I've been scouring the web, forums, etc for info on a good company to travel with. I've come to the conclusion there is no perfect one. Sadly, I put out feelers with AMN before I realized what I was doing.
The recruiter there has called me twice a day for the last 5 days. Sometimes more. I can't decide if I dislike her or not. On the one hand, I respect her angle. On the other hand she is driving me crazy. When I first spoke with her I said I was willing to go up to 10 hours driving distance from where I currently live for my first assignment. (I live in GA.) She suggested CA. I said, where on your map are you folding it to get a 10 hr max trip to the West coast from GA?
She didn't laugh. I knew then it was a bad sign. She has extolled the Killem' Permanente's virtues ad nauseam (I genuinely thought I might throw up). I dont mind KP except I don't necessarily want to work in one. Also, no amount of redirecting can get her off the KP hallelujah chorus for more than 45 seconds (I started timing it on the third phone session). If I was doing shots every time she mentioned KP I'd have a lethal ETOH level in the first 10 mins.
So I applied for my CA license two days ago. I don't mind traveling there, but I dislike the fact she won't even attempt to find anything closer. She actually suggested Burlington, VT today (18 hrs away as the car drives). But it gets better, she didn't just suggest it, she submitted me for it yesterday & wanted to give me the # to interview with the nurse manager.
I coughed rather politely, and said you did what? I don't even have a VT license and zero desire to go there. This was a fatal error on my part as she countered with "Oh, well KP is filling their winter needs for 26 week assignments..." (I slapped my forehead and ambled to the liquor cabinet while I hmmm'd & huh'd in all the appropriate places.)
So then I told her I'd get back to her, and gently eased my way out of the convo (an excruciating 7 mins later). I'm planning to have a memorial service for the 32 mins of my life I'll never get back later this week.
Anyway, I've pretty much decided that I'm never going to answer another call from her. I can't afford the therapy to recover.
I've put apps in with Flexcare, Valley, Nurse Choice, Freedom healthcare, Soliant, Talemed and I think 2 more. I haven't heard back from all of them, but so far I really liked the woman who called me from Nurse Choice. Granted, I haven't gotten very far with her. She called once and we discussed my CA license app status, she told what they could offer me, made it clear she was interested in me but wasn't pushy. She gave me her direct line & told me to call with questions or when my license came thru. No calls since then.
I've read good & bad things about pretty much all of the companies I applied with. The sad thing is I didn't realize that Nurse Choice was affiliated with AMN. I even mentioned that I was talking to an AMN recruiter & the impression I got from the NC recruiter was she wasn't too fond of them. I told her the generics about what the AMN girl had offered me & she countered with a MUCH better deal. Significantly better all the way around.
Anyway, I suppose I'm just venting. I want to pick wisely. I can do anything for 13 weeks, but I know I'd be mad as a hornet if I was stuck somewhere horrible for 13 weeks because of a pushy recruiter who didn't care what I wanted.
I know I'm destined to make some rookie mistakes along the way.
I'm curious if most of you are finding steady work? I have a decent job, but it doesn't pay well at all. But I worry I'll leave it & then not be able to secure assignments quickly after one ends.
Anyway, hello to all!
Aug 3, '12
Nurse Choice is not just affiliated with AM, they are fully owned by AM. Other brands owned by AM include Medical Express, NursesRX, Platinum Select, and RN Extend. They should all feel somewhat different though, but so does every individual recruiter. Large agencies maintain other brands to capture travelers who like different things so there is little wrong with working with one of them. Unlike the usual small agencies, these sub-brands have full access to every AM job in the database. If you go through with it, you will see some paperwork with AM's name on it.
I'm not sure you are approaching the job hunt in the right way. You don't want to sign up with agencies who are not what you want. It is better to call agencies, (preferably with your caller ID blocked, and talk to them about what openings they have and their pay etc. Only when you have talked to a few should you give selected recruiters your phone number and start doing paperwork. Otherwise you will be getting a lot of calls!
Aug 3, '12
I work for one of AMNs companies too. I did the same thing. I started talking to someone from AMN and she called me just about every day for 3 months. She also submitted my file without my OK a couple of times. (FYI, she still calls me and asks if I'm still interested in traveling and I KNOW that she knows I'm on assignment. I'm sure she has access to my file.)
I decided to switch companies and unknowingly went with one of their sister companies. I had a completely different experience with the new recruiter. She is wonderful. She listens and doesn't harass me. If anything it's the other way around.
In my opinion, I think alot of your happiness depends on your recruiter. There are alot of agencies out there to choose from and they all have the negatives and positives. You just have to find one that meets your needs and a recruiter you click with. If you don't like what they bring to the table...find a new one. They are a dime a dozen.
I was very flexible with my 1st assignment and was willing to go just about anywhere so I went from Florida to California. I worked for 2 different Kaisers in Southern Ca. They were both great experiences. I worked at Kaiser Irvine Regional Medical Center in Irvine my 1st assignment. They were so wonderful. They really made my 1st experience a good one. I believe AMN (and partners) holds a primary Kaiser contract and that makes it easier for 1st time travelers.
Back to the finding an assignment...your first assignment may be difficult to get. You may be limited with options as alot of hospitals want you to have travel experience. After, your 1st contract, it should be smooth sailing. I have not had a problem finding assignments. I have been contracted with the next before the end of my current one. So I have direction and no gap in employment.
Good luck with your search!
Aug 3, '12
I agree with you about Kaiser and had good experiences ther myself. The big issue is floating depending on your specialty and the unit needs. Not sure it is the best choice for first time travelers.
And yes, AM is the vendor manager for Kaiser.
Aug 3, '12
I'm ER and never had to float.
Aug 4, '12
Thanks so much for all the replies! I hope to land an assignment soon. I just wish my license would hurry up & get here. Oh well, couple more weeks to go.
Aug 16, '12
I would stay away from AMN...but that's just me. They seem to low ball their nurses. They are pushing you towards kaiser because they have exclusive contracts with that hospital. They also want you to agree to float between units. What they quoted me was outrageous! $30/hr for the first 8 hrs, then $35 in OT pay....not time and a half. They also offered $1400 for housing with a $30 per day per diem, which I think is VERY low...considering I was on assignment with Fastaff in Missouri making $41 an hour, no floating, with my housing taken care of!
Aug 20, '12
I once was submitted for a job with out being asked. Needless to say I left that company. My last assignment was in MN and I was taking home about $1300/week. My current recruiter doesn't even bother me with jobs she knows are outside of my mileage range. She is straight shooter and gets me the best pay she can. I know her company has some exclusive contracts but she's never pushed me into one. Some recruiters are just out for the money. I feel like mine actually cares about me. I got flowers from her on my first assignment! PM me if you want to know her name.
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