How much experience before travelling?

  1. 0
    I have one year of med-surg experience & a little over one year in L&D. I'm definitely much more comfortable with my knowledge base, ability to communicate with physicians, labor support, and helping managing labor. I have thought about doing some travel nursing after one more year. Does anyone have a recommendation as to how much L&D experience is needed before travelling? I know everyone is different.
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from 88nurse2010
    I have one year of med-surg experience & a little over one year in L&D. I'm definitely much more comfortable with my knowledge base, ability to communicate with physicians, labor support, and helping managing labor. I have thought about doing some travel nursing after one more year. Does anyone have a recommendation as to how much L&D experience is needed before travelling? I know everyone is different.
    Try the travel nurse forum. They are a wealth of knowledge and can even suggest companies to look into!

    I have heard anywhere from 1-3 years depending on the company. So I don't see why you couldn't start looking into it. Best of luck!
  4. 0
    At least 2 years, in my opinion. And that should be 2 years in a busy unit with complicated patients. You are expected to hit the ground running and function on your own when you travel. My very first travel assignment, I got 2 days hospital orientation to learn the computers and stuff, but I got NO orientation on the unit. So my first assignment as a traveler, I had a delivery within 10 minutes of walking on the unit. I had no idea how to work their exam lights, what the doctors expected, where the supplies were, or anything. It was certainly baptism by fire!
  5. 0
    Thanks for the input! I feel like I work on a busy unit with some high acuity patients. I think we have the 2nd or 3rd most deliveries in the state, but I would still like to have another year under my belt.
  6. 0
    I think after 2 years, you should be able to do it.
  7. 0
    I started travel nursing after 3.5 years--2 in a busier center with lots of deliveries and then 1.5 in a small, low-risk center that required me to be much more independent and sure of my assessments. I think experiencing both was important--the travel assignments I do now are all in rural hospitals with OBs out of house (if there is an OB at all). I would say make sure your triage skills are up to date, including assessing prems, doing specs and FFN swabs and possibly even digital exams. I did exams on patients as early as thirty weeks in my rural job quite a few times and at the beginning had no idea what a closed and long cervix was "supposed" to feel like.

    So yeah--a couple of years of busy/higher risk is good but try to get some rural experience too if you can--it saved my life in my travel jobs!!
  8. 0
    Two years experience in L&D would be a good minimum to start traveling.
    One suggestion - you will have a lot more latitude in traveling if you also have some experience in Mother/Baby and normal newborn Nursery as many of the smaller hospitals have the nurses move between all three (or cover all at once in the really small places). If you work in a hospital with separate areas I'd suggest volunteering to "cross-train" to the other two when L&D is less busy.


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