Permanant vs. Travel Nsg. Experience

  1. This May will mark my first year of nursing, during which I've been working in an MICU at a 190 bed level 2 trauma center. I'm aiming to apply to Anesthesia school in around 2 years. I'm moving to a big city in June, and have to decide if it's better to work in the biggest ICU in town for 2 years (legal committment) or to work for a travel agency in town, who says they can place me in any of the 4 ICUs in town. Being flexible with scheduling is very important to me. About the same in pay. How would anestheisa program admissions see these two experiences???
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   louloubell1
    Quote from sway
    This May will mark my first year of nursing, during which I've been working in an MICU at a 190 bed level 2 trauma center. I'm aiming to apply to Anesthesia school in around 2 years. I'm moving to a big city in June, and have to decide if it's better to work in the biggest ICU in town for 2 years (legal committment) or to work for a travel agency in town, who says they can place me in any of the 4 ICUs in town. Being flexible with scheduling is very important to me. About the same in pay. How would anestheisa program admissions see these two experiences???
    I don't really have an answer for you, sway, just a personal preference/opinion kind of thing. I do know two nurses who are in the anesthesia program that I'll be attending in the fall whose experience was largely agency, so it's not like agency nursing disqualifies you, but for me...well, I would choose a permanent position somewhere. My reasoning is this: when agency nurses are used to help staff the units in our hospital they are never assigned to the sick-sick patients. They primarily get the heavy pairs. You know, the patients for whom there is no floor bed available yet, or the pair that's very stable but C-diff pooping all over the place, or only in the unit because they are failure to wean from the vent and otherwise don't have much going on. I've even noticed that when an agency nurse is assigned to a patient and the patient suddenly and unexpectedly starts crashing or having major issues, the assignments are then changed to allow a permanent staff member to care for that patient and the agency staff will pick up a less sick one. I don't know if it's like that everywhere, but from talking to many of the agency nurses I've worked with I get the feeling that it primarily is. I prefer getting the experience caring for the really sick patients: those on a gazillion drips, swanned, on balloon pumps, VADs, freshly post-op, etc. That's when I feel like I get to really learn a lot that will help me in anesthesia school later on.
  4. by   New CCU RN
    I would ensure I had a nursing supervisor willing to write a good rec prior to doing traveling.

    I do think it shows you are flexible and have strong nursing skills. You also can save a lot of money up for school.
  5. by   zambezi
    Quote from RNLou
    I don't really have an answer for you, sway, just a personal preference/opinion kind of thing. I do know two nurses who are in the anesthesia program that I'll be attending in the fall whose experience was largely agency, so it's not like agency nursing disqualifies you, but for me...well, I would choose a permanent position somewhere. My reasoning is this: when agency nurses are used to help staff the units in our hospital they are never assigned to the sick-sick patients. They primarily get the heavy pairs. You know, the patients for whom there is no floor bed available yet, or the pair that's very stable but C-diff pooping all over the place, or only in the unit because they are failure to wean from the vent and otherwise don't have much going on. I've even noticed that when an agency nurse is assigned to a patient and the patient suddenly and unexpectedly starts crashing or having major issues, the assignments are then changed to allow a permanent staff member to care for that patient and the agency staff will pick up a less sick one. I don't know if it's like that everywhere, but from talking to many of the agency nurses I've worked with I get the feeling that it primarily is. I prefer getting the experience caring for the really sick patients: those on a gazillion drips, swanned, on balloon pumps, VADs, freshly post-op, etc. That's when I feel like I get to really learn a lot that will help me in anesthesia school later on.
    This is how it is at the hospital that I work in as well...
  6. by   sway
    Yeah, after thinking more about this, and talking to several long time agency nurses I work with, I've become quite concerned about the quality of education I'll get working as a agency nurse. Reading the replies to the post about Cardiothoracic anesthesia makes me realize how hugely complicated this stuff is. I can only hope that my 3 month orientation and 2 years working full time in a big ICU will be enough knowledge. I've been working in the MICU for almost a year now, and don't consider myself anywhere near ready to go to CRNA school. There's so much to learn!!!

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