of our documents that we could carry around with us from assignment to assignment. We actually still have this old school, 2015, over-stuffed and mangled file folder, and truly have carried it everywhere. But in reality, where you need those documents is not in physical form, it’s in digital form. So at some point or another, we’ve taken photos or scanned these documents, saved them to our computers, uploaded them to email, and sent them to everyone and their coworker.

Looking back now, this seems so archaic. Not only is it an absolute mess to keep track of everything in these various physical and digital folders, but it’s also not secure at all. We should not be emailing or texting these important, sensitive documents back and forth, knowing that these forms of communication are not very secure.

Luckily, we now know that there is a better way.

Streamlining the Credentialing Process with Kamana

Here is how you can utilize Kamana to make this process easier and more secure:

  • Create your free Kamana profile here
  • Fill out your profile with your demographics & information
  • Upload your credentialing documents to the secure digital wallet
  • Keep all your files here for easy access (you’ll know where to find them instead of hunting them down next time!)
  • Watch your email for updates on expiring credentials so you won’t forget to renew something important!
  • Choose to send your full profile to your favorite recruiter(s) with one click, so they can receive it via a secure link, not regular email
  • Choose to send your limited profile with only some of the information to recruiter(s) who are new to you and you’re not sure if you want them to have access to everything yet (also sent via a secure link)
  • Let your recruiters know you’d rather send information this way if at all possible to keep it secure, and let them know they don’t have to register or pay to use Kamana in order to receive the file

Moving the Travel Therapy Industry Forward

As experienced travel therapists, we are so excited to see companies innovating and pushing our industry forward. We are so glad that the founders of Kamana, one of whom was a travel nurse himself, are finding ways to use technology in order to make all the processes easier for travel healthcare providers. That way, we can focus on doing what we do best: providing great care to our patients and exploring the country along the way, without having to get bogged down by all the logistics! We can’t wait to see what else is to come in the future with healthcare staffing technology!

Fellow travelers: have you started using Kamana yet to manage your credentials? Let us know in the comments! If you have any additional questions about Kamana, feel free to message us, or visit their website at kamanahealth.com to learn more!

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This post was sponsored by Kamana Health. All information is original and reflects authentic viewpoints from Travel Therapy Mentor.

Being a Solo Travel Therapist

While we have always traveled as a pair, most travel therapists actually travel solo! We are excited to share a guest post from Traveling Occupational Therapist Morgan Lauchnor, who travels on her own. We hope her insights will help give you the confidence to pursue this path on your own as well if you think it’s right for you!


When looking into travel therapy, the ability to travel with a spouse, significant other, or with friends sounds like the ideal situation, but often times this isn’t an option for some people. That shouldn’t prevent you from still deciding to try out travel therapy though! In fact, a good majority of travel therapists are solo travelers. Some people, like myself, even wanted to travel solo. Venturing into it on your own might seem daunting and scary, but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. The world is way too big and life is too short to wait around for someone to go with you on this opportunity of a lifetime!

Benefits of Traveling Solo

Enhances Independence & Empowerment

Any time you follow your dreams, go after what you want, and face your fears, it’s going to be the most empowering feeling. Solo travel is the definition of freedom, independence, and living life on your own terms.

Builds Self-Confidence

Taking the leap to go into the unknown on your own is brave. There is so much growth that comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and there’s nothing that pushes you outside your perceived limits quite like traveling solo, because you really have no choice but to handle whatever challenges get thrown your way. You develop a ‘can-do’ attitude and become more relaxed and comfortable figuring things out on your own. And not just in the cities you travel, but any new job assignments you take on.

Gives You Total Freedom

On your own, you have the freedom to choose the states/cities where you want to take assignments. You also get to decide how you spend your weekdays, weekends, and everything in between, without worrying about disappointing or negotiating with other people. In traveler pairs, it often limits options because you have to find places that will accommodate both of you, and they might not want to go/explore the same places that you do.

Boosts Your Problem-Solving Creativity

Traveling rarely goes smoothly or according to plan: cars get flat tires, assignments get cancelled, you get lost (a lot in my case). It’s all a part of the solo adventure and the stories you’ll share of how you got through. The best stories never come from the things that went smoothly, right? And as healthcare professionals, we are creative problem solvers for our patients, so this skill can be carried with us into our practice as well.

Fosters Self-Discovery

Traveling solo is the best way to get to know yourself. Exploring new places and new cultures, outside your comfort zone, figuring things out on your own, you discover just how much you’re capable of.

Challenges of Traveling Solo & How to Overcome Them:

Being Alone/Lonely

One of my first assumptions as a solo traveler was that I would be on my own most of the time, especially since my first assignment was all the way across the country in a state where I knew no one. But once I was out there, I realized there are SO many opportunities to meet people. I ended up being surrounded by friends and mentors, some becoming lifelong friends. I also always try to take advantage of visiting any family/friends nearby who I might not ever get the chance to see otherwise.  

Ways to meet people:

  • Doing things with co-workers outside of work: There might be other travelers at your assignment that will go on adventures with you, or you might get to know the perm workers who are typically great assets to show you around your new city/give you tips on the best spots!
  • Connect through apps and social media: Travel therapy/nursing Facebook groups, following other travelers and travel therapy companies on Instagram, and apps like MedVenture, designed specifically for connecting with other traveling healthcare professionals, are all great ways to find people in your area and also to just have a supportive community to lean on.
  • Get involved with local organizations and community groups.
  • Just get out and explore the area! (This was a lot easier to do before the pandemic, but hopefully now that there’s a vaccine and more things are opening, this will be more of an option again)  

Another thing to consider if you’re worried about feeling lonely is bringing a pet with you on your travels! I got a puppy while on assignment in CA, and she’s now traveled with me to TX and NC as well. It definitely makes things a little more challenging, but I can’t imagine the travel life without her anymore!

Safety

This has never been an issue for me personally, but it’s always something to keep in mind traveling by yourself, especially for female solo travelers. Before committing to a new assignment, research the area to see if it is somewhere you’d feel comfortable living, look into the housing options available to make sure you’d feel safe, and always trust your gut if something feels off. When you’re on assignment, tell people where you’re going, bring mace with you on hikes and while out exploring, and ask the locals of places to go and if there are areas to avoid.

Boredom

Sometimes you might live and work in areas that are rural or with limited things to do. In cases like this, I focus a lot on hobbies and things I wish I had more time for—like CEUs, reading, cooking, planning future travels, blogging, etc. But ultimately, you’re choosing where you want to work, so if you’re someone who needs to be doing things and wants to be around people, consider choosing assignments that are in busier locations.

Costs

Traveling alone can definitely be more costly than traveling as a pair, since you are the sole provider. Housing is usually one of the biggest costs that you incur as a solo traveler. One way you can cut down on housing costs would be to consider living with roommates. Traveling therapist/nursing pages are a great way to reach out to people in the area to see if anyone is interested in splitting housing costs, or ask your supervisor if any of your coworkers have a room for rent or are looking for a roommate. This can also be another great way to meet people and have people to do things with!

Summary

Ultimately, I truly believe that the pros of traveling solo far outweigh the cons. If it’s in your heart to do travel therapy, don’t be afraid to take the leap. There’s a whole community of other travelers out there who are here to support you and help you along the way!

Even if you go for it and it doesn’t work out, you still win. You still had the guts enough to head straight into something that frightened you. That type of bravery will take you places.


About Morgan

I’m a traveling occupational therapist who started right out of school as a new grad. Originally from eastern PA, I got my Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Pittsburgh and went on to get my Masters in Occupational Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, FL in 2019. I was introduced to travel therapy at a job fair there and knew right then that’s what I wanted to do. I completed my fieldwork rotations in Greenville, SC and St. Louis, MO, so I already felt like I was traveling before taking the leap. But once I did start my official travel therapy journey, I road tripped cross-country from PA to OR to begin my first travel assignment in Ashland, OR and have been traveling ever since! I’ve now been on five assignments in OR, CA, TX, and currently NC, and my pup Zoey has traveled with me since CA. We love exploring new cities, getting outside any chance we can, visiting breweries and wineries, and meeting the best people along the way!

If you’d like to connect, the best way to contact me is through social media: Instagram: @zoandmo_onthego or through email at mlauchnor@gmail.com. I am also currently in the process of starting a blog, The ChrOnic WanderlusTer, so keep your eye out for that soon!