I spent a whole year wanting to do travel nursing and doing extensive research. Now, as I'm ready to contact the recruiter I was referred to, I'm getting cold feet.
Here's my background: RN ADN, CCRN, over 1 year ICU exp at a pretty small hospital, $30/hr, 7+ yr exp as a Paramedic.
Some concerns about my length of experience as far as if I will be able to get a contract, but I'd find that out on my own. As far as acuity, my hospital has been boring lately, and most of the really critical patients are assigned based on favoritism. Still, despite feeling like a step down unit lately, I don't feel like I'd have problems managing drips on a sick patient, as I've done it before. I know how to use Swans. I don't have experience with CVVH, IABP, ECMO, open heart, etc, but I hear that most travel nurses aren't put in those situations anyway. I'd probably be at a smaller ICU anyway, as I hate big cities. Also, I work night shift so there are some things I may not have experience in based on that alone.
Other concerns based on horror stories I've heard. Contract cancellations. Just how rare are they? I know it happens, but if it happened enough it would make a big dent in income, possibly making it not worth the switch of jobs. Is it common that the travel RN floats first, or in a rotation list? When it's my turn at work, I don't complain, but I don't think I could handle being on a med surg floor regularly. I've heard people on here getting all sorts of vague complaints about them from staff, one even apparently got a complaint for "looking tired" and another had a more serious complaint to the board of nursing by someone who was allegedly out to get them.
Still, I've never met a travel nurse at my hospital that had much bad to say.
I'm hesitating between traveling or trying to find a job at a more intense ICU and eventually working towards being a Flight RN years later. I've always wanted to do that as I like critical patients, and in theory I would be happier with that job. But I feel like I'll probably never travel if I don't do it now while I'm young and single. Also, travel nursing was my plan to "scope out" potential areas to buy a house one day when I move out West, all while bulking up on the money to do so.
Maybe I'm worrying too much.