traveling nurses

  1. I am a nursing student now, and I have heard a little about nurses who travel around to different hospitals that are in need of more nurses at that time. I have heard that you can travel to many different cities, staying from weeks to months in each. I have also heard that the pay for these nurses is higher than if you were employed by one particular hospital. I am wondering if there are any of you "traveling nurses" out there that can give me some more information about this and the advantages and disadvantages. Is what I heard true or false? Also, if anyone else could add some info from any other source, that would be helpful, too. Thanks! I look forward to getting some replies!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   mcg02
    Hi Traci, I am a junior nursing student at MCG also. Just wanted to let you know that being a traveling nurse is a good way to travel and see the USA and sometimes the world because everythign is set up for you like housing,job placement and pay which is quite good. The only drawback is that you really need, like at least 1 year of experience to sign on with most agencies and CPR certified and also some other ceritfications. I have done quite a bit of research on being a traveling nurse and I feel that this is something I would like to do one I graduate from MCG and get some experience.
  4. by   Charly
    I've been a travel nurse this past year enjoying Florida for 6 months in Orlando, 4 months in Venice and now in Connecticut. The great advantages belong to nurses without dependents. I travel with my husband and 2 kids. Medical benefits for the nurse is free. It's $325/month for my family. Up-rooting school-age kids is not desireable...luckily, I have a gregarious and adventuresome son. But we will soon relocate to a permanent job to allow the kids to get rooted and enjoy making and keeping friends as well as being close to extended family.

    The benefits for a single nurse travelling alone or with another nurse is free, furnished housing with paid utilities. Just hook up your own phone and cable. Get a decent laptop, bring a TV, linens, dinner and cookware and a camera. Travel nurses have the advantage of getting paid very well. Consider all costs or pluses though, like no state income tax in Florida despite the generally lower payscale. Connecticut's state income tax and slightly higher cost of living brings me $300 less per pay despite $1 more an hour than I made in Venice. If you travel to areas where you want to stay with family, you can get a housing subsidies, differing geographically but I've had $640-$750/ month quotes.

    Best bonus is you stay out of the hospital's political network. You never get away from gossip but you nicely avoid the traps.

    Remember you will be expected to float to certain other departments when necessary. As an ICU/CCU nurse I float and have accepted assignments on telemetry and stepdown units. I've even floated to medical floors. It really is okay. I won't float to L&D, ER or psych units. Out of my scope.

    Enjoy school. You'll have a tremendous time...good luck!
  5. by   hollykate
    Hi There,
    Travel nursing is great. I don't want to do it at the moment, but it is true- you get good benefits (as a single person) and interesting assignments- although your first one may be in Kansas, not Florida. These are the things about travel nursing in my hospital that are not so good, especially for a new grad. In the ICU you get 2 days of orientation. (without any ICU experience, though, I think traveling co's won't let you do ICU.) Then you are expected to know what to do. Some RN's don't like travelers and will help you a lot less than they should. You float to all other critical care floats first- you could float everyday for a week, while I feel sort of bad sometimes for the travelers floating, I always recall they are making more cash than I am. There is an entire sections dedicated to travel nursing on this BB. If you have not seen it- check it out!
  6. by   Charly
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by hollykate:
    In the ICU you get 2 days of orientation. (without any ICU experience, though, I think traveling co's won't let you do ICU.) Then you are expected to know what to do. Some RN's don't like travelers and will help you a lot less than they should. You float to all other critical care floats first- you could float everyday for a week, while I feel sort of bad sometimes for the travelers floating, I always recall they are making more cash than I am.

    You're right,hollykate, the only travel company that I've seen advertise to place new grads is NursesRx. I've met a couple that took one assignment with them as new grads prior taking a permanent position in the ICU. The usual rule of thumb, I've been told, is you're presented assignments related to your most recent experience. That makes sense as you're right about your other point--orientation is one 1-2 shifts long. If you're as fortunate as I've been, I was always well received and appreciated as the shortage is hurting everyone.

    Yes, generally, travel nurse pay is higher as far as real wage. The housing/utilities perks make the benefits. But courting the invites to take permanent positions, I've found that my per hour pay is less or close to what is offered as base wage. I work 12-hr nights and do not get shift or weekend differential pay. I do not get PTO/sick/vacation time accrued. And being Canadian without a Green card, I am the sole financial provider, because my husband does not have a work permit. So, for my little family, it takes creative budgeting, choosing places of interest where the school system must be scrutinized and the safety of the general area is high priority.

    I'm sorry to hear your travellers there are so worked-over and under-appreciated. It was like that in Florida Hospital in Orlando, but I only floated 3 times in 6 months and got along well with everyone. Made friends and email them frequently.

    When you do decide to travel, shop around and ask lots of questions of the companies and apply with a few. I first applied 5 years ago to a handful of them and when finally opted to travel just updated my profile. Maybe when my kids are into college, I'll travel again with this company that's gone the extra mile for me on a few occasions.

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