Can new grads begin with travel nursing ?

  1. 0
    Hello,

    I will be graduating with my BSN in May 2013. I am very interested in travel nursing since it will allow me to save money and travel while I am still young. Does anyone know if it is possible to do so without prior nursing experience? The other question I have is, do travel nurses have a regular nursing job as well or do they just travel? I was wondering about this because if one were to have a regular nursing job, how would they take the time to go on 12 week assignments (or however long they are).

    Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice relating to this type of work would be helpful and appreciated!

    Thank you!
    Courtney
  2. 9 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    No - you cannot travel without at LEAST a year or two of experience. Put yourself in the employer's shoes - you're not paying top $$ for someone you have to train. A travel nurse gets AT MOST 3-5 shifts of orientation, and is then expected to be a fully-functioning member of the staff.

    And travel IS your job- no employer holds a position while you work for someone else for 13-26 weeks. And if there is not another assignment after your current one - you're out of work.Sorry to burst your bubble.
    poppycat and RNFiona like this.
  4. 0
    Thank you! That is pretty much what I was expecting to hear, I was just curious.
  5. 1
    Oh goodness don't do it!!! Gain some experience first or you will either harm someone or lose your license. Most assignments are now asking for at least 3-5 years experience compared to 10 years ago when all they required was 1-2 years.
    RNFiona likes this.
  6. 0
    Every job I've seen advertised in travel nursing in my area has required at least FIVE years experience. I can understand that, though, because there isn't going to be much training at all.
  7. 0
    No travel company will hire a nurse without prior experience. You receive maybe 2 days TOPS orientation if you are lucky and then you are expected to jump right in. Get a few years under your belt first
  8. 0
    Quote from CrazierThanYou
    Every job I've seen advertised in travel nursing in my area has required at least FIVE years experience. I can understand that, though, because there isn't going to be much training at all.
    Thank you for writing this.
    I am going into my fourth year of nursing and have wanted to travel a long time. I have recently been debating starting next year or doing a fifth year where I am now and then travel. I have two years Level 3C NICU experience and am on my second year of Peds Cardiac ICU experience (open chests, ecmo, VADS, transplant, the whole she-bang), with training & floating to the PICU. Starting to think that it may be better to stick around for the fifth year just to make sure...
  9. 0
    No, two years in current specialty is fine. The only reason to have more is to compete with travelers with more experience. What you really need is a couple of proven travel assignments under your belt.

    No harm either way in calling a couple of agencies and getting an idea of how many postings they have in your specialty.

    To be honest, I haven't met a travel peds open heart recovery nurse. I get the idea that those kinds of units are kind of protective of their most acute cases, including NICU, and don't allow travelers to have them. I've worked dozens of assignments in open heart surgery, and peds programs have been rare. I've only seen them in University of Maryland (where I trained), UCSF, and Duke (where I wasn't allowed to do peds) - each only had one room, doing perhaps 7 cases a week. No doubt there are several dozen or more open heart peds programs but I'm not sure that you will be able to limit your travel to them.
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    UCSF just doubled their Pediatric Cardio-Thoracic ICU beds from 8 to 16. They are building a brand new facility new the current campus. They are very short staffed right now after hiring two new surgeons. Just a tip for you Pediatric ICU travel nurses. Check it out!
    umcRN likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from NedRN
    No, two years in current specialty is fine. The only reason to have more is to compete with travelers with more experience. What you really need is a couple of proven travel assignments under your belt.

    No harm either way in calling a couple of agencies and getting an idea of how many postings they have in your specialty.

    To be honest, I haven't met a travel peds open heart recovery nurse. I get the idea that those kinds of units are kind of protective of their most acute cases, including NICU, and don't allow travelers to have them. I've worked dozens of assignments in open heart surgery, and peds programs have been rare. I've only seen them in University of Maryland (where I trained), UCSF, and Duke (where I wasn't allowed to do peds) - each only had one room, doing perhaps 7 cases a week. No doubt there are several dozen or more open heart peds programs but I'm not sure that you will be able to limit your travel to them.
    My hospital actually uses quite a few travellers, more in the PICU/CICU, though the NICU does occasionally too, so I have had a chance to talk to them about their experiences and where to go. Most seem to think I will be able to find a job pretty easily if I am open to any of the three. This also works because travellers seem to always float first so since i Have experience in all three areas I am hoping I'll be ok


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