Helpful Tips for the Nurse Traveler - page 2
Hey there all, I just wanted to post a general thread about the basics of travel nursing for all those people who want to consider it. I know I asked a lot of questions when I was considering... Read More
Aug 1, '07I'm not sure about a company that has meet and greets - but you probably will meet a lot of other travelers wherever you go. Any floor that needs one will probably need another. And then you can meet people from allnurses too.... I have heard that travelers often tend to become good friends...
Aug 4, '07For meeting other travelers, I will frequently post a note on Travel Nursing online boards asking who's in the area I'm in and wants to go do things. I've met some great people that way that I have kept in touch with long term.
Aug 17, '07First of all, thanks for starting this thread!
In order to meet new people and try new things, I think that I would have to refer back to what someone had posted previously. You have to be a bit outgoing yourself and invite people to do things with you. Ask locals where is a good place to do something, and then make plans to do it with them.
Also, someone has already mentioned this, but if your hospital has you as a traveler, then there are bound to be more than one of you. Usually you find this out during your orientation days. Just make sure you also try to find some things to do with staff members, as usually they have the best ins on things to do.
Before long you will literally have friends across the country that you can hang out with. Plus you will find yourself running across many of the travelers that you have worked with before. You kind of make your own travel family. It's pretty neat.
Important things I have learned. I think most have been covered, so I apologize if any of this is repeat.
1.) If there is any set days that you really need off (wedding, birthday, family event, etc) get it in your contract. Otherwise, your request off will be considered just that, a request. Therefore, you may not get the time off you wanted.
2.) Be flexible. This is an adventure you are on, so smile and enjoy the trip.
3.) Be open minded. This is also a great opportunity to see how people in other parts of the country deliver healthcare. The worst thing to say is "well back home we....."
4.) No work = no pay. A lot of companies do not have a pto plan, so if you want to take a month off for vacation, make sure to start saving your money in advance to cover your bills.
5.) If you plan to travel with your pets, be sure to find out your company's and apartment's policies on pets, including pet deposits.
5a.) Dog parks are a great place to meet people.
6.) AAA and Onstar are my two best friends. Oh wait, don't forget Mapquest!
7.) Verbal contracts are considered binding when it comes to accepting assignments.
8.) Keep up with your mileage and be sure to turn in your travel reimbursement or you will lose out on a lot of money.
9.) At the end of the day, your recruiter should be the one who is willing to go to bat for you. They should be your number one fan and greatest supporter.
10.) Have fun! Not many people have the good fortune to be in our position, so take the time to do something different or fun each day. It can be something as small as taking a walk down a different street, going to a new park, or going to neighborhood festival. You may never have this opportunity again. Enjoy every minute of it.
Aug 22, '07http://www.travelnursingcentral.com/ - has a rating system for companies. Recommended to me by a fellow traveler.
Aug 22, '07Enjoying the read guys. My husband and I are both RN's and are in the process of checking out companies to travel with. WE are so excited. Just bought a 27' travel trailer to do our traveling in.
Aug 23, '07Congrats Dianne on purchasing the trailor and gearing up for the new lifestyle!! Good luck to you both. Glad there was some helpful info for you here!
Aug 23, '07Thank you for opening the door to this topic.
I am currently on an assignment, more than midway through a 26 week contract. I found out last week that I am making as much as 33% less than my coworkers who are working for other agencies.
33% less for doing the exact same job with the exact same housing!!
Now I know it is unprofessional to discuss with ones fellow travelers your rate of pay and have never had such a discussion during the course of prior assignments. This, however, is a unique situation. The facility is very small, located in a remote resort location. They use quite a few travelers for their season. We all live in hospital housing, work full time together and play during our off shifts. After a few months and a few cocktails you can learn quite a bit about your coworkers, including their rates of pay.
Needless to say my new found information filled me with fury and suspicion. "Who is taking advantage of me, the agency or the facility?" After leaving a message for my recruiter I scheduled an appointment with the DON (a definate perk to working in a small facility is the access to the people with the answers). What I learned from the DON was that she was currently using a hand full of travel agencies and that essentially they had all been contracted for the same rate. Why, then was 33% more of that contracted rate winding up in the hands of my coworkers? Ofcourse this was a question only my recruiter could answer....
And this is the fifty thousand dollar question (All right, more like $8000) "Why is it that your competitors are receiving the same rate as you from the hospital and managing to pay their travelers 25-33% more? What are you doing with my money?" The way I see it one of two things is happening here
- The overhead for this large national travel agency is so out of control that they can no longer pay a competitive rate
- You are making a whole lot of money off of me
Believe me when I tell you we went around and around. In the end did I get what I deserved? No but they did agree to a bonus that will make my compensation closer to what my more saavy coworkers are making. The only reason I got this bonus is that I alleviated the grey area. Housing is usually a bad agencies most powerful trump card. "Your housing is better/more expensive blah blah blah". Also unscrupulous agencies are banking on the fact that the decision maker at the facility won't be accessible and usually this is true. That's why this experience is so important for all of us. If you find an assignment you are interested in ask the person who interviews you what other travel agencies the facility uses. Call these agencies and ask what they are paying for that same contract. Shop around until you find the best senario for you. Then go back to your agency with all your facts and wait for your much improved offer. Don't let these agencies low-ball you because they will.
And so my fellow travelers I hope this experience of mine will help you all to be better negotiators on your upcoming assignments. There should be no room for unscrupulous agencies. Remember there is a nursing shortage. Agencies need us more than we need them. Let's support those good ones who truly support their nurses.
Sep 2, '07Hey Mac! I just experienced the same thing with my company! The most frustrating thing was that my recruiter kept saying it was the hospital! I know for a fact that it was not the hospital for the identical reason...very small hospital with a direct link to the DON who handles the contracting of travelers. I am most angry that I have been with this company for 5 yrs and now I feel like a fool! Your advice about the nurses interviewing the travel company is excellent. Well the scales have fallen out of my eyes. My next travel company (because this one won't be stealing from me again) is going to undergo an extensive interview!
Sep 12, '07So....it sounds like working for a travel agency right out of school is out of the question....am I right?
Sep 15, '07Thanks! This was really helpful, as i am trying to decide to travel or not. I really want to but some of the companies i have tried talking to have really discouraged me! There are so many and i have been given the run around by two different companies so far. Any companies out there anyone really likes or dislikes?!?