Aussie RN, WHAT IS TRAVEL NURSING? Sick/Holiday Leave?

  1. Hi All,

    I've been reading these forums for a while, and have ideas about individual issues, but not the basic question of assumed knowledge, WHAT IS TRAVEL NURSING? We don't have an equivalent here that I know of, apart from agencies that organise individual shifts.

    I would like to travel in the US, Canada and anywhere with my wife and two kids under 4, and from what I've read, travel nursing seems to be what I'm looking for, I think.....

    What are the contracts like? Is there sick/holiday leave incorporated, or are you completely casual? Is there any job security or can you arrive somewhere and be told that someone else already has the job?

    I understand that a lot depends on what agency you go with, does anyone know who caters for travel nurses from overseas, helping with exams, registration etc?

    I am an experienced OT RN with postgrad qualifications.
    VERY interested to hear what your opinions are. Thanks in advance.
  2. Visit Ferret profile page

    About Ferret

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 118; Likes: 2
    Scrub/Scout OT RN


  3. by   suzanne4
    You will need to pass CGFNS and obtain a Visa Screen Certificate before you can do any travel nursing in the US as they are required. You can also get the Visa Screen Certificate with just the NCLEX exam, but that would mean flying to the US to take the exam. Normally, English exams are also required, but since you trained in Australia, the English requirements are waived for you. The Visa Screen process can take minimum of 6 months or longer, if you are considering this apply now. It will be a mandatory requirement of all foreign trained healthcare providers that wish to work in the US beginning this July so the wait could actually get longer.

    You can PM me if you have any more questions.
  4. by   bagladyrn
    Travel or contract nursing is usually for a contract of 8-13 weeks at a specific hospital. There is the possibility of a hospital cancelling a contract, but this is unusual. Most travel nursing companies offer benefits such as insurance, housing, travel expense (limited amount), license reimbursement, etc. They usually do not offer sick leave or vacation pay, although many times you will have a bonus at the end of a contract, which I frequently use to take time off between contracts.
    Many of the larger travel companies do employ nurses from other countries - I've worked with several from Australia and many from Canada. I know that my company does so.
    I'd suggest checking out and going to their Travel Nurses and Therapists board - lots of good info.
    I've been working as a traveler for quite a few years now and would be glad to answer any questions I can. Feel free to post to me here or email me at
  5. by   ojo
    As of right now I am a student nurse who will be graduating in April. I would like to know if it would be a possibility for me to go into traveling nursing right away or would it be to soon? Should I get some experience under my belt first? If you could please give me some input. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  6. by   suzanne4
    Ojo: I would definitely get experience under your belt before thinking of travel. I do not know of one company that will hire a new nurse that doesn't have experience. Sure, there may be some out there but don't count on them to be reputable.

    Remember, when you start to work for the agency, your contracts are usually from 8 to 13 weeks, so the hospital isn't going to give you much of an orientation. You are expected to be able to jump right in and carry your own load.