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Travel Nursing - Expectations!

Travel   (2,042 Views 5 Comments)
by Mellie9645 Mellie9645 (Member) Member

1,679 Profile Views; 46 Posts

I am currently a fairly new (8 months) NICU nurse that is interested in becoming a travel nurse. I plan to continue working at my current hospital until I have 2 years experience before I become a traveler. I have had many conversations with the travelers that work at my hospital, but they have all been relatively new to travel nursing. I am in the research phase now and I just wanted to know if this is something I would truly enjoy doing before I put an extended amount of time and effort into making travel nursing a reality.

I currently work in a Level IV NICU in the Midwest and I'm just working on improving my skill set. I am willing to travel anywhere in the US and eventually would like to do volunteer work in other countries. When it comes to assignments, I don't mind doing growers/feeders and I wouldn't have a problem with higher acuity. However, I DO NOT want to float to other units. With regards to travel companies and what they offer, the only thing on my list of must haves are health insurance and a retirement plan.

My question for all you seasoned travel nurses.... are my expectations realistic? If not, what should a new travel nurse expect?

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 5,358 Posts; 45,231 Profile Views

NICU no floating usually, but always confirm during interview - smaller hospitals may have you float to mother/baby. Health insurance yes, although smaller agencies are not subject to the ACA. You are probably best off carrying your own insurance, much easier and you know what you have - many agency health plans turn out to be almost worthless. Some agencies will reimburse you for your own health insurance tax free (doesn't change your total pay, just shifts taxable to non-taxable saving around 40% of your premium). Agency retirement plans are scarce and poor quality (high hidden expenses). Do your own with Vanguard or Fidelity. Doing stuff on your own makes everything portable and gives you a wider choice of agencies, including those that pay enough more to make up for any perception that you are missing out on benefits.

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46 Posts; 1,679 Profile Views

Thanks, NedRN...great info!

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Maevish has 9 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU, Postpartum, Onc, PACU.

396 Posts; 9,764 Profile Views

Do what is in your contract that you SIGN. There have been places where the only things they have open are ICU/FLOAT positions and those suck. I was floated every 4 hours (literally) in one hospital and was only in ICU 3 days out of the whole 13 weeks. It was awful. However, that's not the norm as it's extremely bad for you as well as the patients.

If it's an ICU contract, then you work ICU. That's what happened to me this contract. They tried to float me (and this hospital is already terrifying with ratios, no breaks, etc-and this is in California) and I said I'd go help out, give meds, etc, but that I wouldn't be going there and taking patients.

They weren't happy with me, but since that wasn't in my contract, they couldn't do much unless they wanted to cancel my contract (which they can't do because no one wants to work in this place lol).

Just be sure you get everything in writing and that includes things while you're IN your contract (just like you would with a staff job). If someone says they'll work for you, have them email you if your hospital doesn't have forms, etc. Same if you want days off. Get it in writing. You're tempted (or at least I am) to just take someone's word on the phone, but that won't hold up if it comes right down to it.

There are many great places to work and you can work at hospitals like UC Davis (who don't hire you unless you have your BSN) as someone with your ASN/ADN, which is nice.

Good luck! You should try it at least for a few contracts, if traveling is something you're thinking about :)

xo

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Wolf at the Door has 7 years experience.

1,040 Posts; 19,558 Profile Views

Do what is in your contract that you SIGN. There have been places where the only things they have open are ICU/FLOAT positions and those suck. I was floated every 4 hours (literally) in one hospital and was only in ICU 3 days out of the whole 13 weeks. It was awful. However, that's not the norm as it's extremely bad for you as well as the patients.

There are many great places to work and you can work at hospitals like UC Davis (who don't hire you unless you have your BSN) as someone with your ASN/ADN, which is nice.

Good luck! You should try it at least for a few contracts, if traveling is something you're thinking about :)

xo

What hospital did that?

Urgh I turned down a perm job interview at UC Davis PACU. Did not like my option of hours.

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