Have an internship on a general peds floor currently, about to graduate in the spring. I love the population, love the staff, love the docs, often interns are hired on as new grads (yay!). I wanted to work in this hospital for a year or so, maybe do a residency.
After a year, I want to do some travel nursing. I'm young, got no ties, want to wander a lot. For the sake of the long haul, would it be smarter to go to a general med-surg floor or SAC unit (adults) for finding jobs in locations I want? Ultimately location is more important to me than specialty.
There are a lot more adults in hospitals than kids, so sure, you will have more choices.
The hospital I'm on assignment at now has a peds unit that hires travelers
I recommend "going where your heart is." If you really want to be a peds nurse, be a peds nurse. Children's hospitals and pediatric units hire traveling nurses too. You can be a peds or neonatal travel nurse.
But if you really don't care ... and it doesn't matter all that much to you ... then yes, there are more adult med/surg units out there (and thus more travel choices) than there pediatric units.
In the long run, you'll probably be happier if you are doing work you enjoy. So pick the specialty that you will enjoy the most.
I'll keep this in mind, thank you.
Quote from llg
I recommend "going where your heart is." If you really want to be a peds nurse, be a peds nurse. Children's hospitals and pediatric units hire traveling nurses too. You can be a peds or neonatal travel nurse...In the long run, you'll probably be happier if you are doing work you enjoy. So pick the specialty that you will enjoy the most.
I totally agree with llg. A lot of nurses don't like peds. I bet there's lots of opportunity for you in both traveling and peds.
There are fewer peds patients, but there are fewer peds nurses as well. If you work in PICU, CV, Step down with vent experience, dialysis, or cath lab you'll be in even bigger demand. Remember pediatrics is seasonal. There are a lot more travel jobs during flu season than in the summer. You want to create strong relationships with units like surgical units, or specialty units who's census doesn't drop in the summer so you will be the first invited back in off season. It is also good to have a reputation as a traveler that renews contracts. It saves the hospitals money and shows them other units see you as an asset. Just make sure you don't start traveling before you are ready. I was a PICU nurse for 2 1/2 years when I started traveling. I didn't think I had the experience to walk into a PICU as a traveler if they had a higher acuity. So I traveled in pedi acute care and step down. I still felt overwhelmed. You get a tour and a crash course on how to chart. If they don't like your performance they can fire you without explanation. I know some agencies take nurses with one year of experience but I usually caution peers to really think about it before they do it that soon. It depends on how comfortable you are in your specialty and the acuity of the hospital you are going to. You need to be able to say no if you don't think you can handle an assignment.
That being said, travel nursing was the greatest experience of my life! It is the sort of thing you like most of the time, but when you hate it... you really hate it. It made me such a better nurse I can't even put it into words. It exposed me to different unit structures, cultures, specialties, and took my assessment skills to another level. Personally, I became a more confident and independent person. You learn a lot about what you are capable of when you are 2000 miles from any support system. My social skills blossomed and I learned to have difficult and proffessional conversations with coworkers (knowing some things had to be addressed and I was always the one who was expendable) I learned to stay in my lane at work, pick my battles, and advocate when I needed to.
You should definitely stay in peds if that is what you enjoy. It is so much fun (I mean you get paid to blow bubbles... literally) and you should certainly travel. There will be plenty of travel work for you. Some NICU or PICU experience will make you more marketable but at the end of the day you are going to be the best nurse in the specialty you enjoy. Believe me you will have no trouble getting travel work in peds, I still get weekly phone calls from agencies asking me when I want to leave my job.
This is awesome, thank you for this wealth of knowledge! I'm so antsy to get out of my home city, my plan was to up and run the second I had completed a year- but maybe I need longer than that? Also- if two years from now I quit from my hospital, signed onto an agency, right out of the gates can I say "I'd like placement in Oregon or Alaska" and have an assingment? Or do you have to put time into less desirable places first?
Having a first successful assignment should be your priority over location or pay. After that is on your work history, you will be more competitive and can start chasing pay or your bucket list.
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