I have been seriously looking into travel nursing for several months now, but so for my experiences with travel companies has sucked. I'm starting to wonder if I'm just not worth hiring.
I have 1 1/2 years of experience in med/surg with quite a bit of ICU and ER float time, at a level II trauma center. I also out of frustrated just started a full time staff position in a smaller, rural hospital in ICU.
I have had a very hard time getting offers or even interviews from facilities with travel companies. Twice one company submitted me to facilities only to tell me the next day that the facility neglected to tell them the position was already filled.
AYA healthcare finally found me a spot in Las Vegas, but when the contract actually showed up it was nothing like what had been discussed. I was told it was a 36 hour med/surg position with "excellent compensation," and day shift. When I got the contract, it turned out to be night shift, and some sort of float pool. The contract stated I had to give the facility "five days of availability" every week and they would call me between 1600 and 1700 every day to tell me if I have to work. It also said I needed to have my car with me because public transportation wouldn't work with such short notice. That's all fine and good, but there was no compensation for the 700 mile drive to Las Vegas. The pay was also significantly less than what I make as a staff nurse. The take home was a little over $600 a week including the housing stipend. I bring home $800 a week working 3 days a week as it is.
I don't think I could even live in Vagas for that much. I mentioned all this to the recruiter and he said I have "almost no experience" and its very important for me to take the first travel assignment I can to get travel experience, and I couldn't expect to be paid more as a first time traveler. I ended up just turning down the assignment and I quit looking for travel jobs.
Is there any hope for finding a better assignment for the first time, or should I just A.) Suck it up and take a not so great assignment, or B.) Just keep gaining staff nurse experience and hope to find a better offer a few years down the road?