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  1. NedRN

    Is Travel Agency provided private housing actually free?

    Plus means "in addition" to other compensation. Trust but verify when you get the contract ( i.e. read the contract when you get it and have calculator ready). However, nothing is "free". It is coming out your total compensation. Perhaps a majority of travelers take a housing stipend in lieu of provided housing. They are hoping to find housing at less than the stipend and pocketing the rest. Legal if you are working away from a legitimate tax home.
  2. Maybe not so different from the Philippines. Most graduating nurses move overseas and the schools are aligned with what the US does as it may be the highest standard, or at least hires a lot from the Phillippines. Grads can even sit the NCLEX there.
  3. NedRN

    Too soon to travel?

    Good plan. Absolutely project a confident attitude, but don't oversell it. Managers have lots of experience with confident newer nurses, and that group (typecasting here so don't take it personally) can be scary on the job. It is much more reassuring to a manager if you tell them you will seek help when needed.
  4. NedRN

    Expect hardest assignment, no CNAs, no lunch break?

    You might even find that travel assignments will be easier/better than your current staff job in many ways. Stay away from the South and HSA and Tenet hospitals (for-profit) hospitals for best results. California has the nation's only mandated staffing law, but many union hospitals in say the NE have similar rules (typically not as strictly followed as California's though as it is a contractual rule verses a legal rule with the force of law). Lots of travelers love California and they use a lot of travelers. If you are interested in travel assignments there at any point in the future, apply now for licensure, it can take a while.
  5. NedRN

    Too soon to travel?

    You might be confident, but why would a manager pick you over someone with more proven experience, especially as a traveler? Not competitive with the field. If you are willing to start travel on crappy low paying jobs, then sure, it will work. Keep your staff job until you have been confirmed, and have a Plan B (sign up with several agencies) if that falls through after you have resigned. If possible, take a leave of absence or see if you can shift to limited PRN requirement.
  6. NedRN

    Expect hardest assignment, no CNAs, no lunch break?

    IV and tele experience is best, but you should be able to travel successfully. Most likely you will be able to pick up IV on the road.
  7. NedRN

    How do you give notice?

    As a travel nurse, I've only had to quit once (my one and only staff job). But I do have some relevant advice. Get written references long before you even consider leaving. In fact, get them at regular intervals (I start about two weeks into an assignment and try to get three per assignment. This helps protect you should there be any performance issue at work, and makes it easier when you resign. No begging after the fact for references. The folks you ask may be taken aback (yes, get them from the charge nurses, managers, and even directors and physicians), just say they are for maintaining your professional portfolio. These written references are far better than phone references and can be included in your interview with good effect.
  8. NedRN

    RN switching specialties....indecisive, unmotivated?

    OR traveler here. Perhaps you just have itchy feet! Travel relieves those symptoms, and makes the OR much more challenging learning the preferences of new surgeons, anesthesia, staff; patient flow, different services and new procedures, and charting software. Not easy, and in many assignments, it takes a couple weeks for minimal functionality, far more time than. But back to switching specialties, it sure doesn't sound like you are in a teaching hospital (which is an optimal first staff job no matter how sure you are of a lessor job being right). Small hospitals makes switching specialties internally very difficult. Regardless of your current position, you should stay a minimum of 2 years, particularly in your first job. Anything less will make you look bad to any prospective employer (also a minimum to travel). If you really have your heart in a more clinical specialty, put some energy into it! Take a critical care class. Read a few books. Shadow some nurses as someone else suggested.Your performance at interviews will get much better showing enthusiasm, giving reasons, and showing that you are actively working towards a career in a new specialty. You may be then able to answer some clinical questions - here is one I failed at an interview as a new grad (simple in hindsight): You are taking care of infant with an a-line and notice blood dripping on the floor. What is your first action? Consider applying at a lot of teaching hospitals and be prepared to move out of state to achieve your goal.
  9. When I signed up for Allnurses, it was pretty obvious that you had to protect your identity and in more ways than just a good screen name. Allnurses is also open for employers and fellow staffers to read, and too close a description of your hospital (or the actual name) and anything work related, particularly a complaint, can lead to them knowing exactly who is posting. Before FB was big, that still caused a lot of issues, terminations, and provided evidence in court cases and BON hearings. I assume the same thing happens in student forums with school administrators and would be surprised if it doesn't. If you don't hide real life details, all your posts will be identified and potentially used against you in ways you might not anticipate now. Like to use the same screen name for several social media accounts? Even easier for Google and others to connect the dots. FB kind of changed everything. Real names were not a thing on the Internet before FB. It might be too late for good privacy laws like Germany has even if there was the political will. Like the rest of life, user beware. But the consequences of social media will last and follow you the rest of your life. Hard to get that when you are young, but really it should be part of basic primary and secondary education. FaceBook teaches us it is cool to share everything and has forced the issue. Professionally, it is not cool.
  10. NedRN

    Skills needed for ICU travel nurse?

    Ideally you would want to find a first job at a large teaching hospital that would rotate you around different ICUs as part of your orientation. I interviewed at such a hospital in Chicago whose formal orientation was 18 months (I didn't get the job as a new grad, but it was a difficult period for new grads). That would give you the broadest foundation no matter the travel assignment, as well as putting your first staff job on your work history in a better known hospital nationally. You can travel successfully with just medical experience, but the more you know, well... the more you know, and it will make you more competitive and a better nurse. I can promise you that even if you have worked CVICU in a teaching hospital, the odds that a manager is going to want ECMO/LVAD skillset is pretty close to zero (as far as my direct experience goes, those ICU patients will have a perfusionist 24 hours). Same with the charge nurse doing actual assignments. Those will go to staff nurses of known ability, or for staff education. That is not to say that a hiring manager might like that depth of experience and that will help give you an edge over other candidates for that same travel assignment. IABP skills could be useful but easy to learn. Same with PA lines which you probably will never see in a community hospital setting.
  11. NedRN

    What travel RN agencies do you recommend??

    All agencies bad. Start with that. They are just a conduit for money and fundamentally don't care (you might argue the agencies started by nurses are an exception, but would be their marketing, not mine). Doesn't matter about the agency anyway, what you are looking for is good recruiters you communicate well with and trust. I'd start about a year out. Pace yourself, but a year gives you time to talk to lots of recruiters. Lots of conversations will help you sort out who is being straight with you, and who you don't want to have your phone number. Pick the best five to actually fill out the paperwork with. Finally, there is a way to shortcut some of that with an intense couple of days at the annual Travelers Conference in Las Vegas in September. Besides lots of lectures and workshops on all things travel, 15 or 20 agencies with several recruiters each will be there and you can connect face to face. I'd still do a lot of phone calling prior to that for background if you go, and you can ask the recruiters you like if they will be there.
  12. NedRN

    Prophecy Testing

    First time traveler? I wouldn't sweat it. I'm OR (most med questions are irrelevant) and have not flunked a pharm test yet (including at least two by Prophecy). Other than ACLS drugs I've not studied pharm for 25 years. You should pass. Open another browser window should a question stump you.
  13. NedRN

    Low Ball Offers

    $55 to $65 plus housing and per diem and travel pay?
  14. NedRN

    Tough situation

    Vote with your feet. Hundreds of better agencies and recruiters to choose from. Yes, hassle to sift the chaff, but far better than staying put.
  15. A key phrase here is "moving to Connecticut". A large portion of traveler compensation depends on the tax advantages of working away from home. If you "move", you are not working away from home. You certainly don't want to claim otherwise - that is fraud. Under this condition, compensation would almost certainly be better as staff. Can't say much about misdemeanors, but you do have to report them to BONs, even the BoNs that don't do background checks. Background checks are routinely done for travelers and depending, the agency may not even submit you to the hospital. In any case, hospital HR gets a copy for their records in case of audit by CMS.