Travel Nursing

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in Med-Surg, LTC, SNF.

I have been a nurse for 11 years (9 yrs an LPN, now a RN for 2yrs). I am currently working as an ADON/Charge Nurse of the day shift in a small "down home" LTC facility. I have worked off an on in LTC as a CNA, LPN and a RN. I like LTC, but it feels as though my job has become that of a glorified babysitter. The "down home" environment has resulted in a serious lack of professionalism and I'm afraid my nursing skills are dwindling. This has been a concern for awhile, but lately, with the new changes in LTC, it has become an issue I believe I need to address. At my age, and the small town options here, I am considering the travel nurse industry. I am looking for some input from someone in the field. I would love to work in the hospital setting but the hospital here is NOT my first choice for many reasons. Since my most recent experience is in LTC, I am working on my ACLS certification to brush up on my skills. I would love some insight into how this works, opinions of the process and maybe even some advice on how to pick a company. My children are 15, 16, and 18, I would love to be able to travel with my husband in the next few years. Also, my 18 yo is working on her RN degree and is interested in traveling, hopefully I can help pave the way for her ( as well as pay for her education,haha). Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Specializes in Tele, ICU, ED, Nurse Instructor,.

This sounds good, atleast you have a plan. How many years of medical-surgical have you worked? Most travel agencies wants atleast 18 months of hospital setting. Travel agencies be looking for ICU, ED, and Progressive Care/Telemetry/Stepdown nurses.

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

The issues:

First, right now the travel nursing industry is suffering more so from the Recession than most of nursing. In other words, very few positions, most being offerred by increasingly selective employers and those positions being sought by many more highly qualified candidates than there are positions. The Industry is also paying less in many cases.

Second, most facilities want several years of recent experience in whatever specialty that the position is in. This would mean that they would want to place you in LTC or something similar, because that is where your experience is. The reason being is that they do not want or have time to train people, or help them update their skills - they want people that can hit the floor running. Thus it might help to at least do per diem shifts at the local hospital.

Third, travel nursing is not (especially in these times) a reliable, stable income. Meaning that if you do 13 week - 26 week assignments, you may be often changing amount of income, place every few monthes, or in the current economy, be unemployed for several weeks/monthes. Or may have to take a position in a less desirable place or at a lower pay rate for a time, to stay working regularly. Depending on your financial obligations/spouse's employment during travel, this may be problematic.

There are some specialties like ICU/CCU/OR /Tele/ER that stay consistantly in high demand and employed. But starting out these days, in other specialties, is difficult.

Another issue, is while everyone presumes that travel nurse make huge money, for those of us older, with bills, with established bills, many of us can make as much or more as staff. The pay rates for MS, LTC are usually not as great as others.

I loved traveling, but the inconsistancies (interviewing frequently, changing gears, pay rates, etc.) got very wearing. I am also currently single with my one child married and have fewer obligations, thus could take the risks more easily. It would be much harder to support a nonworking spouse (hard to find temp employment) and pay for college.

I was in a similar position, as I had been PRN in SDS/Dismissal for about the past 9 or so years, while running a seasonal business. I have returned to working 24-32 hours/week in the SDS/PACU. My main reason for doing this is to get up to speed with my skills again in the hopes of traveling in the next couple years. I oriented to the PACU, but don't work in there regularly, but am on call for PACU. I signed up online for a free subscription to Healthcare Traveler magazine, and within an hour my phone was ringing off the hook with recruiters. I had put in the profile that I submitted that I was looking to travel in the next 1-2 years, but they were calling with jobs to start ASAP. Now, I don't know how many of the jobs would pan out if I were in a position to apply for one at the moment, but I continue to get emails and calls from them, just touching bases with me. On the other hand, I did read in the magazine that the jobs are fewer and more selective, and the ones I've seen the pay rate posted, in some cases are less than what I make currently. I just decided to bide my time and continue to brush up on my skills and when the time is right, then I will see what comes to pass!

Specializes in LTC currently.

The best travel nurse agency that i know is called Favorite Nurses. THey are available all over the country. I actually filled out that i was interest in them and they called me back with an hour and also e-mailed me also. The lady named Mariah Harder who i spoke to asked me what area that i would like to travel to. She offered me a 13 week contract, but i didnt have enough experience once i told her that i was only a nurse for 6 months. She told me that once i get a year up under my belt, they will hire me with no problem. She said they were in dire need of nurses. To the above post, i dont know what Travel nurse agencies you are talking about(no offense) but she said they are in need of nurses. You can either do locally(within your state, im in Illinois), or you can travel to whatever state.....I know they are paying nurses in Rhode Island $38 an hour for traveling, with all the benefits. I am from similar background as you because I also work in LTC as well. You should try them FAVORITE NURSES. Good luck and i wish you the best.

You need 2 years for travel nursing. I suggest part time or per diem on a regular basis then go for it and have a great time!

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