Almost new grad

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    I will be graduating with an ASN in a few months and am interested in getting into travel nursing as my first job. Do you have any advice for me regarding agencies that accept new grads? Also, do you think this is a good way to gain experience fresh out of school? Any advice you could give me would be great! Thanks in advance for all of your help!

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  2. 7 Comments...

  3. 0
    Most agencies require one year of med-surg experience before traveling. I don't think this is a good way to gain experience. When you are a traveler you are expected to walk on the floor and know what to do with little or no orientation. Being fresh out of school you will need to develop time management skills, assessment skills and critical thinking. Give yourself some time to adjust to being out of school then travel.
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    I'll take a stand here and say that it is most definitely NOT a good idea! And if you find an agency that wants to place you as a traveler with no experience run from them as fast as you can!
    Here's my reasons: As a traveler you are expected to have the experience and ability to "hit the ground running" - orientation can be as little as a few hours up to maybe 2 shifts. Then you're on your own. The unit you are working on will most likely be short staffed - otherwise they wouldn't be paying for travelers. There will always be staff nurses who will refuse to help you if you are "drowning" because "that's why you are making the big bucks". You will be expected to learn a new computer or paperwork system in the same time you are being oriented to the unit. Doctors are not going to cut you any slack and since you are not a trainee or orientee no one is going to stand up to them for you. Top this all off by remembering you will be doing all this in a strange hospital in a strange city, maybe a completely different part of the country without your usual support system.
    I don't paint this grim picture to discourage you from ever considering traveling (I've been at it 7 plus years now, but was already an "old" nurse) but to urge you to get that solid experience and confidence under your belt before you jump - then it can be a really positive experience.
  5. 0
    Not a good idea at all. renerian
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    Agreed. When we have travelers come, the only orientation they get is general hospital stuff. They're pretty much on their own otherwise. Most of them are excellent and able to jump into new environments - but only because they have experience!

    I know the benefits of travel nursing sound great, especially if you're young. But get at LEAST 1-2 years (2-3 if you're doing ICU) before you do it!
  7. 0
    First, I'm going to assume you are not already an LVN, because I believe if you were, you could possibly handle travelling (obviously depending on experience).
    If your reason for wanting to travel is to get out of the town you are currently in, then I suggest you look at the area you would like to travel to, do a hospital search, call them, and tell them you are thinking of moving to that area and are looking for a job as a GN. This way you can get a full GN internship/orientation. Fresh out of nursing school, you are not competent enough to go directly into travel (nor agency, nor float pool) nursing.
  8. 0
    wouldn't recommend traveling until you have solid experience under your belt.
  9. 0
    bagladyrn, you make excellent points. In addition, my experience has been that some hospitals will give the traveller an inservice on their equipment, say IV pumps, before you start working on the unit. Others will not, and it's up to you to "get up to speed" fast in the one or two shifts of orientation that you'll get.


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