New-ish ICU Nurse- Contemplating Travel Soon. Advice?

  1. 0
    Hey! I am 23 years old with no attachments and would like to travel a bit before I do get attachments. I have been in a level II trauma center ICU for 1 year... we take sick people from the area hospitals and are able to care for most of our patients. Occasionally we send people to Boston, but really only if they need a transplant. We do open hearts and have a mixed cardiac/neuro/medical/surgical/etc ICU, so I have gotten a variety of experiences.

    I am planning on working on my CCRN over the winter (while hibernating) and contemplating the idea of travel nursing next year. Most places ask for at least 18months-2 years of experience. Will coming from a Level II center be detrimental to me? I have heard that I should go work in a Level I city hospital first and then go travel... I would just feel bad going through orientation with them and only staying for a few months!

    Many of the nurses I work with did traveling when they were my age and they are incredible, resourceful, independent, laid back nurses who are frazzled by nothing. I am still learning always but I definitely have the laid back and adaptable personality that would be beneficial to traveling.

    Any advice/info on traveling as an ICU nurse and experience level would be super helpful! thanks :-)

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  2. 4 Comments...

  3. 0
    When you apply for assignments you should be able to find out about hospitals and avoid Level I if that's what you're wanting. Your recruiter can help you.
    I had 18 months experience when I started traveling and have succeeded. I feel having the "go with the flow" attitude definitely helps.
  4. 0
    Quote from laroo
    Hey! I am 23 years old with no attachments and would like to travel a bit before I do get attachments. I have been in a level II trauma center ICU for 1 year... we take sick people from the area hospitals and are able to care for most of our patients. Occasionally we send people to Boston, but really only if they need a transplant. We do open hearts and have a mixed cardiac/neuro/medical/surgical/etc ICU, so I have gotten a variety of experiences.

    I am planning on working on my CCRN over the winter (while hibernating) and contemplating the idea of travel nursing next year. Most places ask for at least 18months-2 years of experience. Will coming from a Level II center be detrimental to me? I have heard that I should go work in a Level I city hospital first and then go travel... I would just feel bad going through orientation with them and only staying for a few months!

    Many of the nurses I work with did traveling when they were my age and they are incredible, resourceful, independent, laid back nurses who are frazzled by nothing. I am still learning always but I definitely have the laid back and adaptable personality that would be beneficial to traveling.

    Any advice/info on traveling as an ICU nurse and experience level would be super helpful! thanks :-)
    I waited until I had 6 years experience before I traveled. You really don't need that much time, but please be sure you are comfortable with ICU skills before you go. Nurses don't have time to teach you as a traveler, you are EXPECTED to know what you're doing and hit the floor running after a very short orientation. You don't get the 12 weeks most new nurses do, its at the most 2 12 hour shifts with a nurse, thats it.
  5. 0
    You recover open hearts? Yes, you should have two years of experience but don't worry about level 1 hospitals. The market for travelers is recovering nicely, and even though you have less experience than most travelers, you should be good (marketable) after you put your two years in.
  6. 1
    My best friend I am traveling with has 1.5 years ICU experience in a level I hospital and 4 years in med-surg. I have 5 years in ICU at level I and II hospitals. We are trying to find assignments together and that's been difficult solely because of her "lack of experience". A lot of places have upped the ante and are looking for 3 years ICU experience minimum. I completely agree with waiting for that extra experience. You won't have hardly any resources on the unit once you're on an assignment, they are fully expecting you to be able to take whatever is handed to you. In my 3 assignments, I have always had the busiest, slightly tougher assignments. I almost always have the code bed and get some clustered mess of a code. They expect you to be wonder woman, as they're interested in treating their full-time staff better.

    It is good, better experience being a traveler and being exposed to a lot, but I feel without my relatively little experience of 5 years, I wouldn't feel as confident with what I'm doing. I am also CCRN and would recommend at least obtaining that before you begin traveling, as you're already planning. It sounds like you have a great plan, but I don't think switching to a level I hospital will change anything. They are more interested in the years of experience rather than where you got them.

    I'm not trying to discourage you, I am only sharing what I've experienced so far with traveling.
    Last edit by AllyRN82 on Aug 27, '12 : Reason: Typo
    ICUman likes this.


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