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- by Butter1103 Sep 12, '05I am pretty new to the nursing world, but I have spoken with a lot of experienced nurses about travel nursing. I'd be very interested in your thoughts.
Is it a good idea?
What should you look for in a travel nursing company?
What kinds of questions should be asked when you contact them?
Thanks for your input.
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- Sep 13, '05 by DaytonitePlease understand that you are basically doing agency work. The difference is that the agency was able to procure a contract with the hospital to guarantee that they would give you 13 full weeks of work. Traveling nurses cost hospitals a lot of money, so they are going to get as much labor out of you as they possibly can. Don't be surprised to find that you are working in a hospital that is really short staffed or has problems retaining employees. Be someone who doesn't mind floating because the hospitals that they send you to will float you before they float one of their staff nurses. Don't be sucked in by their promises of high salaries. They will tell you when you are actually presented with the contract to sign that they start you off at a lower salary. You will have to work your way up with successive contracts. You can make a lot of extra money by working doubles and overtime, but make sure you know up front if you have to approve the overtime with the agency first. The basic formula used to be that the agency charged the hospital 1 and 1/2 times the wage they were actually paying you. Shocked? That is how these agencies make their money. Be very clear with them what you want for living quarters. The last time I did a contract with them they promised a wonderful apartment all to myself overlooking the ocean. Come time to sign the contract and the living arrangements had changed drastically and I was going to have to pay a good size chunk of a monthly rent! Make sure it goes in the contract so if they don't deliver, you can get out of the contract. Make sure they are very clear with you about where your paycheck will come from and when. Before you sign any contract, read it very carefully. I found that they would sometimes sneak things into the contract that they had not discussed with me. Make sure that there are no penalties if you decide after a couple of weeks that you want out of the assignment. I worked with several travelers who became so homesick that they had to leave and go back home.
- Sep 13, '05 by Butter1103Thanks for the input.
It sounds like the most important thing is to make sure that it's a reputable business and to make sure the contract protects the nurse.
I'll have to make sure I read everything carefully.
- Sep 13, '05 by floridanurse2bIf they are that sneaky with contracts, I would suggest treating it like any other contract - not only read it yourself, but get a lawyer to read it. The little bit of money up front could save you a fortune and tons of stress later on down the line.
- Sep 13, '05 by suzanne4If you are new to nursing, then this isn't for you. You need to have at least one year of current experience. Please check out the travel nurse forum....
- Sep 14, '05 by DixieleeQuote from floridanurse2bIf you have to worry about your company sneaking things into the contract and not being honest with you, then you are with the wrong company. There are reputable companies out there, but you do have to be careful. Read the travel forum on this site as well as delphiforums and you will quickly see which companies to avoid and which ones you can feel more comfortable with.If they are that sneaky with contracts, I would suggest treating it like any other contract - not only read it yourself, but get a lawyer to read it. The little bit of money up front could save you a fortune and tons of stress later on down the line.
Same with housing. Some companies give private housing, some do not. Some give quality housing, some scrimp on it and furnishings. You will find a match, you just have to do your homework up front.
- Sep 14, '05 by DaytoniteQuote from DixieleeThe problem was I didn't find this out until the contract was presented to me to read and sign. This was after all the talking and negotiating. It was very disheartening.If you have to worry about your company sneaking things into the contract and not being honest with you, then you are with the wrong company. There are reputable companies out there, but you do have to be careful.
As suzanne4 said in her post, you really need to have at least a year's current experience before considering travel nursing. You will only be given a few days of orientation at most and that will be to aquaint you with hospital policy. They will expect that you know the procedures.
If you don't like floating and feel dumped on because your patient work load seems heavy think really hard before getting into travel nursing. If you are going to work med/surg areas you are most likely going to be float staff.