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Skills for travel nursing?

amur amur (New) New

I am hoping to go into travel nursing sometime next year and am starting to do my research. I have been wanting to do this for a LONG period of time, but needed for the kids to get older. A couple of questions: there seem to be no agencies that makes most people happy (a lot of review sites are owned by some of them, jeopardizing the reviews? or conflicting reviews on different sites?)

Can anyone recommend a couple of decent ones for starting? I am more interested in experience of travel nursing, travel, good agency relationship etc rather than pay, but of course I don't want to work for pennies either. Second question: what are some of the qualities/experiences can I work on before I formally start applying for the positions? In other words what are desirable skills/qualities of a travel nurse? Thanks!

I have been an RN for 5 years with experience in psych, medsurg, end of life care, long term care and floating. I am hoping to also have some ICU experience before starting. Is this good for starting?

Anyone heard of VERO RN?

Ruby Vee specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

It's been a long time since I traveled, so my recommendations on agencies would be out of date. I won't venture there. I'll offer my perspective as a preceptor who is responsible for ensuring that new travel nurses are safe to practice in our ICU.

In general, facilities like to see a solid two years of recent experience in the specialty in which one is traveling. If you try to get "some ICU experience" now and start traveling next year, that won't be good enough. You need a solid two years of ICU experience if you want to get ICU assignments.

You list five specialties in five years (and yes, floating IS a specialty, although I don't know that travel agencies look to employ nurses in that specialty), so I wonder whether you have a solid two years of experience in any of those specialties. Probably your best option right now is to forget about the ICU and focus on wherever you're working now.

Travel nurses have to hit the ground running with minimal orientation. Ours get two weeks, but more commonly it ranges from a few hours to a few days. The agency itself will have a skills checklist for your self-assessment, and the hiring facility usually has a skills checklist as well. We look for self-starters who learn quickly and take responsibility for their own learning.

Travel nurses don't have to be extroverts, but it helps. As an introvert, I always had difficulty fitting in to a new job in a new facility. I traveled with my husband, who is decidedly an extrovert and that helped break the ice for me at work. It also gave me companionship and someone to talk to in the apartment at the end of the day, and someone to do things with on my day off. Before you travel, have a plan in place for meeting your needs for friendship and companionship. Many outgoing travel nurses make instant friends at work, and that's great. I wasn't that way, and it was harder for me. Make sure you take the time to do the self-reflection and figure out how you're going to handle being alone in a strange city.

Good luck! Traveling is an adventure.

Thank you! You bring up good points. I am transferring to ICU now and was hoping to have a year in before traveling, but I understand what you are saying about 2 years and being ready to hit the floor running (sounds a lot like floating).

Which agencies you pick is almost irrelevant. You are choosing recruiters you trust and communicate well with. Every single agency has fans and detractors. Human nature means most of what you will find online is negative. Discount 95% of that. Call lots of agencies and pick the best three to five recruiters to work further with.

Yes, agency lists online do have underlying methodology, direct financial interest (some "neutral" sites are agency owned), advertising revenue, or book sales.

I have been with Total Med for over 2 years. Great company and my recruiter is always available to me. Check them out! Good luck, I absolutely love travel nursing!


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