Travel nursing??

  1. The idea of travel nursing appeals to me, but I have a question that I haven't really seen an answer to. When you decide to do travel nursing, are you quitting your "day job" and making travel nursing your full-time job, at least for awhile? I know there are agencies that assist with landing you your positions with travel nursing, and that they'll have you stay at a particular place usually for a few months. When that time period is up, do they send you somewhere else? I can't imagine that the hospital you originally worked at would be pleased that you keep leaving, right???
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from matcha-cat
    The idea of travel nursing appeals to me, but I have a question that I haven't really seen an answer to. When you decide to do travel nursing, are you quitting your "day job" and making travel nursing your full-time job, at least for awhile? I know there are agencies that assist with landing you your positions with travel nursing, and that they'll have you stay at a particular place usually for a few months. When that time period is up, do they send you somewhere else? I can't imagine that the hospital you originally worked at would be pleased that you keep leaving, right???
    Uh yeah ...you're quitting. No employer is going to allow you to take 6-8 week "vacations" to work somewhere else, then just pop back in when you feel like it.
  4. by   matcha-cat
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Uh yeah ...you're quitting. No employer is going to allow you to take 6-8 week "vacations" to work somewhere else, then just pop back in when you feel like it.
    Uhhh yeah, just confirming. Thanks.
  5. by   NedRN
    Some employers will let you travel. The easiest is to go per diem with an annual shift requirement. Weekly, monthly, and quarterly shift requirements are not very compatible with travel.

    This strategy is much more likely in places where nurses are relatively scarce and thus valued. That allows negotiation.

    But you can get lucky too. A couple years ago in Ohio where there is no nursing shortage, I interviewed for a per diem job and was surprised by an annual shift requirement.

    The other scenario is if you live in an area that experiences regular census swings with the seasons. Think about Maine and Florida in the summer. Or winter. Or ski areas. It just makes sense for employers on both ends to let employees go travel during low census seasons. A lot of nurses do this and the practice predates travel nurse agencies.
  6. by   matcha-cat
    Quote from NedRN
    Some employers will let you travel. The easiest is to go per diem with an annual shift requirement. Weekly, monthly, and quarterly shift requirements are not very compatible with travel.

    This strategy is much more likely in places where nurses are relatively scarce and thus valued. That allows negotiation.

    But you can get lucky too. A couple years ago in Ohio where there is no nursing shortage, I interviewed for a per diem job and was surprised by an annual shift requirement.

    The other scenario is if you live in an area that experiences regular census swings with the seasons. Think about Maine and Florida in the summer. Or winter. Or ski areas. It just makes sense for employers on both ends to let employees go travel during low census seasons. A lot of nurses do this and the practice predates travel nurse agencies.
    Thanks! That was a very helpful reply. I was wondering if something like this was possible, and apparently it is. Glad I asked!
  7. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from matcha-cat
    Thanks! That was a very helpful reply. I was wondering if something like this was possible, and apparently it is. Glad I asked!
    I think it's possible, but very uncommon. I'd go into it with the expectation that you'll be quitting your full-time job to make traveling your primary job.

    I've known a couple of people who have tried to stay on PRN at their former full-time jobs, but it didn't usually work out. The challenge is that as a PRN staffer, you're the first to be cancelled; therefore, you may make expensive travel arrangements to come back and pick up a shift, just to find that you're cancelled.

    As for assignments, you work with an agency who has different available contracts listed. When one of your contracts is coming to a close, they basically have a database of other available contracts in the near future. They help you find one that works for you. They don't just 'tell you where to go' but there are parameters. You are limited to what they have available; you may want more than anything to go to Hawaii, but if there aren't any available in Hawaii, then you aren't going to Hawaii.
    Last edit by adventure_rn on Aug 19
  8. by   matcha-cat
    Quote from adventure_rn
    I think it's possible, but very uncommon. I'd go into it with the expectation that you'll be quitting your full-time job to make traveling your primary job.

    I've known a couple of people who have tried to stay on PRN at their former full-time jobs, but it didn't usually work out. The challenge is that as a PRN staffer, you're the first to be cancelled; therefore, you may make expensive travel arrangements to come back and pick up a shift, just to find that you're cancelled.

    As for assignments, you work with an agency who has different available contracts listed. When one of your contracts is coming to a close, they basically have a database of other available contracts in the near future. They help you find one that works for you. They don't just 'tell you where to go' but there are parameters. You are limited to what they have available; you may want more than anything to go to Hawaii, but if there aren't any available in Hawaii, then you aren't going to Hawaii.
    I see; that's of course something I would have to keep in mind. If I could make it work, that'd be great, but either well it'll be okay, I suppose. Thanks for your input~
  9. by   ICUman
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Uh yeah ...you're quitting. No employer is going to allow you to take 6-8 week "vacations" to work somewhere else, then just pop back in when you feel like it.
    No employer?
    My employer allows one of our nurses to take a travel assignment each year. During the summer when census is usually lower. She goes to California for 3 months and makes good money. Then returns full-time in the fall. She's been doing this several years.

    So yes, OP, it is possible to obtain that if your nurse manager is willing to let you. Despite what this poster said.
  10. by   matcha-cat
    Thank you for the clarification; I thought it was possible that there could be some cases in which travel nursing while working at a hospital could work out and I wanted to hear about those circumstances, so I was a little shocked at the first, unhelpful response.
  11. by   BSNbeDONE
    At my most recent hospital job, our float pool had several tiers. The lowest paying tier was at a rate of $30/hr and had a shift requirement of one per 6-month cycle. I didn't think anyone would want that tier since the others paid so much more. But I did run into one of our float members on that tier, and she was extremely satisfied with it because it worked so well with her travel assignments. She was able to squeeze in two assignments before returning home to work that one shift; then off she'd go again.

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