Local Agencies or Traveling Agencies?

  1. I'm currently a nursing student. When I graduate, I hope to get into traveling nursing soon after. I just want realiability and stability. I want to see many, many states (as I've still never been out of Texas) but I dont know whether I should go with a local agency in the state I want to visit next or with a regular traveling agency that does business in every state.

    I've read great stories and horror stories about the same companies throughout these forums. I know that a company contracting in all states would probably be easier to work with when I want to travel to another state. However, would a local agency for just one state be more reliable? I just dont want to be burned!

    Thanks for all of your help!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   LadyNASDAQ
    Quote from shannon88
    I'm currently a nursing student. When I graduate, I hope to get into traveling nursing soon after. I just want realiability and stability. I want to see many, many states (as I've still never been out of Texas) but I dont know whether I should go with a local agency in the state I want to visit next or with a regular traveling agency that does business in every state.

    I've read great stories and horror stories about the same companies throughout these forums. I know that a company contracting in all states would probably be easier to work with when I want to travel to another state. However, would a local agency for just one state be more reliable? I just dont want to be burned!

    Thanks for all of your help!
    Trust me, you should go staff for 2 years. You have to understand that you need experience before venturing out . The hospitals expect you to know a lot and you will working staff so you can get out of novice mode. There is so much to know and you never stop learning. I've been working as a Nurse for 28 years. Trust me, you won't be sorry with this advice I'm giving you.
  4. by   shannonFNP
    Thanks for the tip, I was planning on working as a CNA the first year of nursing school, an LVN the second year, and when I graduate I'd work as an RN for another year. Then I would try to go out into traveling.

    But do you know anything about the difference of the agencies? I just like to plan ahead. I dont know whether to go with one in the state I would travel to, or with a larger one like Nurses In Partnership or RNDemand.

    Thanks for the help.
  5. by   KyRNBSN
    Most companies will require you to have 1-2 years minimum under your belt in practice as an RN before they will even consider letting you travel.. CNA and LVN experience is not included in this. (some might consider the LVN practice but very few) I must say LadyNASDAQ is right when she says get the experience under your belt.. As a new grad, you will soon learn you have much more to learn that nursing school did not cover. Basically, nursing school teaches you basics and what you need to pass the board. None of that can compensate for good ol hands on experience and learning. Now, for that 2 years you are getting experience.. I recommend getting it in at least one year as a float nurse to various floors to get a good feel and get you on your feet. Then for the next year, specialize in one of the ICU's, ER, Dialysis, L&D, NICU, PICU etc. These are the positions that will land you the top pay and top choices in assignments. Everyone is a M/S Nurse, but not everyone can work in an ICU,et al.. Me included. I've done years of Stepdown but I am still not capable of working ICU simply because I lack the experience..
    Hindsite is 20/20.. your lucky that you are just starting out and have many ppl here to guide you along your way. I shoulda.. and I coulda.. are things you can' avoid by asking now while in school..

    Good luck to you in your career!
  6. by   neeneedavis
    I agree - I'm an LPN Travel Nurse on my first assignment and I've been a nurse for 11 years, prior to that I was a Scrub Tech for 4 yrs. There is no way I could have ever been ready to travel after only two years of being a nurse. It took a good 4-5 years just to get where I felt like I really knew something. Take your time - learn as much as you can and keep educating yourself and learning new things!!
  7. by   shannonFNP
    Thanks for the replies, but what I'm asking is whether local or national agencies are more reliable? Thanks! =)
  8. by   openspacesrn
    Hey Shannon88, I have only been traveling for about 4 years, but from my experience the national agencies give you more options. I truly have not seen much difference between agencies. If you are wanting to stay within 50 miles from your home, you should go to a local agency that will do per-dium. It usually pays more per hour, but does no guarentee the number of hour you will get. You cost the hospitals more, so you are the first cancelled if the need drops. Unless you go further than 50 miles, I don't believe the agencies can consider you a "Travel Nurse"! Contracts are a more secure way to go, but you get less for the hourly rate as a result of guarenteed number of hours each week/Month. If you have some specific agencies you are thinking about, you might throw those names out there, and see if anyone has any specific experience with them. I hope that answers your questions.

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