In need of a change and a little adventure...Considering traveling.

  1. 0
    Hello all,
    I am currently a nurse in the suberbs of Chicago working for the past year and a half on a cardiac/tele floor. I've been a nurse for a total of 2 1/2 years. I'm 25 years old, single, no kids, living with my parents.. so basically I have no ties to keep me home and nothing to lose. I've been reading all of the horror stories on here and it has me slightly discouraged.

    One question I have is, what is the quality/type of housing usually? Is it normally in an extended stay hotel or in a small condo/apartment type? If it is in a hotel, does this work out okay or is it pretty inconvenient??

    As far as finding a trustworthy and reliable agency and recruiter, I have no idea where to begin. I have been looking at travelnursecentral.com which posts the "top agencies in 2012." Does anyone know if this is a reliable website to take advice from? I've also been looking at the posts on here, but I can never tell which are the legitimate posts by actual nurses who have worked with the agencies or just recruiters trying to get more clients.

    Any info would be helpful. At the moment I can't respond to PM's so if you want to send me a PM either leave your email address or just email me directly sarena.richardson33@gmail.com

    THANKS
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Forums are information exchange to benefit every reader, and I think it is inappropriate to use them to solicit offline conversations personally. Kind of defeats the purpose, and in the best case, you will get very limited information given by only a few instead of a larger community. In addition, posting your email address on a public forum makes it a sure bet that some internet bot will harvest your address and add to your spam burden. Just saying. Not to mention pervs who salivate at having a young women's email address, especially one eager to get out of her parent's home.

    Living at home? Ever looked for housing? You can always take an agency housing stipend and obtain your own housing if you are nervous about trusting others with that task. Yes, agency housing could be good or bad but it usually is acceptable. Seldom are agencies able to have an onsite visit to confirm quality. Often they have used the same housing in the past so they know if it passed other travelers criteria. More and more, even finding housing is being handed over to third party experts in temporary housing. You can query your recruiter as to their history with the assignment property (usually this conversation has to be done after you have been accepted at a proposed assignment), scope it out online, ask to speak to one of their travelers who have been in the housing, and so on. The actual housing type may depend on your preferences, and actual availability or affordability. Finally, travelers work off a fixed bill rate out of which all expenses must be paid. There are agencies with reputations for great housing, but they usually pay less as a result.

    There are hundreds of agencies and picking the right ones for you can be daunting. You can use a list you find online as a starting point, for example Google the "ten best agencies" but look carefully at the criteria for those lists (sometimes the list maker is actually an agency for example) and determine if their criteria is important to you. Most sites are advertising supported so they may have a conflict of interest.

    You might also contemplate on what is your ideal agency shape: large, medium, or small. All have their potential benefits. Larger agencies have far more assignments available (and a better housing database which might be important to you), but tend to pay less. Small agencies are just the opposite, and medium agencies can be a mix of either desirable or undesirable qualities.

    Personally, I think one of the best ways to go is to lurk on traveler forums, not just this one, and read what individual travelers think about their agencies. After some time, you will get an idea of which agencies will fit your needs.

    It will boil down to hard work on your part. Communication and trust are very important parts of business relationships, and you can't determine who that will work without actually talking to recruiters. At some point you will also have to just do an assignment and learn as you go - it is OK if the first assignment is not perfect in every way. Do not sign up on a site that will have agencies contacting you. You will never get off such lists, and you probably will not find a good agency that way. Better to contact them, have a chat (you will learn a lot from such chats) and avoid giving them any contact information, even *69 or Skyping calls to agencies to avoid caller ID return calls. Make notes and go back to recruiters that you communicated well with and seem straightforward and trustworthy.

    I like to recommend larger agencies for new travelers (like one of the Cross Country or American Mobile agencies). You may not get top dollar, but they have a lot of resources. Get your feet wet, and you will learn what is right for you.
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    I had a feeling I'd get some comments about leaving my email. I've contemplated the risks, I can always block a sender, or if worse comes to worst, I'll delete my gmail account and make a new one. I completely agree that the forum format of the site is very beneficial. Because of that reason, most of my questions about travel nursing, cardiac nursing, and nursing in general are already answered. Therefore, I don't need to start new topics in order to get my questions answered. It is because of that reason that I haven't started the required 15 topics to be able to utilize the Private Message aspect of this site despite having been a part of the allnurses community for almost 2 years. I only put my email address because I've had people private message me with great advice and questions and I've not been able to respond, it's not a good feeling. As for the "pervs" that could potentially email me...I think i'll be okay.

    Thanks for your concern and all of the other great advice. I will certainly take it all into consideration
  6. 0
    It sounds like you are in a great position to start traveling. It's a big decision, but I can tell you from my experience...it's the best decision I ever made. It has been a great learning experience and a great adventure. You can always start, do one assignment, see how it goes and if you like it...then decide from there.
    This is my opinion only, but no matter what agency you choose to go with you have to have a connection with the recruiter. I started out with one company/recruiter after a year of trying to get a job with no offers, I decided to switch companies. My new recruiter is amazing. She really listens to what I want and seems to be on my side. I think a recruiter can make or break your experience. Talk to different recruiters and don't lock into anyone. Find someone that listens to your needs.
    As far as housing...I have only had one experience where they were going to put me, my husband, with 2 dogs in an extended stay hotel at the airport. For us, you can imagine...this was NOT an option. We wound up taking the stipend last minute and found our own apartment. Keep in mind that when you take stipend you are responsible for finding a place willing to let you do a short term lease, you have to pay security deposits and most likely the first months rent prior to moving in. Not to mention pay for utilities etc. I'm not saying it's not doable-we have done this several times. Most of the time we are given a 1 bedroom apartment and they have been pretty decent. Check out travelnursehelp.com there are some good articles there about traveling and about how to get started. Best of luck with your travels!
  7. 0
    Quote from ERGypsyRN
    It sounds like you are in a great position to start traveling. It's a big decision, but I can tell you from my experience...it's the best decision I ever made. It has been a great learning experience and a great adventure. You can always start, do one assignment, see how it goes and if you like it...then decide from there.
    This is my opinion only, but no matter what agency you choose to go with you have to have a connection with the recruiter. I started out with one company/recruiter after a year of trying to get a job with no offers, I decided to switch companies. My new recruiter is amazing. She really listens to what I want and seems to be on my side. I think a recruiter can make or break your experience. Talk to different recruiters and don't lock into anyone. Find someone that listens to your needs.
    As far as housing...I have only had one experience where they were going to put me, my husband, with 2 dogs in an extended stay hotel at the airport. For us, you can imagine...this was NOT an option. We wound up taking the stipend last minute and found our own apartment. Keep in mind that when you take stipend you are responsible for finding a place willing to let you do a short term lease, you have to pay security deposits and most likely the first months rent prior to moving in. Not to mention pay for utilities etc. I'm not saying it's not doable-we have done this several times. Most of the time we are given a 1 bedroom apartment and they have been pretty decent. Check out travelnursehelp.com there are some good articles there about traveling and about how to get started. Best of luck with your travels!

    ERGypsyRN,
    Can you give me some tips on exactly you had to endure while providing your own housing with two dogs please? Thank you.
  8. 0
    The worst part about housing with having the dogs is just finding an apartment that will accept them! A lot of places have a NO pet policy, you have to pay an extra monthly fee per pet, and/or a pet deposit up front. Some places also have breed/weight restrictions. This doesn't usually pertain to us because our Lhasa Apsos and <25lbs. Another thing is of course you can expect to be living in a complex with many other dogs. Our dogs are territorial and sometimes have a hard time adjusting with sharing their space with other animals. They were used to their own fenced in back yard before traveling, so they require a lot of walking now. There also have been a couple of places that required us to have updated shot records for the dogs. Overall, it really hasn't been too terrible. It just takes some planning and foot work to find a suitable place.

    If you plan on having your agency provide your housing at any point, if they are aware of your dog(s) they will find appropriate housing. At least mine does. I had to pay a one time fee with the agency of $600 for pets, but that was refundable after the 1st assignment. Now they just know we travel with pets and plan accordingly.

    Hope this helps.
  9. 0
    Quote from ERGypsyRN
    The worst part about housing with having the dogs is just finding an apartment that will accept them! A lot of places have a NO pet policy, you have to pay an extra monthly fee per pet, and/or a pet deposit up front. Some places also have breed/weight restrictions. This doesn't usually pertain to us because our Lhasa Apsos and <25lbs. Another thing is of course you can expect to be living in a complex with many other dogs. Our dogs are territorial and sometimes have a hard time adjusting with sharing their space with other animals. They were used to their own fenced in back yard before traveling, so they require a lot of walking now. There also have been a couple of places that required us to have updated shot records for the dogs. Overall, it really hasn't been too terrible. It just takes some planning and foot work to find a suitable place.

    If you plan on having your agency provide your housing at any point, if they are aware of your dog(s) they will find appropriate housing. At least mine does. I had to pay a one time fee with the agency of $600 for pets, but that was refundable after the 1st assignment. Now they just know we travel with pets and plan accordingly.

    Hope this helps.
    ERGypsyRN, it helps but I decided to leave Bailey at home. I work dialysis where the hours can be unpredictable as my husband will be back and forth. He is a ShihTzu and weighs 10 pounds and very very dependent on me. I can leave him for ten minutes and when I return he acts as if I was gone for days. I would like to go to Cali for six months and rent my own apartment with hubby and child (dog).
  10. 0
    It is a little easier for us too because my husband works from home. He is able to give them the attention they need every day. It's quite an adjustment for them. They are a little more conditioned to the ever changing lifestyle, but at first they had a lot of stress issues. We usually try not to leave them alone the first week or so once we move just so they can adjust. Seems to help. California-Redondo Beach- was one of the places we had a hard time finding an apartment that allowed dogs. Just plan ahead if you decide to go there and do your own housing. (Also, take LOTS OF FRONTLINE! Fleas were so terrible there!)


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