continental travel nurse - page 2

by Nurserandy

Hi I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the agency "continental travel nurse"? I recently applied to them and received a call back and was wondering if anyone knows anything about this agency? good or bad? ... Read More


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    wow! hey thanks for the much needed info! means alot to me! Maan i knew i should of looked into the Neonatal ICU more, i honestly was trying to get into a specialty unit right out of school here, but the local hospital i have a contract with had a HUGE hiring freeze and would only hire the new nurses into MEd-surge :/. Yaa i think im gonna go for it, even with the expenses, i think all this would be alot cheaper than Nurse Practictioner school, which i really dont wanna do at all, but was previously looking into it, and it seems less of an idea to do it with the 2015 possible deadline of requiring a doctorate after that. but i will take all this info to heart, thanks again
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    Quote from hilife_RN
    Nurse Randy, I noticed your posting was from March 2011? Just curious, so did you end up working with continental travel nurse? If so, how was your experience? What about you muppetaus and sarena33? I started talking to them last week. We'll see how it goes. Did they talk about allowance, pay rates and, travel money? The cost of living in the UK is high; I just hope I can manage financially.
    Hi Nurse Randy, I have not starteed work with Continental Travelnurse yet. I'm starting my ONP in April and hope to be working with them in June. They did discuss allowances and pay rates with me but I too am a little concerned that it might be tight financially. The 12 hours shifts concern me too. I just don't see how you can be safe to practise over that period of time.

    I really wanted to work in Scotland but they no longer have arrangement with the health service they were dealing with. I also wanted to work in Northern Ireland but apparently nurses were refusing to work there so they do not have any contracts over there.

    My first job will be based in London which will be a huge adjustment for me because I'm not a fan of big cities but I will see how I go.

    I will keep you all informed as I go because I have found hearing other people's experiences and suggestions very helpful. The whole NMC process was long drawn out and stressful but it was comforting to know that it is the same for everyone.
    bella201 likes this.
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    You do realise that London is very expensive hence why there are many agency jobs because not many can afford to live there. Also be aware that the job and health care situation is going through a lot in the same way the US is and many local nurses are struggling to find work and hospitals are using less and less agency staff to keep costs down
    bella201 and ericjameshealth like this.
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    thanks for the much needed info, i forget, are you working with the angency yourself?
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    No I am a UKC now living and working in Canada. I have a few friends that live down south as I prefer the north and live an hour's train ride from London and have many people that live where they do that commute because it is a bit cheaper for housing but even there the houses are expensive and many are not able to afford mortgages on nurses wages as well as many other wages ie shop workers, resturant workers etc
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    I have been looking to work with this company to. Do let us know how it goes! I think, coming from Canada that i would be taking a pay cut. How does it work for them setting you up with a job?Do you just finish the ONP, and then after the NMC says your good, they give you an assignment? The lady from the company tried to tell me that London was cheaper to live in than most cities, having been there and to quite a few other countries, i thought she was from another planet! Nevertheless, they are pretty helpful thus far. Do you have to pay them anything, or they just pay you less than the NHS and the NHS pays them. lol, sorry so many questions. But if anyone has answers that would be great! How long was your whole process from start to finish?
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    What a load of crock...... London is the most expensive place to live in in the UK
    loriangel14 likes this.
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    I just passed the IELTS and am starting the application process to work with them, I'll be looking to go in the summer of 2014 most likely after getting some more experience. I'm a bit curious about the housing arrangements and rent compared to the rate of pay as well. London is definitely an expensive place to live.
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    To any of you out there looking at working for Continental Travel Nurse and wondering what it is like, then here it is from someone who worked with them for a good long while, and since my recent departure, I can now spill the beans. I plan on being vague on my personal details to protect myself. As you read further down you will understand why.

    Lets start

    The recruiters- for the most part are horrible. They don't keep in touch with you, they don't follow up with you for new contracts. They don't send out contracts for you to sign prior to starting working. The longest I have heard of is 6 months from a fellow traveler. They blame the managers of the unit and claim they are the ones never getting back to them, when everything takes so long to sort out, eg working on their side of a new contract. But they turn around and blame the nurses to the managers saying that we are hard to get hold of, and we never respond to communications. Notice a common theme there, its every bodies fault but their own. Oh but you say, they have been great helping get me started. Of course they are they don't make money off of you until you come over and start working. If they treated the new recruits the same way as the old ones then they would never get any new people over.

    On the note of recruiters you might even be so luck as to get the few that actually shout at you. They will ask for paperwork which you would or should have submitted in order to get your NMC and working visa, but back in Nov during an audit they were demanding all the paperwork from the nurses all over again, because surprise surprise they did not have their files in order.

    Housing-Lets call the website false advertising. Upmarket housing is a joke! If you work an assignment in Oxford you live in the nurses dorms. I am sure a great deal of us have lived in dorms in university and enjoyed it, because we were young and carefree, but the older you get the less you want to be living in a dorm room with communal kitchen and bathrooms. If you don't get stuck in dorms then be prepared for a full house. Despite saying they have two or sometimes three bedroom flats, that is yet another bold face lie. Yes there a a lucky few that get to be in a two bedroom flat. There could be up to 4 people living there though because they will put two sets of couple in together. Most of the travelers I know live in 4 bedroom houses. Often there is a couple in the house, so generally I live with at least 3 other people.

    Oh the housing issues continue, generally upmarket houses do not have bathtubs falling through the roof, ceilings collapsing, mold so extensive that the all travelers had to move out. Most of the problems are not so severe thank god, but there are always problems non the less. Fridges are smaller in the UK and there are usually 3-4 of you trying to get you stuff in. Stuff is generally always breaking down, the heaters have been a problem in many of the properties. The state of the properties run from in excellent condition, to needing some serious work, with run down carpets, highly marked wall, cracked tiles ect. Again if you state upmarket housing one thing I believe that includes is the interior in good condition.

    Pay- Dependent upon where you are living the rate varies, but is much less than rates in North America, and more comparable to that of Australia or New Zealand. Money is not everything for sure, but make sure that you know what you are getting to financially before you come here. Taxes may be higher than your own country and cost of living is higher. They do try and paint a rosy picture of how much money you get here, but just do the calculations on your own. For example someone stated 700 pounds as travel money per year. That would be only if you did contracts back to back for the entire year. If you do an extension to your contract, and do this several times you might actually work another 13 weeks, however because they are extended to your original contract then you don't get more travel money.

    Education fund- Oh yes there is an elusive education fund that a few of us have found out about, which they keep hush hush. Basically they have guidelines for what they will pay for in terms of mandatory education, which you pay for yourself, and they don't tell you about is, so they don't have to dip into their fund. Again with education, they don't pay you for your time. All nurses that give blood products were required to attend a blood transfusion course. Although we did not have to pay for the course, we also were not paid for our time for going.

    If you are thinking of coming right now, then make sure you do your homework carefully!!!! The NMC is running audits and PIN numbers are taking longer than normal. There are nurses that have come over, completed the ONP which takes a month, and in that time you are not only not getting paid, you are also paying for a place to stay, but because of not getting the PIN they are not allowed to work as nurses. They are now working as health care aids, and because they are not working as nurses they are not provided nurses housing. Check in with the NMC to see if there will be delays and how long, because you could find yourself in a bad situation otherwise.

    So why did I stay for so long you ask? There are many like me, we stay because despite the crap that goes on with housing, they do highly subsidize it, which makes living here more affordable. Which then allows us to do and travel, which is why most of us live here. My time here in the UK was amazing. They do have some excellent units that they place travelers on. Mine was no exception. I managed to get to a point where I could basically ignore Continental and deal with them on a very limited basis and go to work and do my job. So the good units but mostly the housing is what kept me with Continental. I could have worked with an agency, and made more money, however you then have to pay for your housing and you do not have the benefit of stable work. Ask anybody around, if another agency like this opened up that would spell the end for Continental, but because they are the one and only they have no competition and therefore no incentive to up their standards.

    Hopefully now you can go with your eyes a bit more open!
    bella201 and MuppetAus like this.
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    Hey mystifying:

    I am working with CTN at the moment, and it does seem like I have to be the one to call the recruiter more often than she calls me. Also, she has asked for my immunization records three times... I find it unsettling that she could lose my paperwork electronically...

    My biggest concern is the length of assignments. I am trying to move there to be with my fiancee and pet, and we would like to have some permanence so we can find our own housing and stay there for a year or two. You mentioned that CTN had mis-communication with the unit managers as far as renewing contracts? Can you explain this further? Is it possible to stay at a hospital that you like, or could you be 'uprooted' at the end of a contract for certain reasons?

    I have asked my recruiter about it, but I couldn't get a straight answer. Thanks for your insight!
    bella201 likes this.


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