Can I travel with just over 1 yr experience?


So I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I want to travel but I only have 1 yr 2 mo experience working on a Tele floor at a relatively small hospital. I have already signed up and spoken to a recruiter from fastaff and asked her about my experience and she said that it will just depend on if the hospital will accept my experience. Has anyone had experience traveling with my experience level? are you able to consistently get jobs or are they tough to come by.

A second question I have is how much time do people have between assignments? because of loan payments I cant afford to miss more than a week or two between assignments and want to make sure that I can achieve that. I plan to sign up with at least three agencies (if not more) to ensure I have a few options but do most people find it easy to maintain steady work when they are traveling?

Thanks for the help



1 Article; 5,767 Posts

Not only is your experience limited (you won't be competitive with other travelers), but you can't afford to travel. You need to save up at least 3 months living expenses. You don't have the security net of a staff job. What happens if you get sick and lose your contract?

You have enough experience to get a job at a larger hospital. That will be a change of scenery at least. Think about moving up in critical care to ICU to be more competitive. That is a great excuse to go somewhere you would like to live and work at a teaching hospital.


206 Posts

Specializes in Oncology, Med-Surg. Has 22 years experience.

i wouldn't with one years experience. hospitals across the country vary in the way they do things. you need more experience, try doing pool for a while to get familiar with it.

I would recommend getting more experience, especially if you want to travel with fastaff. Most of their assignments are in big hospitals and they expect you to hit the ground running. If at all possible, try to get experience at a bigger facility.


9 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, CCU, PACU, community health. Has 28 years experience.

I'd say go for it if you're okay being thrown to wolves and you are solid in your skills and knowledge. I know I would not have been ready after a year.


7 Posts

Hello, I started traveling a little after a year, if your not used to fast paced work and being very independent i dont suggest it. I think its a good idea to try agency in your area first to see if you like it. But on another note, i love it. If you think you are ready then do it..


908 Posts

Specializes in CTICU/CVICU. Has 4 years experience.

I agree with the above. I plan to start traveling in August, that will be after two years of experience. At a large, Level-1 hospital. However, to get my feet "wet", I started doing agency in hospitals about an hour away from me after a little over a year experience and it's made me more comfortable with the idea of traveling. You definitely need to be solid and comfortable in your skills. There is no orientation to how to be a nurse. It's "Here's the Pyxis machine, here's the bathroom, here are your patients....GO!" Definitely know what you are doing before you get out there.


228 Posts

It just depends on you individually. I traveled with 18 mos experience and have been successful. However, I also did two internships and worked in a fast paced level 1 trauma center. If you feel confident about your abilities and are flexible, go for it.


793 Posts

Specializes in ICU/PACU. Has 10 years experience.

I have gone 1-3 weeks off in between assignments. I work mainly in CA where the most jobs are. I honestly don't think you will be very marketable with only 1 year experience. You really need 2 for most companies and why would a hospital hire you over someone with more experience.

I suggest staying put and getting that 2 yr experience down and a savings account for emergencies.

I started traveling with 2.5 yrs and managed ok. I did feel dumb for about a year but it's worked out ok.

I'm surprised fast staff didn't tell you they only take travelers with more experience. I thought they were known for that.


22 Posts

I think you can.... I've heard of RNs traveling with less than 2 years experience. I think you may just need an amazing reference, strong clinical skills and an amazing interview :)

Specializes in Med/Surg,Cardiac. Has 1 years experience.

It's probably best to wait. As others have mentioned, I've been told orientation is only a few minutes sometimes. You need to be able to function independently. The need for you to have steady income is a problem as well. Maybe try to get on locally with an agency and work a few shifts a month if you can. See how well you do with that before leaving a full time job and trying to travel.


1 Article; 5,767 Posts

I think you can.... I've heard of RNs traveling with less than 2 years experience. I think you may just need an amazing reference, strong clinical skills and an amazing interview :)

Sure it is possible, usually to a crappy hospital with pay too low for the more experienced. Other than bad assignments, there is no reason a manager would move past the lack of experience to read references or bother calling such a traveler if there is a stack of better profiles.