Getting into Travel Nursing

  1. Hi everyone! I just had a few questions for travel nurses. I am very interested in starting travel nursing. I am a recent graduate (less than a year ago). I have been working in a Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit for the last 6+ months. I was wondering if anyone knew any travel companies that will hire you without 1 year experience. I also worked as a CNA for 2+ years on a Dialysis/Renal/Medical floor before this. Thank you for any and all information that you have. Oh and if there aren't any that take you with less than 1 year experience how about some suggestions for good travel companies for when I can travel?! Thanks again!!!!!
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    About StudentNurse3016

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 3


    You can probably find companies that will talk to you without having a full year of experience, but finding a hospital that will accept you is a completely different story. I wouldn't even try it now.

    I was able to secure my first nursing job as a travel nurse only because I had documented skills in Emergency Care for many years before I began my nursing career. Take your time. Get the experience you need and then embark on the amazing experience you can have as a Travel Nurse Professional. It will benefit you and the rest of us who love to travel.

    It is much harder today to find a travel assignment. I have been told that unless you have a licence in the state you want to submit your information to the hospitals won't even look at you. That could get very costly. It's not free to obtain additional nursing licenses. My vote is for national licensing. The VA does it why can't all hospitals????

  4. by   elkpark
    There are plenty of agencies that will sign you up with little or no experience, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to get contracts -- many (most?) of the hospitals that use travelers require a minimum of two, three, or more years of experience in a particular specialty (your CNA experience will not count at all -- agencies and facilities are only interested in your experience in the RN role). Hospitals and other facilities pay a lot of money for travelers, and, for that amount of $$, they expect to get a seasoned, experienced "pro" who is ready to hit the floor running and get the the job done with minimal orientation (often less than a single shift!) and supervision/guidance. They are not interested in orienting a new grad -- if they wanted to do that, they'd just hire a new permanent employee.

    Even if you could find a travel position as a new grad, the agency and the facility would not be doing you any favor. They are not looking out for your interests; they have plenty of warm bodies, and if you crash and burn, there's always someone else to take your place. You, though, only have you. To be successful as a traveler, you not only need (IMHO) to be a seasoned, experienced RN who can be dropped down anywhere and be ready to function independently, but you also need to be savvy enough about nursing in general to be able to protect your license and your own interests (because travel agencies and facilities that use travelers will not hesitate to put you in ill-advised or downright dangerous situations) -- and new graduates (and those in their first few years of practice) are rarely in a position to be able to do that.
  5. by   labrador4122
    what are those companies?? do you know the names of the companies that will take you without having any experience but your RN license??

  6. by   EmergencyNrse
  7. by   smober1
    One thing you can try to see if you are ready for traveling is some per diem agency shifts. There you get thrown in with only about 15-30 minutes of orientation. Basically, there is the bathroom, put your lunch there, supplies are over there.

    If you feel comfortable doing that, you might be ready for traveling. If not, work another year or two where you are until you feel comfortable.