Hard to get first assignment as a travel nurse?

  1. I've been a nurse for 3.5 years, the first two on an IMCU, which I loved, and the last year and a half on Inpatient Rehab (move due to hubby's job), which I HATE. I've had several recruiters looking for jobs in tele for me in CA, but there haven't been any offers yet. The recruiters say many hospitals are looking for experienced travelers, but I'm worried. Right now I'm working with recruiters from three agencies; do I need to apply to other agencies? Or should I try to find another full time job and scrap the idea of travel nursing?
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    About mom2mands

    Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 8
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   bunny8762
    got my license and looked for travel assignment in CA... could't find the perfect fit... ended up starting in Baltimore, MD instead
  4. by   NedRN
    I agree, consider other locations until you are more marketable. Three agencies may not be enough either, especially if they are all smaller.
  5. by   picknenders
    Try other areas and keep your mind open. usually the first one is the toughest to get, but having that one on your resume will help you with future travels. Hang in there!
  6. by   palmbeachRN
    There are tons of jobs in cali.. It took me a while (6 months) because I was picky about location and San Fran area is seasonal, but I just got my first travel job in Oakland. I have 2 years tele experience. You will get one, just be persistent. If you don't already have your license, apply early, it takes forever.
  7. by   dance4life
    It is difficult. I did travel years before I looked and I worked agency, but it still didn't work for some hospitals. The first assignment I just took what I could get. Now I am picky.
  8. by   Jannmarie
    I would definitely recommend working with more agencies at first. Also, you should be a little bit more flexible on location your first few assignments (they're only 13 weeks, it's not like you're there a year or anything). After you get a few good letters of recommendation, finding an assignment in CA shouldn't be a problem. A word of advice when working with several agencies - once you find a recruiter you really like and establish a relationship, you should really stick with them. There are a lot of benefits when working exclusively with them ie them having your best interest in mind and submitting you first for assignments. good luck!
  9. by   Sage1111
    Great advice Jannmarie!!
  10. by   mom2mands
    Thank you all for the suggestions! I already have my CA license and am not being picky about the location assignment, but the time it's taking is making me nervous. And one recruiter is really pushing Kaiser, which makes me wonder, since I've read a number of negative posts about working for them.
  11. by   NedRN
    The deal with Kaiser is that there are lots of jobs in one pot - largest hospital chain in California - and unlike a number of other assignments, they will take new travelers. So it is good place to start. The bad reviews come mostly from having to float to other units. The staff works 8 hour shifts, travelers 12. Do the math, and it is fairly common to be floated every 4 hours. So you have to be on top of your charting and patients and ready to go. If you don't think you can do this, don't take a Kaiser assignment.

    If you take it and succeed, you will have a wider choice of next assignments. But tele and MS are not exactly hopping right now.