cmimmel 1,577 Views
Joined: Feb 8, '12;
Posts: 17 (24% Liked)
; Likes: 6
I felt the same way. For me it was all about seeing the country and getting to experience different kinds of nursing. Good luck with your first assignment!
I agree with the space bags suggestion! Saved me on packing my clothes for sure. The other thing I would recommend is a car top carrier or bag. I bought a pretty sturdy car top bag for my crossover. It works pretty slick because it folds down to almost nothing when I'm not using it, but is waterproof and holds a bunch of stuff when I need it.
The kitchen was the hardest thing for me because I'm a big baker/cook. But, the upside to all of the packing/unpacking is that when you finally get back home after being gone for several months, you can downsize the "stuff" in your home. i learned that if I could live without something for 7 months, I probably didn't need it to begin with!
For your first time, just remember: money, credit cards, ID, and all your relevant nursing paperwork. Everything else you can buy if you absolutely need it!
Oh, I forgot to mention, if you can, stay on-call or per diem at your old job. That's what I did and it takes the pressure off between assignments. I just pick up shifts whenever I am back in town and then I know I will have some kind of income coming in just in case there is a longer break between jobs. I think you will always have something available, you just can't be picky. Unfortunately I found out that infusion nursing is not considered a specialty like PICU or ER nursing in the travel world. We are considered Med Surg nurses, so we don't get the big bucks! BUT! Because there are so few of us it seems, you can usually negotiate with the hospitals because they aren't likely to find someone quickly with the qualifications they are looking for!
I can't send PM on here yet, have to have so many posts I guess!
I traveled exclusively with Trinity Healthcare Staffing Group last year and loved them. I have also been working with Travel Nurse Across America, Medical Solutions, and Cross Country. Core Medical Group always seems to have quite a few positions on their job board, but I haven't dealt with anyone from the company yet. If I could PM I would give you the name of my recruiters, because they are all pretty great!
I felt the same way when I decided to travel. I knew if I didn't at least attempt it, I would always wonder if it would have been great. I can almost guarentee you that even if you only take one assignment, you won't regret the experience. I only traveled to one hospital last year, for seven months, and came away with life long friends. I am now grounded from traveling related to an old back injury, but am praying that I can hit the road again soon. Finally found something I really love!
Oh my gosh, there is another one of us out there! I thought I was the only outpatient oncology/infusion nurse!!!! I've been traveling for a year, there are jobs out there for someone with your background, but you have to be flexible. If you were an ER nurse, you could pick any state pretty much and find a positions, but for outpatient positions, there are fewer options. Having your OCN is a plus for sure, some require it. Make sure you find suitable travel companies that staff your specialty, there are a couple that have more of these types of positions, I have found. Also, there are certain states where these assignments come up more often. California, Texas, Washington, Michigan, and Mass are a few. The nice thing about contracting in an outpatient position, there is no on-call, no floating (usually), so it makes it much more reassuring going into a contract.
Many hospitals on diverson, lots of sick people and employees!
I completely agree with the other commenter. Any patient with TPN running should have more than one lumen or point of access if at all possible. TPN is sticky and heavy. It can coat the inner lumen of a catheter, epecially without proper flushing. This is breeding ground for bacteria and fuel for a possible precipitate which can possibly ruin an entire central line, necessitating replacement.
Sounds like you are taking a lot of the right steps, getting your feet wet a bit in the nursing world. I agree, there is so much more to nursing than what meets the eye. So many specialties and areas of nursing to get into. I would say keep up the work and brace yourself for a rigorous college experience, at least my four year degree was! Dedicate all your efforts into your studies, it will get you a lot farther than partying and goofing off!
I stayed "on-call" with my hospital at home, that helped cusion any lenthy breaks between assignments. I have a hard specialty to place, so I can have a hard time finding consecutive positions, but I know how much time I can safely take off between assignments and if things get tight, I pick up shifts at my old hospital.
I would suggest you have some savings built up prior to traveling, in case anything happens. For example, if your contract gets cancelled or something like that. I paid my travel expenses and was reimbursed by my company on my first paycheck whatever was quoted in the package. I had them divide my travel expenses between my first and last paycheck to help with the return trip as well. I've worked with Cross country on the phone, but never taken an assignment with them. So far they seem okay, not a lot of assignments for my particular specialty. I would suggest having a few companies that you primarily work with. If they all pitch you the same job, you can make them compete for you a bit, can work in your favor. Jobs in the southern states definitely pick up in the winter time (FL, AZ, NM), otherwise I haven't been doing it long enough to notice any trend for seasonal jobs.
I agree with the others, hard to pin point the best agency for everyone. Do your homework. Prioritize what is most important to you. Benefits? Pay? Housing? Number of opportunities? Rank them and then find an agency that aligns with your wish list. I find that a good recruiter makes a world of difference. A helpful site is travelnursingcentral.com. Other travelers rank agencies and leave comments about their experiences with the companies. I found it helpful in narrowing down my agencies to a few. Thats the other thing, you don't have to use just one agency, use a few. If you are in rare specialty, such as myself (infusion nursing/clinical oncology), have more than a few. It stacks the cards in your favor so to speak getting assignments. The companies I currently work with include Trinity Healthcare Staffing Group, Travel Nurse Across America, and Cross Country.
I would agree, getting a solid recuriter is a big part of picking an agency. I went through several company websites to narrow it down to ones that offered the benefits I was looking for. Then I spoke with the recruiters. If a recruiter didn't call me back or was pushy and rude, I didn't deal with the company anymore. In terms of competitive rates, if I had several recruiting companies pitch me the same position, which in my specialty invariably happens, I would ask them all to give me a ballpark of pay. Then, based on that and the benefit package, I would choose a company. Each specialty gets paid a little different and it depends on which states. Some states have horrible bill rates and others are better. Also I have found depends on how desperate the hospital is to fill the position, use that as leverage. EVERYTHING is negotiable, I've found that out. I'm not sure about the bi-lingual part, all you can do is ask.
I started traveling last February and own my home, which is about 4 hours from my family to begin with. I wasn't concerned about traveling while owning my home, I knew it would be better tax wise to have a permanent residence and it was nice having a solid place to land between assignments. I took off about 6 weeks between assignments, so it was nice to be home. I had friends checking on my house regularly. I would suggest you have a couple of people with keys, so that way if you need someone there and one person can't be, you have options. I never considered renting my house, would just be weird. I am considering relocating to NH where I was stationed for the majority of last year, so I'm in the process of possibly now selling my house. That's the warning I'll give you, maintain your house but don't be suprised if you find somewhere else you like better and end up selling it in the end! Good luck!
Hello Everyone! I am very interested in doing some travel nursing!! I have a question and have been looking through the forum and not able to find any answers.
***Does anyone own a home and doing travel nursing? How do you handle that? I do have family in the area that could come over and 'check' the house.
I am not really interested in renting it out. Also, I have been pondering the thought of moving but wasn't sure where. Figured this would give me a chance to see some places and then decide.
Sorry for the late response! Send me a message with any other questions you have and I can let you know which companies I've been working with and some resources I used before I made my decision to travel!
Great questions, many of which I asked myself before deciding to travel.
#1: I think you'll know, it is a personal thing. For me, I considered traveling a year ago, but something held me back, I was just really unsure.When I finally started reconsidering, it just felt right. I knew I had enough experience under my belt, my personal life could accomodate traveling, and mentally I was ready to move on from the job I had to something else.
#2: As I mention above, I considered traveling over a year ago and just started traveling this February. But I started thinking about it when they metioned it in nursing school, I always thought it would be so cool. Plus, I love to travel and everytime I would visit a place I wondered what it would be like to live there for just a short time to try it out!
#3: I love to learn new things, so new nursing situations tend to give me a charge. I actually was an infusion nurse and started my first travel job in Radiation oncology, no where near my specialty. But I enjoyed the challenge of learning it at a fast pace and picking things up as I went along.
#4: Spend a lot of time researching travel agencies. There are so many of them and each offers different things. I have 3 companies I'm primarily searching for jobs with, but have a few others that could be a back up if I needed it that place nurses in specialities like mine.
#5: Again, each agency is different, so if this is important, be sure to ask up front. I didn't need to pay for my license in New Hampshire because I have a compact state license. But each of my three agencies would pay for the licensing and even pay to fly me out to states like California to do fingerprinting if necessary. Not sure if you pay up front and they reimburse you (I imagine this is how it works) or if they pay up front, couldn't answer that one!
Good luck with the decision making, I wish you the best!
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