Can a new grad start as a travel nurse

Nurses New Nurse


So I posted my resume on some of the career search websites and I got a job offer to be a travel nurse!!!!:eek: I have no experience what so it safe to start working as travel nurse right out of nursing school:)?

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr.
is it safe to start working as travel nurse right out of nursing school:)?



14,633 Posts

There are plenty of agencies that will sign you up with little or no experience, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to get contracts -- many (most?) of the hospitals that use travelers require a minimum of two, three, or more years of experience in a particular specialty. Hospitals and other facilities pay a lot of money for travelers, and, for that amount of $$, they expect to get a seasoned, experienced "pro" who is ready to hit the floor running and get the the job done with minimal orientation and supervision/guidance. They are not interested in orienting a new grad -- if they wanted to do that, they'd just hire a new permanent employee.

Even if you could find a travel position as a new grad, the agency and the facility would not be doing you any favor. They are not looking out for your interests; they have plenty of warm bodies, and if you crash and burn, there's always someone else to take your place. You, though, only have you. To be successful as a traveler, you not only need (IMHO) to be a seasoned, experienced RN who can be dropped down anywhere and be ready to function independently, but you also need to be savvy enough about nursing in general to be able to protect your license and your own interests (because travel agencies and facilities that use travelers will not hesitate to put you in ill-advised or downright dangerous situations) -- and new graduates (and those in their first few years of practice) are rarely in a position to be able to do that.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

88 Articles; 21,247 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Agree with above posters. Even if you get offered a travel position, you will be setting yourself up for failure. A traveller by the definition of the word; comes in ready to go with usually just orientation as to where things are and oh by the way, the bathroom is over there - now go for it.

Not for new grads - you would be lost and frustrated.

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

short answer:NOPE....local agency, either.........not being hateful.......just isnt safe.......which i gather you knew, and were posting the question out of your surprise....

RNperdiem, RN

4,592 Posts

If you feel comfortable with an orientation that consists of little more than "the supply room is here, the charts are kept over there, the policies are on the Intranet, and here are your patients." then you will do fine.

No, I don't recommend it either.

sweet sunshine

64 Posts

no way you need to get at least couple years of experience first.

Definately not. It probably isn't the answer that you want to hear. Having done some travel nursing I can tell you that it can be a pretty scary situation for an EXPERIENCED nurse let alone a new grad. I worked at a hospital as a travel nurse and was pretty comfortable until I was floated back to the neuro ICU (which I have experience in), but was the only nurse for the 5 bed unit. I didn't know the protocols, the physicians or where anything was and there wasn't hardly another nurse within shouting distance. That is the kind of environment that travel nursing is. I've heard a few travel nurses tell me that you basically get paid the big bucks to suck it up and take the crappy assignments.

diane227, LPN, RN

1,941 Posts

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

I would recommend that you not start your career as a travler until you get at least two years of experience under your belt. When you go to a travel assignment you don't get much orientation. They expect that you will have enough experience to hit the ground running.


23 Posts

Specializes in IR, travel, agency, M/S, tele.

Ditto to all of the above. You don't want to A) Hate nursing before you really get started or B) Lose your license before the "new" wears off. Get a year or two of Med/Surg under your belt first. Then travel. It's a GREAT way to go.

I would definately not recommend a new grad to start off as a travel nurse. A new grad is a newborn in the society of nursing. Personally, when I first started nursing, I looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Nursing school does not prepare you for "real world" nursing whatsoever. A new grad needs a to be educated, someone to 'hold their hand' so to speak. A traveler does not get that kind of support.

diane227, LPN, RN

1,941 Posts

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

No. And as a manager I would not accept a traveling nurse who did not have substantial experience. A traveling nurse gets very little orientation and has to be able to hit the ground running.

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