Yes it's been beat to death but i'm giving another wackRegister Today!
- by KYTinaMarie Mar 26, '11Hello,
I have read so many posts on here over the past few months but i'm still going to ask:
Travel nurse companies- the good, the bad and the ugly. Any suggestions, advice or great stories?
My family and I are getting ready to go on the road in July and I know I need to get to it and find a company. Truthfully after reading so many posts i'm scared to death of choosing the wrong company. See if it was just, me, myself and I going on a road trip I wouldn't be to worried but it's my husband and kids hitting the road with me. We bough an RV and we want to see the country. Live the dream and all that other great stuff, I keep reading about . But I will be the only one employeed and I need to find a company that won't ( referring to some horrible stories I have read) cancel my contract, not return my phone calls, not pay me, send me nasty emails, etc.
I'm not heading into this adventure with the expectations of a perfect company or facility. I just want to find a good company so we don't go through all our savings before the adventure begins.
- Mar 26, '11 by RNERHOUSESUPORAll I can do is wish you good luck and fortune. I began traveling in 1989 as a new nurse. My first assignment asked me to extend before my 3rd week of a 13 week contract. I declined, wanted to "travel for two years, find the place I liked the best and move there", well about 12 years later I stopped traveling in Florida for a bit. Am back at it now and won't stop until something forces me. I don't do just the 13 week now. Try to spend from November (at the earliest) to June in Florida near my youngest daughter and the remainder of the year AWAY from Florida. Don't really care where most of the time. I'll do that until the daughter is in college. Looks like she will attend out of Florida as there isn't a Meteorology program at UF. We won't be going to FS or Miami.
Now back to you.
Companies have changed, recruiters have changed and hospitals have changed. Don't go somewhere that you haven't talked directly with the person who will have control over your position. Don't commit to something that you have no experience in doing and don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Do save your money, get a couple assignments under your belt before you plan the expensive family vacation while you are working (Hawaii comes to mind) and talk with the rest of the family to be sure they are on board. Husband might have to work doing something, kids may have to do without you cannot support the entire family when you are not working if you cannot work you will not be paid. That is black and white with no Grey areas. Now go out there and have an adventure.
- Mar 26, '11 by gonzo1I have done a few assignments with Cross Country Travel. Their pay is not the highest but they have lots of jobs usually and I was pleased with them.
Keep in mind that right now is a sort of hard time to travel because of the recession most hospitals have cut agency with a vengous. If you don't care where you go you have a better chance of getting an assignment quickly.
Because of the cost cutting many travelers have accepted jobs only to get there and find out they are cancelled. You need to have savings to fall back on if you are jobless for a month or two.
Also, make sure your contract spells out what unit you will work, if you will be floated or not, what shift, what financial consequences there will be if you are canceled or if you hate the place so much you quit. Some agencies will charge you thousands of dollars in fines if you don't complete an assignment.
Also, I have found it is best to not accept contracts with completion bonuses because a lot of hospitals will work you all of the contract and then fire you the last week so they don't have to pay you the completion bonus. If I am going someplace that offers a completion bonus I either waive it, or ask if they will just pay me an xtra 50 cents an hour or such.
Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions.Last edit by Elvish on Apr 5, '11 : Reason: TOS
- Mar 26, '11 by LadyTiger44I am on my first travel assignment and I went with American Mobile. I really connected with my recruiter and she's awesome. Very caring, and wants to make my assignment go smoothly. I agree have a savings, b/c it can get very expensive when you move-buying all new food, little things, etc. Research your housing, and don't be afraid to tell them what you want-washer and dryer in apt, etc. I will def be more picky next time. Know going into it that you will float, I expected it so I wasn't surprised, but a nurse was told she had to float to the downtown campus, she refused, and was fired. I don't mind floating and it's good experience. I love the area I'm in, and don't mind where I work. I do want to get back to cardiac, as I'm just on a med surg floor. I would def recommend it. Good luck!Last edit by Elvish on Apr 5, '11 : Reason: TOS
- Mar 28, '11 by OkieICU_RNOn Assignment Nurse Travel (www.oanursetravel.com) is who I have done most of my contracts with. My recruiter works really hard for me and presents me only with the assignments that meet my criteria (location, pay, shift, etc.). I know there are a FEW companies that are crap, but there are A LOT of recruiters that are crap. If you feel like you are being worked over by a used car salesman, then don't work with that recruiter.
When you are considering what you want to do and where you want to go, put a plan together on paper of your ideal assignment (nurse/pt ratio, shift, schedule, total compensation, size and acuity of hospital). From there, expand the paper with what you are willing to do. Then finally, what you are not willing to do. When you talk with a recruiter and they try to sell you on something on your "not willing to do" list, that is your clue in.
I agree with Rob, make sure you talk with the manager or assistant that is in charge of the position. Put together another list with questions for that person; you want to make sure it's a good fit. I don't know your specialty, so if you're ER or L&D, some of this won't matter as much. I like to know what diagnoses patients have on the unit, how many beds there are, what is the nurse to patient ratio, what ancillary staff is available at the hospital (lab, RT, aides, IV team, etc.), what color scrubs are required. There are lots more, but you get the drift.
My recruiter has been able to secure pay when I thought it wasn't available. Once, my license was going to expire ONE DAY (!) before my assignment ended. I was close to the board of nursing and went in person to get my renewal. Well, I had the receipt in hand but the hospital won't allow a nurse to work unless it is showing online (which it wouldn't for like 2 weeks). The hospital cancelled me for the shift and I was peeved. My recruiter asked me to provide proof of license renewal to her and she talked with her supervisor and the company ended up paying me for the cancelled shift!! Now that's what I'm talkin' about! There are a few other instances where she really went to bat for me. It's all about the recruiter as far as I'm concerned.
- Mar 29, '11 by KYTinaMarieRod I feel like I know you and I was really happy to see that you responded. I have read all your posts on the rv forum... very cool BTW. Thanks for the information.
I have a few recruiters that I have talked to and I don't really care where I go for the first time. My speciality is ICU although i'm currently working CVICU but i'm not experienced enough in that field to do that traveling, in my opionion.
Savings, yup definetly planning for the cancelled contracts. Husband can work anywhere really but he wants time to stay with the kids. Their growing so fast we want this time with them while our opinions still matter and we aer still cool! Kids, definetly on board, young enough to see this as an adventure but not to old to hate leaving their friends.
Thanks for the information on companies, recruiters and questions to ask. My mind is so full right now I hadn't thought of most of those questions, so tahnk you for maybe saving a headache down the road!
Who knows maybe i'll see all of you on the road!
- Mar 30, '11 by RNERHOUSESUPORGlad to help, good luck with your search.
- Apr 5, '11 by ElvishModerator note:
A couple posts have been edited to remove recruiters' names and references to other online communities in order to comply with the site's Terms of Service.