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Job outlook for travel nursing in this economy?

Travel   (13,026 Views 22 Comments)
by inthesouthrn inthesouthrn (Member)

inthesouthrn has 18 years experience and works as a Home health.

1,577 Visitors; 29 Posts

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I've been an RN for the past 15 years. I spent most of that time in home health. Then I decided that I would LOVE to be a travel nurse so I can see this beautiful country of ours. So then, knowing that travel agencies want you to have at least a year of hospital experience, I went back into the hospital setting and have worked on a medical floor for the past 2 and a half years. My youngest daughter has just left the nest and is in college. My current job I loved so much and made such great money, that I had almost decided to stay there. But the road calls. With my girl in college and we have the motorhome, I was thinking of traveling pretty soon.

However, at my current job, our census had dropped drastically since May and we are getting canceled very frequently. When I first started on the floor I currently work on (a year ago) half the staff was travel nurses. Now we have NO travel nurses and I feel we are overstaffed. Here I sit on my SECOND day of getting canceled this week!!!

My thinking is that if we are suffering low census (I don't know if it's due to the economy, our current hospitalist program that lots of patients don't like or what is causing the low census....none of the old timers remember it ever being this bad) and our lack of even having travelers now, how is the current job market for travelers in the US now? I would hate to leave my current hospital where I do have some seniority over the newly hired grads of last year, into a type of job where I may not can get the jobs I want. I do want to go to popular areas such as CA, AK, and areas near tourist attractions, because well....I want to be a tourist while I work. That's mostly why I want to travel.

Please give your insight on this. I don't have any travel nurses to talk to where I work because they are all gone and I'd love to have some advice from you who are out there. I don't want to jump into a market where there are no good jobs.

Anything you can tell me will be very appreciated. Thank you!

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neurorn6 has 11 years experience.

3,782 Visitors; 223 Posts

From what I have read on this board, it seems that there are travel jobs out there, but some areas have a lesser need this year then in the past. I've read that travelers trying to get jobs in Fl seem to be having a harder time this year then last. I just started a job in SC and there are at least 12 other travelers starting here at the same time.

My suggestion is to read the boards here, there are sites on the internet that can give you an idea where the jobs are.

Good luck.:wink2:

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deie0383 has 3 years experience and works as a Travel.

1,269 Visitors; 21 Posts

I am not sure what companies you are looking at in the US, but my company calls me 4 weeks before my contract is scheduled to end and asks me to pick a state and they give me at least 10 positions in that state alone. And as for Florida I just signed a contract last week at a hospital near Tampa where they were looking for 5 ICU RN's for their 3 ICU's. And that didn't include the numerous other hospitals in Florida that were already posting openings for January.

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emtneel works as a FNP.

1 Like; 8,386 Visitors; 307 Posts

I am not sure what companies you are looking at in the US, but my company calls me 4 weeks before my contract is scheduled to end and asks me to pick a state and they give me at least 10 positions in that state alone. And as for Florida I just signed a contract last week at a hospital near Tampa where they were looking for 5 ICU RN's for their 3 ICU's. And that didn't include the numerous other hospitals in Florida that were already posting openings for January.

What company are you working with?

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deie0383 has 3 years experience and works as a Travel.

1,269 Visitors; 21 Posts

I work for American Traveler Staffing Professionals.

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12,717 Visitors; 1,785 Posts

I don;t think travel RNs will lack for jobs. I have been dealing with a deluge of calls after the travel nurse convention last month...

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12,894 Visitors; 1,446 Posts

Just a word of advise to consider if you decide to travel:

Make SURE that you get guaranteed hours. Also, don't take the comany's word that there are quaranteed hours (minimum of 36 hours per week) if the contract states 'minimum required hours at 36 per week'-this does not mean quaranteed hours, it just means that you are required to work 36 per week or will be financially penalized if you are called off. The wording of the contract should be specific to say 'guaranteed hours:36 per week.' This way, if you are called off for low census, you will get your full weeks pay.

The lack of guaranteed hours is a trick used by a lot of companies to bait you into a position that will result in you being in the same position you are now. maybe, just a bit worse, if you have to owe the travel company money for housing if you do not get your hours.

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Selke works as a CNM, WHNP.

9,496 Visitors; 543 Posts

A recruiter told me this week that there is a drop in posted positions in some places like CA due to the severe budget shortfall ... if the state can't pay medicare/medicaid then the hospitals can't afford to pay RNs. I'm wondering how finances will impact enforcement of the staffing ratio law.

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RNERHOUSESUPOR works as a CVOR/OR Scrub RN and Criculating Nurse.

6,835 Visitors; 410 Posts

We are all in a world of hurt. Things will likely get worse before they get better. I will continue to seek travel assignments and do the best for my patients, where ever I work. I will expect a fair wage for my work but will not demand to be paid for hours I am not needed. I won't pay the "company" for hours I don't work that are not due to my inability to work. Hopefully the American people will wake up and see where all the money is going to and put an end to "Outrageous" Salaries and benefits" for the few and let everyone make a FAIR and HONEST WAGE. That's my 2cents.

Rod

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672 Visitors; 2 Posts

well i hate to break it to you all but alabama and georgia are already feeling the pinch. i have contacted 5 or more companies for travel positions and all of them said they have no jobs.:madface:

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bagladyrn works as a travel nurse - ob.

1 Like; 1 Follower; 18,224 Visitors; 2,286 Posts

Here's my take on what's happening: The market is tighter than I've seen in 12 years of traveling. I think the issue in the south is that snowbirds are not heading south yet. In most years there are two "waves" of snowbirds - those that head to places like Florida in October as soon as the weather chills and those that head south after spending the holiday season with their families. With the gas prices and the economy problems many of the "first wave" don't seem to be heading down. Since many of them go back north for the holidays and then return to FL, it's possible that many are opting to wait until Jan. rather than make the extra trip. My mom lives in a retirement community down there and says the current population is more like that of summer than "the season". I'm a little leery of committing to a Jan. job this far out though, as I'm afraid the hospitals may decide to cancel contracts close to the start date if the situation doesn't improve.

However, there are contracts available if you are flexible about locations

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stayseerrn has 7 years experience and works as a ER Nurse, traveler.

2,151 Visitors; 69 Posts

I do agree that it feels much more challenging to find jobs right now. Before, I would be able to have my next position locked down, contract signed, and know my new address with four weeks to go in my current contract. Lately, my recruiter has been telling me, "they don't look for anyone earlier than four weeks out now." So now, I am spending the last two weeks on my assignment trying to get my next one lined up. For the assignment I am on now, it didn't get settled until 10 days before the end of the assignment I was on. Talk about scary!!! But, like other posters have said, the jobs are there. They just might not be in the exact field, area, or on the specific shift you want. I definitely recommend you take up traveling. It was the best decision I ever made. Just be sure not to pigeon hole yourself to one small niche which would limit your job opportunities in a tight market.

Oh yeah, the South is undergoing a major budget crunch lately. They have had all kinds of problems with the government health care plans, so a lot of the states are in dire financial straights. Don't be afraid to go for California. There is more to Cali than LA. California usually has jobs because of the state mandated patio staffing ratios, so they always need travelers. Just keep in mind it might not be the exact hospital you want that needs travelers at this time. Best to just settle on an area you like and then choose a hospital from there.

Good luck!

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