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Questions regarding Travel Nursing

Posted

Specializes in ED.

Hello fellow RNs. I have been thinking about travel nursing for a couple of months and reading some of these posts. A couple questions I have: how does one get started? Are there agencies you contact? On average how long are assignments? Do travel nurses receive medical benefits?

Thank you in advance!

"Are there agencies you contact?" Yup, unless you believe in magic.

LadyTiger44

Has 6 years experience.

Hello fellow RNs. I have been thinking about travel nursing for a couple of months and reading some of these posts. A couple questions I have: how does one get started? Are there agencies you contact? On average how long are assignments? Do travel nurses receive medical benefits?

Thank you in advance!

You just contact agencies. Lots of applications to fill out. Assignments average 13 weeks, some longer or some shorter. Yes, most companies offer benefits. I am currently with Travel Nurse Across America. I also speak with Trinity Healthcare, RN Network, RTG Medical, Medical Solutions, and Cross Country. Don't go with AMN or any of their subsidies. Not the best paying.

Edited by sirI

I also am looking into travel nursing when my husband retires next year. There are so many different companies that it is almost overwhelming. I am thinking of using a local company here in my area, The Right Solutions, but am so unsure.

emb92250

Has 4 years experience.

I wouldn't go with a company just because it's local. It's not like you will be in their office at any time. You fill out most of your paperwork online and fax or mail hardcopies back to them (such as when they want copies of your licenses, references, etc.). What I look for in a travel company is that they are larger, ie they contract with more hospitals in more areas. I wanted assignments in a specific area, so I signed up for all the companies that serviced that area. Other than that, its just experience. Just because you do one assignment with one company does not mean you have to do your second assignment with them. My first was MSN, my second is Cross Country. I prefer CC.

geminiBSN75

Specializes in ED.

Thanks Ned.....

I wouldn't start to contact agencies until you are certain you want to travel b/c they will contact you nonstop. You will have to fill out a crazy amount of paperwork so just be certain this is something you want. I went with agencies that had the most locations to travel and had the best reputations

Research on line by reading these type posts and also talk with multiple agencies. You do NOT have to fill out their paperwork until you decide that yes you DO want to travel with that company. It is best to have 3-4 agencies to work with once you decide to travel.

Good Luck!

You do NOT have to fill out their paperwork until you decide that yes you DO want to travel with that company.

Does this mean I should call the number on the agency website and speak to recruiters and wait to fill out the online applications including the skills checklist? I have been registering at various agencies online and some have called me back and some have not. They weren't particularly interested in speaking with me since I don't plan to travel until mid-October.

Yes. In no way does filling out applications help you select what agencies you want to use. It just means you will be getting more spam and nuisance calls.

You need to talk to recruiters to find out if there is any potential for a good business relationship. If they don't want to talk to you, do you still want to use them? Move on, lots of recruiters at lots of agencies that take a long term perspective on building good traveler relationships. Those are the ones you are looking for. Once you have selected recruiters you like that you can talk to, now you can do their paperwork.

Does this mean I should call the number on the agency website and speak to recruiters and wait to fill out the online applications including the skills checklist? I have been registering at various agencies online and some have called me back and some have not. They weren't particularly interested in speaking with me since I don't plan to travel until mid-October.

Exactly. Call the company, talk with a recruiter, ask all the questions you want to ask and if they seem like someone you can work with, then put a star next to there name on your list ;O)

If they aren't interested in talking to you then they just want a quick sign-up, get you working so they can start making money off of you. Of course this is every recruiters desire. To sign you up and get you working, it is how they and the company make money. But the good ones also care about your well being and try to make it a good experiencing for all in involved (you and them).

They are all trying for the same end result but there are different styles, so to say.

It is like nursing, I can go in the room, start the IV, push in the meds and run the urine dip. Or I can go into my Pt room, introduce myself, tell them I have an IV and meds for them, assess them, let them know the plan of care while they are in my Dept. offer them a blanket or other comfort measure before I leave. Same outcome--different style.

So that being said.

I spent a lot of time interviewing recruiters and getting company information before I got started. I am very happy with my choice.

As far as the paperwork. You would be endlessly submitting resumes and doing skills checklists if you tried to fulfill that obligation prior to getting into serious conversations with the companies. They want you to do all the paperwork ahead of time so that you have a vested interest with them. Don't fall for this tactic. besides, if you aren't ready to start right away then you have to update the skills checklist I think its every 6 months and they take about 45 minutes to complete.

I wish you luck in your venture, and remember it is only as good as the research and effort you put into it.

Thank you! I"m going to start calling Monday and ask my heart out. Thus far Travel Nurse Across America has been great. Fastaff told me to contact them when I actually have licenses in states where I want to travel to.

I would skip Fastaff until you have more experience.

Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nurses Make A Difference, One Hospital At A Time is a great resource to research companies and some reviews from travelers.

Edited by Esme12
LINK REMOVED

I spoke with a recruiter yesterday and asked her to let me know before she submitted my profile to different facilities. She said bc of the acuity of the assignments, it is better for her to go ahead and submit instead of waiting for me to research and then okay the facilities. I read in this forum about two agencies submitting a traveler's profile to the same facility and that made the traveler look unprofessional?

What are the pros/cons of letting the recruiter going ahead and submit vs me reviewing first? As a first time traveler, I am okay with the agencies going ahead and submitting then I can pick and choose when I actually get interviews.

If you google "what to ask travel nursing company" or something like that, you will get an idea of the questions you should be asking. Also sign up on PanTravelers if you haven't already. Its free and has lots of resources.

I had to use my specialty (psych) to narrow agencies because not all have psych. Check the agency's list of jobs to make sure they have plenty in your specialty.

Good Luck!

I spoke with a recruiter yesterday and asked her to let me know before she submitted my profile to different facilities. She said bc of the acuity of the assignments, it is better for her to go ahead and submit instead of waiting for me to research and then okay the facilities. I read in this forum about two agencies submitting a traveler's profile to the same facility and that made the traveler look unprofessional?

What are the pros/cons of letting the recruiter going ahead and submit vs me reviewing first? As a first time traveler, I am okay with the agencies going ahead and submitting then I can pick and choose when I actually get interviews.

That is a waste of your time, and the hospitals and can also lead to a lot of bad things from a traveler perspective. You are supposed to be sincerely interested in an assignment before submission. If a hospital receives your profile, that is their assumption. Some hospitals that you might actually be interested in going to later may blacklist you based on declining an assignment now.

What if you interview and discover that another agency is paying $5 an hour more? Too bad, you have locked yourself into the first agency who submits you (invariable not the agency you would like to work for).

After you have worked with a recruiter for a while, done an assignment or two and built up some trust, know that their pay is acceptable and they treat you well, and the recruiter knows what you like, only then is it OK to be submitted for a fast moving assignment (is that what acuity means?) without specific permission.