NICU Travel Nursing? Anyone done this or know about it?

  1. Yet another question.

    Okay, here's what I'm thinking. I'd like to travel. My state of choice is California at the moment, because of the impending ratio deal and because California seems nice and I've always wanted to go there and my hubby is from there. My train of thought is that because the hospitals are having to hire more nurses to be adequately staffed to meet the ratios that they are in need and will be for a little while. Because they can only hire so many new nurses (out of those available, newly graduation, or whatever), they have a need that may be met by travel or contract nursing. Now, I'm in the south, and have spoken to a couple of nurses who have traveled there or contracted there (only one of which was an NICU nurse), and I have some questions. Are there NICU jobs available with these companies? In either NICU or the well-baby nurseries? Level 2's? Is it even possible to do this? I'm guessing that the real problem is with units like Med/Surg, which traditionally has horrible staffing, so does this even apply to the NICU units? I have more questions, but let's work on these first. ;>P Thanks!

    Kristi
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   dawngloves
    I swear,half our staff is travelers! You want me to PM you some companies when I go back into work?
  4. by   nell
    Kristi,

    I'm a CA NICU nurse - Silicon Valley to be more precise. We have used travelers in our NICU in the past, but haven't in the past year due to budget concerns. There are a lot of other hospitals that are still using travelers though.

    As far as ratios go: NICU and Nursery have been covered by ratios since about 1997 and they aren't expected to change when/if the new ratios go into effect. The current ratios are: NICU - 1:2 max,RNs only; Intermediate Care Nursery - 1:4 max (I don't know if this is RNs only); and Well-Baby Nursery - 1:8 max, licensed nurse (RN or LVN). Many hospitals, however, ignore the ratios and get away with it....

    Med/Surg is the area that will need more nurses if/when the ratios go into effect. OR and Critical care are also already covered by ratios.

    Check out this travel nurses' board:

    http://forums.delphiforums.com/travelnurses/

    I think you'd be quite an asset - you are able to do level III, you are a hard worker and conscientious.

    Good luck!
  5. by   NurseAmy
    Well, I am about to make my first venture into NICU travel nursing so I will let you know how it goes!! I second the rec for the delphi forum- the info I have gathered there is critical to choosing a company. I am hoping to start my first assignment the end of May, somewhere close to home.
    Good luck. I am hearing that NICU jobs are a little harder to find as a traveler than other specialities, but they are definately needs out there.

    To infinity and beyond!!
    Amy

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