Quote from KatieIowa
Thank you all very much, I really appreciate the honesty as well. Having said that, caroladybelle, I obviously am just graduating and have minimal nursing "experiences" but do they consider grades when you apply for traveling jobs? Also, did you start traveling immediately? I am from Iowa and the town I grew up in has a wonderful college with a great nursing program. So basically I have been in the same place my entire life. I'm not saying I'm one of those people that "can't wait to get out of here" but I started nursing school 2 days after I graduated HS in '08 and I'm ready for a change. I'm very determined and open to new things. I really feel like I'm capable of traveling as an RN. I have grown so much during the past 2 years, with nursing and over-all knowledge. Do you have any advice for Me? I honestly don't know many nurses that have done traveling nursing period, let alone to Germany. Any advice would be wonderful
Grades are not even remotely a factor for qualifying for being a traveler - no one even looks at them. They are generally not even a factor in getting a job.
How good a nursing program or how "ready" you feel is not remotely a consideration in most regular nursing job interviews, much less in traveling nursing. In 16 years of nursing, and 17 different facilities, the only time anyone ever asked me about my program, was when I got my first NT (not even RN) job. And not once in ANY travel interview has anyone ever asked what school I went to what grades I have had.
And I have worked at the NIH, and in 4 of the top 15 hospitals (consistantly) in the USA, per US News and World reports.
No one cares about grades or schools or minipracticums or school experiences in assessing ability to travel. They care only about experience as a nurse, working INDEPENDANTLY on a unit. And that is the only that counts, unless they are merely looking for a licensed "warm body"......not optimal.
That is because it IS NOT SAFE ETHICAL PRACTICE to put a new graduate nurse in that situation. There have been occasions as a traveler, in even good facilities, where experienced nurses have been put in dangerous situations that endanger their licenses. And it is not about you, it is about safety FOR THE PATIENTS, first and foremost.
I have known new RNs, that have been independant LPNs for many years, with IV certification that have been told that they must have a year as an RN before traveling. And I have also known RNs w/6 monthes to a year of experience from good schools, worked as techs before graduation, crash and burn and quit nursing because traveling too early. I have also had to recover patients from errors made by someone that did not have enough experience.
You need at least year to come into your own as a nurse, especially if you have limited previous experience. We as country, do not permit doctors fresh out of Boards and medical school to care for patients until they have had 1-3 years of supervised internship. And we ethically should not allow nurses fresh from Boards and out of school to immediately work with no supervision. I think that you can see the sense of that. And as traveler, unless they sign you for a one or two year contract, with substantial orientation, you will not get enough support to foster a proper transition to becoming a well rounded nurse.
I know that you are in a hurry and feel ready.
Many of us did when we left nursing school, and we wanted to go out and travel, before we acquired possessions and responsibilities that would make that difficult. But it really is not optimal or safe for you or your license or your patients.
May I encourage you to study hard, find a nurse tech position if available, or other health care starting position so that you get a lot of exposure and more potential for jobs right out of school. Pick a specialty that first and foremost that you enjoy, and second that has great travel potential. Start reviewing telemetry and ACLS protocals - always useful. And work hard in a local job for at minimum a year. During that time, after about 6 monthes, trying to either float for a few extra shifts or work per diem at another facility, to get the experience of being out of your comfort zone. That is a good way to prep. Go ahead and check with travel nurse agencies and get info on which has options that suit you, what they require, what specialties are popular and which destinations. Contact the nursing regulatory bureau in Germany and find out their requirements. All of this will help you, be useful and keep your goal in your sights for when it is right.