I'm am a telemetry nurse with 15 months experience & counting. I work days on a unit that cares for post cardiac caths, CABG's, pacemaker implants, thoracotomies, MI's; arrythmias, etc. We also care for medical overflow patients as well. Prior to becoming an RN, I was an LPN & worked for a year in the LTC area. Overall, I have nearly 10 years of experience in the healthcare field, beginning first as a CNA & "working my way up the ladder" so to speak. Now that I have a little over 1 year RN experience, I'm considering travel nursing. Has anyone with 1-2 years of similar experience ventured into travel nursing, & lived to regret/enjoy it? Is travel nursing worth it? Could someone give me an idea of what I could expect to earn on an hourly basis given my experience, & willingness to work in the Midwest region?
Sep 11, '06
Working in a specialty area as you do, I'd try to hang in there and get the 2 years of experience before traveling. In addition to making you more comfortable when thrown into a new environment with minimal to no orientation or help, it will improve your chance at getting the contracts.
Also think about using the last 6 months or so to research and compare various agencies to find the one that suits your needs and desires the best.
Sep 11, '06
As an ER nurse I put in 1 year as staff, then did agency for a month and then started traveling. I did 4 assignments and absolutely loved it. Then I stopped because my son started school. Personally, I think that 1 year experience was appropriate for me to start traveling.
Your pay depends on which state you go to. It also depends on what you need, insurance, type of housing, travel allowance, rental car, etc. Basically you tell the company what you want/need and they tell you what they can do for you.
Even though the pay is better as a traveler, I found that the major benefits were actually traveling the country, meeting new people, and seeing how the different hospitals did things differently. Traveling definitely made me a better nurse.
As a traveler you need to be versatile to the way each hospital does things, be able to "hit the floor" with a simple orientation to the unit. (aka here's your pixis, and here are your rooms. ) I also think you've got to be personable and open-minded.
google travel nursing, there are literally hundreds of companies out there.
Best of luck!!