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So many questions! First time traveling!

ckcana2 ckcana2 (New) New

Hello all!! This will be my first time doing traveling nursing. I am excited, yet terrified at the same time. I have roughly 2 years of ICU experience and want to do travel nursing in Orlando, FL. Some questions I have are:

Am I able to request the hospital I would like to work at in Orlando? For instance I want to work at Celebration Hospital in Celebration, FL. Do they tell you which hospital you will work at before you accept the assignment?

Does travel nursing pay for getting licensed in another state? Moving costs? Food? Transportation to and from work?

Also, do most companies offer 401ks and match them?

Does anyone have any specific agencies they recommend?

Thanks so much!

Start talking to agencies. They will answer your questions and describe the benefits they offer. You will get a feel for which ones you will be comfortable working with. There is no best agency, if there was, it would be the only one!

If you want a specific hospital and none of the agencies staff it, you can always call the hospital and ask them what agencies they use.

I lived not far from Orlando for many years, and I am guessing that Celebration would be a hard hospital to get a Travel job at. It is a fancy town and a fancy hospital. However, ICU is one of the most 'needed' position in travel, so I guess it could be possible. And you may have one hurdle right at the beginning. Many hospitals will not even look at your resume if you are a new traveler. So you may have to take who is willing to interview for the first few jobs before you can branch out, so to speak. Celebration is one of the many Florida Hospital- hospitals in Florida. I would recommend you calling Human resources and asking them if they use travelers and if so, do they use a certain company. Some companies have contracts and they will get first preference if they submit a person and that would give you a leg up in getting hired. If you are just wanting to get in the Orlando area, there are multiple hospitals in the area to look at and you could still live or play in Celebration without working at the hospital. And Orlando is close to several other cities that may have opportunities and Orlando would only be an hour away if you want to drive there for fun.

Also, you will always know where you will be working before you even interview. You should know that X unit at X hospital is calling you for an interview. There should be no surprises. And don't take a job just cause they called you. If you do not have a good feeling about a place, or don't want to live/work in a certain town, say 'no'. You may have some lag time between assignments while waiting for the right one to come, but you have to look out for your own interests. Even though your recruiter is working for you, they are still trying to get you hired so they can make some money. So YOU are your best advocate.

You will only get reimbursed for your license IF you get a travel job in that state first. That can be an issue. Some places may hire you a month or more in advance, giving you time to get your license. Hence, your company will pay you back. Some other hospitals are looking for a quick hire and you need a license before you even apply. In that case, it comes out of your own pocket. The company is not going to pay for your license and then you not get a job.

Your pay will include your hourly pay, your housing stipend, and incidentals. And what the incidentals are, depend on your company. They do not particularly pay for food or travel to and from work. You have to do that where ever you are anyway. Each company will pay a little different in travel pay. So you will get 1/2 when you show up for your assignment and 1/2 when you finish. My experience is that they are capped at a certain amount. So whether you drive 12 hours away or 3 days away, it is the same at my company. Often if you are new to a company, they will pay a sign on bonus and if you do consecutive assignments, you get a small bonus. Don't get too excited, it is not that much, but something extra. I see a big difference in companies as far as 401's, so you will have to ask each individual one. Many people have a belief that Travel nurses are raking in the big bucks. Truthfully, you probably are not making much more than the staff nurses are making. And less benefits (like no PTO). Hourly, I actually make less than I did working out-pt. But the fun and experience I get from living/working in different areas is far more valuable to me than money.

I work for Cirrus. It is not a huge company, but i find that they can pull up just about any assignments if they are open to travelers. After reading blogs about other companies, I can only say that I have not had issues with pay, or feel as though I am being cheated. My recruiter is pretty easy to get a hold of and I get my questions answered. The only division I have not used is the housing division. I prefer to find my own place (you get to keep what is left of your housing stipend if you find your own place-otherwise, they keep the rest). I have worked for 2 other companies and I find that the housing people anywhere have not been good. Where are these luxury furnished apartments that they advertise?? Unless you find an individual that is renting out their place and it is furnished, to find an apartment and have it furnished for you is very expensive. So anyway, look on Highway Hypodermics and you will find a list of top travel companies. (Although whether they pay to be on that list, I do not know) Give each one a call and interview them as to their pay, insurance, 401's, bonus's, housing, etc....Most are about the same, but it also helps to click with a recruiter. Read, read, read about travel nursing. There is an on-line magazine Travel Nursing, that have stories and advice for travelers. It gives you ideas of the right questions to ask and what to expect as a new travelers.

Best of luck. So much to do in Orlando. A fun town. Hope you enjoy Travel. I love it.