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How common is the PBDS testing? Should I expect to have to take this at each assignment or is it a rare hospital that requires it? I would like to travel to FL for the winter, is it common there?

Also, is this test a universal test or specialty specific? I work in psych, and therefore am not comfortable testing in cardiac, L&D, trauma, etc. I would definitely need a refresher!


Not so common, and it is not supposed to be pass/fail. But some hospitals use it that way for travelers - your agency should give you the scoop. They will probably elect to put you up in a hotel until you take it, then put you in an apartment. It should be specialty specific but some hospitals cheap out on it. Not sure if there is a psych module or not. PanTravelers has a good article on test taking strategies for this unusual test.

koalafiedRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Travel RN. Has 7 years experience.

For travel assignments I have worked in Texas, Florida, Oregon, North Carolina, Delaware, and Nevada. I have only taken the PBDS test once in Dallas, TX. I passed thankfully, but the other nurse who was taking it did not and she was asked to leave. :( I know they use PBDS for some hospitals in Dallas and most hospitals in Houston. I have an aunt who was a Nurse Manager in Florida and she says that they use it in Miami at her hospital to measure a nurse's experience and not to pass or fail them for a job. I usually try to avoid assignments that require PBDS testing. I don't like the idea of having to turn around and go back home if I "fail" the test.

I also am concerned about traveling across the country and failing a test. I know my stuff, but that is some pressure! I wonder if a company would help you get back home. More questions for the recruiters. I would just rather avoid this test if possible. Thanks for the info.

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

This is why, despite having taken and passed PBDS twice (when it was sprung on me unawares) I will not take a contract which requires it. The stress of the possibility of finding oneself far from home with a cancelled contract is too much.

I ask specifically about PBDS and other required testing when interviewing now.