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ED or OR for Travel nursing

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by Nuru Nuru (New) New

So my wife and I are planning on starting to travel in about 2 years. Our plan is to buy a large sailboat and live aboard for 8 or 9 months a year and pick up one 3 month contract once a year as well as maybe another short contract (so we only go 4 or 5 months between contracts).

Right now I have 1 year in the ED (moderately busy level 1) and was planning on staying there so I would have 3 years before starting to travel. However an opportunity to go work with my wife in the OR (smaller hospital OR so she does every type of surgery as well as some PACU). It has me wondering if OR traveling isn't better for us in our situation. Will it be easier to keep my skills up in the OR compared to the ED with longer gaps between working? Also, will I be competent to travel with only 2 years in the OR?

ED has more assignments. OR pays better, but requires a longer orientation every new hospital. You may be competent enough after two years, especially if you just go to smaller hospitals, but three years is usually better (if at a large hospital) in OR unless you are super nurse. I did three years (in part because I wanted a bit more experience in open heart) and checked my competency to jump into new hospitals by doing some agency per diem.

ED is definitely the easier route. Two years experience should be enough.