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Travel Nursing in the Virgin Islands

This cold weather has us thinking warm, sandy beaches. How about you?

Relocating to the United States Virgin Islands as a travel nurse is easier than going to a foreign country because as long as you’re a United States citizen, you can move to the US Virgin Islands as if they’re another state. So that’s one concern down, but you have to consider other things when travel nursing in the Virgin Islands.

You’ve gotta have a license

So you have your NCLEX and your certifications, but in order to practice as a nurse in the US Virgin Islands, you’ll have to apply for a license. Check out the Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure (VIBNL) site, http://www.thevibnl.org/index.html, and fill out the endorsement application. A license costs $125 for an RN and $100 for a PN.

You can also call them at (340)776-7397 if you have any questions.

Get your passport ready

Sure, we said that you can move from your state to the US Virgin Islands with no problems, but you still have to have a passport. One reason is that you’re traveling over international waters, but the main reason is that the VIBNL requires two recent passport photos with your signature on the back of each. That’s okay. If you have your passport in hand, you could always travel to some other overseas destination. Any one up for a stint in Puerto Rico—another US territory in the Caribbean?

Cost of living

This could be a sticky widget. Any island in the Caribbean has a higher cost of living than most places in the continental United States, and the wages are lower than comparable positions in the states. Still, if you really want to head to the islands, steer clear of St. John.

St. John has the highest cost of living and there aren’t that many job opportunities (there’s no hospital, only a small clinic). Instead, try St. Thomas or St. Croix which have hospitals and more positions for an RN to work. The cost of living is still high but you get more pay so you can offset these expenses.

Culture Shock

Some nurse adapt fine. Others have problems. The US Virgin Islands have their own customs such as saying, “Good Morning/Afternoon/Day/Night” before asking a question. Most of these are small issues but they add up if you’re guilty of multiple faux pas. Make sure you learn a little bit about the culture.

And adding to the previous point, travel nurses get paid more than the locals most of the time, so there can be some resentment. Don’t worry though. Most travelers fit in just fine.

Got Kids?

This may not apply to you. If it doesn’t, no worries. If you do have school-aged children, you’ll want to consider home schooling or paying a large fee for an excellent private school. The public schools are rundown, and the classes have bars instead of windows. They aren’t inviting to say the least.

Sun and Fun

You’ll find plenty of sun and fun in the US Virgin Islands. Just be careful not have too much and wear plenty of sunblock

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/34022876@N06/

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