How hard is it to get with agencies

  1. I am about to be a year nurse as a Med surg nurse. I want to travel but heard it's hard to apply and get on with an agency. Who are the best agencies to travel with and how can I better my chances?
  2. Visit syjet1229 profile page

    About syjet1229

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 5
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Gary Mendoza
    It's not hard, it's super easy, but most hospitals want at least two years experience and I highly suggest at least that much experience too. Just imagine the worst patient you've ever had, now imagine having a full zone of patients like that, without help and without resources. If you think you can handle that, by yourself, then you are ready for travel. Not all assignments will be tough, but sometimes you will get dumped on and treated horribly and you need to be able to handle that.

    Again, super easy to get with an agency. Just contact a recruiter, send them your documents (on boarding) and get submitted to assignments. You'll interview by phone and usually know within a few days to 1-2 weeks if you got the contract.

    I recommend Fastaff and Atlas Medstaff, they are known for treating travelers well and for reasonable to exceptional pay.

    Make sure you ask any and every question you can think of during your interview with the facility (patient ratio:scrub color requirement: if they have pass/cancel testing [tests they have you take when you get to your contract and if you fail they cancel your contract]), make sure you have housing before accepting a contract, if you accept a contract and can't find housing, you could get DNR'ed (Do not rehire) from that organization and/or agency. Lots to know and be careful about.

    But I URGE you to wait until you have another years experience, for the safety of your license and the safety of the patients. The only exception to this would be is if you have lots of previous experience as a LPN or a paramedic.
  4. by   NedRN
    It is not hard to sign up with an agency except for the endless documentation stuff. And you will be able to find agencies that will "sign" you with only one year of experience, but there are a ton of reasons why you don't want to do that. For starters, why would an agency or hospital take a one year nurse when there are lots of more experienced medsurg nurses out there, and perhaps most already with travel experience (also important)? The cost to the hospital for you or a 10 year nurse is exactly the same. Your chances of landing in a bad situation and failing at an assignment no one else will take increases exponentially. You don't want that.

    To maximize your value to agencies and hospitals and competitiveness, get at least two years of experience, and as many certifications as you can, especially tele.
  5. by   Have Nurse
    It won't be difficult to get on board. They are screaming for people. But be advised what the recruiter will not tell you, or lie about: You will be paying taxes in more than one state unless it's a state that has no state income tax, you will be walking into environments that are already suffering due to staffing issues and organizational problems, system issues, and their staff don't stay - thus the need for a Traveler. Your housing may be questionable depending on the area you are going to. Others are just fine.

    As a former Acute Care Med/Surg/Ortho/Nuero nurse, I took an assignment in Home Care due to a needed change after so many years, and traveled to do it.

    I have traveled quite a bit in various parts of the country. I wrote about 3 assignments as they were so different and the experiences I had at each one. Not all good. Not sure when they will be published in the blog here but you might take a gander at it to get an idea.

    A lot too, depends on your specialty. You will get good pay and benefits. And you will earn every penny.
  6. by   NedRN
    Taxes in more than one state (your home state and your work state) is more paperwork, but not really a big deal. You will get a credit toward taxes paid to one state for the other(s). In practice, your state income tax burden will always be the higher of the two. If you come from a low (or no) income tax state, you will end up paying taxes in the total amount the work state requires. Or if you travel to a lower taxed state, it is your home state that will effectively set your total state income tax burden.
  7. by   ChrisMMS
    Everyone here has pretty much hit the nail on the head. If you want to travel with one year you will be able to find an agency and contract that will allow you to do so. However, as Gary mentioned travelers are given the hardest assignments at times and generally the facility is understaffed hence the need for travelers. You may receive 1-2 days of training/orientation and then you hit the floor running and need to be able to roll with the punches.
  8. by   Angiebaby01
    These agencies will hire you without batting an eye as long as your license is current and without restrictions. However, remember that it is your license to protect so getting as much experience, skills and knowledge under your belt as possible before considering a travel job would be in your best interest! Try moving around to different specialties within your current facility. If this is a teaching hospital, your manager and HR rep should have no problem facilitating this for you. Think about a specialty such as cardiac step-down unit, transplant, or even oncology.