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Travel Nursing

Travel   (539 Views 11 Comments)
by Klori Klori (New Member) New Member

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I am currently a nursing student, I graduate in May 2020. I have plans in moving to California once I graduate. However, I want to go the traveling nursing route. I wanted to know what agencies do y'all recommend and when do y'all think it's a good time for me to look for jobs. 

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

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I have no agency rec’s, but I would say you should have a good 2-3+ years’ experience at least.  As a travel nurse you will be expected to hit the ground running... even in the level 1 trauma SICU I work in, our travelers only get a few shifts of orientation.  Even at the frequently-quoted “golden one year” I don’t think most are ready for that... unless possibly you’re an exceptionally high performer and taking assignments in the same specialty you’ve worked in.

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35 minutes ago, Here.I.Stand said:

I have no agency rec’s, but I would say you should have a good 2-3+ years’ experience at least.  As a travel nurse you will be expected to hit the ground running... even in the level 1 trauma SICU I work in, our travelers only get a few shifts of orientation.  Even at the frequently-quoted “golden one year” I don’t think most are ready for that... unless possibly you’re an exceptionally high performer and taking assignments in the same specialty you’ve worked in.

This times 20.....you may be lucky to walk into a nursing unit and get 1 hour of orientation. Then a full patient load and you're on your own. 

The hospital uses very expensive travel nurses because it's running short staffed. Which may indicate a problem within the entire hospital.

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

4 Followers; 44,622 Visitors; 5,526 Posts

Travel nursing is not appropriate for the new grad nurse. All facilities who hire a traveler expect to get a well seasoned professional who can hit the ground running without any precepting beyond showing them where the Pyxis, supplies and linen carts are. At my facility they don't even get to attend orientation. They get it in PowerPoint format and sign an attestation that they received it. They definitely aren't going to kindly pair you up with an experienced nurse who will take all the time you need to show you the ropes.

If travel nursing appeals to you get hired on full time in ER, med-surg, telemetry, stepdown, ICU or L&D and give it a solid 2 years or more. Then you will have enough experience not to be a hazard to patients or your license. Good luck!

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Swellz has 6 years experience and specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown.

9,431 Visitors; 627 Posts

A good friend of mine went to CA as a traveler and ultimately got hired on to one of the hospitals she worked at. Depending on where you're planning on living in CA, it can be hard to get a job as a new nurse, so getting a few years experience and then moving there as a traveler can be a good way in. But as people say, you will need a couple years before you can work as a travel nurse anyway.

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Silverdragon102 has 30 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

6 Followers; 1 Article; 142,163 Visitors; 38,729 Posts

Moved to the Travel Nursing forum 

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6 hours ago, Klori said:

I am currently a nursing student, I graduate in May 2020. I have plans in moving to California once I graduate. However, I want to go the traveling nursing route. I wanted to know what agencies do y'all recommend and when do y'all think it's a good time for me to look for jobs. 

I'll ditto the rest of the comments about experience. That said, there is nothing to prevent you from gaining that experience somewhere in California. I'd suggest getting some references and start looking for teaching hospital specialty internships now (anywhere if you can't get California). Good ones go fast. Do a really good job explaining why you want to work in your chosen specialty and why that particular hospital - do some research on what they excel at, or the patient population they serve and mention it. Or even particular physicians that do something not done elsewhere. If you can tie that in with a physician written reference, you increase your odds quite a bit. If you present well and have time before fall semester, a road trip and a couple interviews may get your career off to a head start.

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NICUmiiki has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

25,126 Visitors; 1,746 Posts

Our unit would never hire a traveler that had no experience (yes, the managers get a say in this). The point of using travelers is that they can take an assignment after a short orientation for charting essentially. It takes a couple of years to be comfortable enough to just walk into a unit and start working. If you have to precept a new grad, you're better off hiring your own.

Idk... I hope there aren't any companies that hire new grads, but there are always those sleazy ones that push safe limits.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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I'd recommend browsing through the travel nurse forum (where your post was moved). It might help you clarify more about the role (how much experience you need in order to travel, what specialties are more/less desirable for travel positions, etc.) No need to reinvent the wheel.

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Nursing school and floor nursing are very different.  If you're like most nursing students, you won't ever get a full patient assignment where you're responsible for everything, even if you do some kind of capstone.

Most facilities will not allow you to chart a full assessment on your patient.  In nursing school, we were only allowed to put in vitals and I&Os - basically what the CNAs could chart. We did do some dummy charting in our school's sim program, but it was not the same as having to chart full assessments on all patients, provider notifications, etc.  The documentation is such an incredible time-suck, but it's something you HAVE to be able to do in a timely fashion.  And that's on top off all the other time management you have to learn.

Just the med pass alone was something I never got to do on more than one or two patients per shift in nursing school.  My nursing instructor had to be with us when we passed meds, and there were 8 of us in the clinical group, and she couldn't be in multiple places at once.

If you are like most nursing students, you will graduate having only a passing familiarity with some basic nursing tasks, either because you didn't have a patient who needed them or because your school or the host facility would not allow students to attempt them. My program did not allow us to place IVs.  I placed one female foley and one male foley during my clinicals, and the hospital where I currently work will not allow any nursing students to perform those tasks, even with a clinical instructor or staff nurse to assist and coach.

The time management, thinking on your feet, putting everything together, knowing when to call a doctor, etc. are things that come in time.  I was asked to come talk to my nursing program's next year cohort, and one student asked if I felt ready to be a nurse.  I replied, I felt ready for orientation.  

A straight-forward med-surg orientation is going to be 8-12 weeks, depending on your facility.  Those are months of having another nurse's 1:1 attention as you get up to speed, learn time management, learn the work flow of your unit, learn the policies and procedures of your facility, practice skills you may have only been able to try once or twice in clinicals (or not at all).  Even if you are a star student in your program, you will not be safe on your own without a proper new grad orientation.

Trust us when we say that a new grad is not ready to be a travel nurse, even IF (and it's a big IF) someone will hire you as one.

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Most travel agencies require one to two years experience before your first assignment.This makes sense because your experience will be a great base for you when you venture out.I worked as a travel nurse 13 assignments everywhere from Rhode Island,Seattle,Portland,San Francisco,Oakland,Dallas,Austin,San Antonio.Wonderful jobs ,usually very easy .Meeting lots of fellow travel nurses who banded together to support one another,kind of like your home team away from home

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