Barkow, RN 2,956 Views
Joined Feb 27, '07 - from 'NJ'.
Posts: 111 (24% Liked)
I've worked in both high and low-risk L&D units. I think your bigger difficulty would be adjusting to travel nursing after only working in one facility for seven years rather than the high-risk/low-risk issue. At high-risk facilities you have sicker patients more often, but as long as you have the experience and assessment skills, I don't think it's difficult to adjust. Also, from an L&D RN perspective, a higher-risk unit might be delivering more preterm or sick babies, but it's not like the actual work of the L&D nurse differs much in this case since NICU is responsible for the baby.
If you want to start traveling as soon as possible, I'd focus on finding a first assignment where you can be successful and get used to traveling, without worrying about a crazy acuity jump. Your recruiter's 1-10 question is difficult to answer, but it sounds like you have a decent skill base. But a lot of L&D managers will be focused on delivery numbers that you're used to on your unit, how many patients you're used to taking at a time, and how often you do things like mag. Some high-risk units will be really focused on these numbers, while others might be desperate and give you a pass. I'd still favor a good, functional assignment initially at a travel-friendly location, and then you can more easily experiment with different types of units later.
Don't automatically classify all of California as having expensive housing! Definitely check pay with multiple agencies to find the best rate, but there are areas with cheaper cost of living and great pay. A city like Modesto, for example, has 1-bedrooms listed on Craigslist for $1000 and under as short-term rentals. Whether you want to spend 13 weeks in Modesto depends on your travel goals and what you seek from an assignment, but it's good to know your options.
I just started my first travel nurse assignment 2 weeks ago. I moved from CT to TX. I severely underestimated how lonely I would feel. I'm a labor & delivery nurse and I equate this feeling with a primip who arrives on the unit after all of her googling and Pinterest ideas stating "no...I don't want an epidural" and then cries and begs for one when she is truly in active labor. I thought I knew what lonely was...but I didn't! Pictures of my family made me happy at home but if I display them in my hotel they make me cry. It feels as if I died and I'm currently in purgatory. I actually feel silly for the amount of personal effects I brought that I have no room for.
Run far, far away from Bayfront! Understaffed, low morale, poor benefits, bad facilities.
You probably need more hospital experience before traveling, as well as more savings to account for unknowns. Also, you can possibly make more money in Cali as a staff RN vs traveler (assuming that is where you live currently), plus you get the staff benefits such as PTO, sick time, better health insurance.
The real monetary advantage of travel nursing is in the tax-free money you get for housing/meals due to the fact that you are duplicating living expenses at the travel location. If you keep the apartment as your tax home you get the advantage of tax-free stipends, but this is only an advantage if your current apartment doesn't cost so much to make it not worth keeping. It sounds like you want to use travel nursing to lead to a permanent move, so probably no harm keeping the apartment until you make that decision.
I would just apply for the TX license now since you know you want to end up there. Better to have it done so you're able to apply to positions as soon as you see them, and it shows you're invested in making the move.
If you absolutely know you want to move to Austin, I'd just go ahead and try to find a staff job. If you're valuable enough to them they shouldn't mind waiting six weeks for you to start, and like Ned pointed out you can sometimes get relocation money. I'd only use traveling if you're having trouble getting bites on your applications from afar, or if you're not 100% sure about the move and want to try it out while maintaining your home in Albany as backup.
It's just a very local sort of hospital in a town that's pretty cute and on the Hudson River, but not quite accessible enough to NYC to attract a lot of outsiders/travelers dying to go there. I grew up about 20 minutes away and there were so many local hospitals that I literally have no real opinion of it and never heard much, good or bad.
Nyack Hospital is probably a bit too obscure to find anyone on here who has been there as a traveler. The NY forum might provide more help.
The Peace Corps has a program for healthcare professionals that's a shorter time commitment than regular assignments. Might be worth checking out, and it could give you connections for the future if you wanted to stay.
I'm currently working as an RN in Florida, but it has only been about eight months, so I'd hate to generalize too much. Staffing where I work does not comply with guidelines for my specialty, and they have no desire to meet those guidelines, so there is high turnover due to burnout. Medical practices on my unit are not up to the latest standards. With several years of experience the pay isn't terrible, but new grads are started pretty low. Not having state income tax is helpful, but my health benefits cost more here than I've ever paid, for worse coverage, though perhaps other hospitals are better with this.
Again, I don't want to generalize too much, but the southeast is not known as being a good area in which to practice.
I'm temporarily living in FL due to my husband's job after working as an RN in several states. Do a search of the travel nurse forum to see if there are more opinions from outsiders, but this state isn't well known for pay or working conditions. Lots of people come down here with visions of beaches and low cost of living, but the reality is different when you're actually living and working here.
You might be better off doing overtime shifts paying time and a half at your current job, if available, rather than doing straight pay shifts at a second job. More efficient that way, and you can always do it when you want to, as opposed to the stress of fulfilling staff requirements at two facilities.
In terms of a coverage gap before your contract starts (if you choose the travel company insurance), check with your current employer as to how long your health coverage remains after you leave. They might cover you until the end of the month, so if you leave your job on April 2 and start your assignment by May, there's no coverage gap.
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