New grad travel nursing.


I have heard a lot of nurses on here saying new grads should not go into travel positions. I agree to an extent..I am not a nurse yet. I have been a tech for 5 years. I started on med surg for 2 years and then went to flex tech and mainly ER and ICU. I have worked at 4 different hospitals including a blood donation clinic where I was the main phlebotomist. I am phlebotomy certified so I already know how to do blood draws and from constantly being understaffed as a tech I am have my skills down very well.

I graduate in December with my BSN from an accelerated program and I really want to start as a travel nurse.

With my experience, what do all the travel nurses out there think...

:) thank you!!


14,633 Posts

Even if you find an agency willing to sign you up, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to find a hospital willing to take you. They pay big bucks for travelers, and they are looking for RNs with solid experience in their specialty area -- RN experience.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma. Has 18 years experience.

There are agencies that have explicitly stated that they don't hire new grads.

The expectation to work with increasingly complex patients with only computer training and to take a full assignment is what hospitals and agencies are looking for; that's just not in a new grad; they will go with someone with years of experience first before going with a new grad.


2 Articles; 776 Posts

Emphasizing that you know how to do blood draws and have tech skills is, to be blunt, the first sign that you still have a lot to learn about nursing before you can begin a regular job, much less a travel nurse position. I think once you are closer to graduation you will see that you aren't ready. If your goal is to travel, get a good solid grounding in med-surg (make sure you learn telemetry skills), ER, or ICU for at least a year, preferably two.


91 Posts

It would be a miracle to get an actual travel nurse position for someone with no RN experience. Bonnie is totally right. You have no idea what you don't know. You will be amazed at how much you learn in just one year of working as a FT RN in a hospital.


125 Posts

If blood draws were a nurses only concern you would be set to go, unfortunately the technical skills are the easiest thing about nursing. The first time you have an unexpected patient death you will tear yourself up wondering if there was anything you could have an experienced nurse you will have your answer, as a new grad you will need the suppose of staff around absolutely will not have that as a traveler! The fact that you are so close to graduating and are so confident in your abilities is concerning...nursing school does very little to prepare you for the responsibility of another persons life...hopefully you will learn that before you become a full fledged nurse.


14 Posts

As a travel nurse you are expected to be able to walk onto a unit and begin full patient care, much of the time with little to no orientation. That's a tall order for even the most experienced nurses. Even knowing the travel game and with years of ICU experience, I still dread the first couple of shifts on a new assignment. There are a few contracts out there that are desperate enough to take a new grad, but there's a reason they're that desperate.

I was hired into a Trauma ICU, right out of school and got my CCRN and TNCC, over the following 2 years before I started traveling. I was still unprepared for some of the things thrown at me when I first started traveling. My only advice is to do yourself a huge favor and get a staff job for a couple of years. You'll have a lot of support as a new staff nurse that will not be available to you as a traveler.

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

It matters very little what I think or what you think. What matters is the market.

When travel nurses were scarce and in high demand, the only places that hired travel new grads were the jobs that could not get anyone else. Currently, there are plenty of experienced RNs without jobs that can be hired easily, and substantially fewer travel assignments out there. Given those choices, who do you think that an assignment facility is going to pick as a very expensive travel RN.

Also, remember that travel nurse agency take about any unencumbered nurses application, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU WILL EVER GET A JOB through them. The client facility is the one that makes the decision to hire you or not. Thus, many agencies will take your new grad app, but most client facilities will not even accept an interview with you without experience.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,023 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

The above posters were right -- you don't know what you don't know. You need a solid two years of experience as an RN in the specialty in which you wish to travel. If the travel is more important to you than the nursing, perhaps there are phlebotomy positions open to travelers? I have friends who travel as PTs and X-ray techs, but I don't know about plebotomists.


3,445 Posts

Specializes in ICU / PCU / Telemetry. Has 11 years experience.

OP, you have no idea how green you are in nursing ... !!! A travel assignment right now would swallow you whole.

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1,698 Posts

Don't do it. That endangers patients when you are incompetent. Likely you'd make a mistake.

Sit pretty for a year and then tackle it :)