New traveler - moved and still no job...

  1. Hey all -

    My girlfriend and I are both nurses (her: peds-onc, me: ER) and we moved from Brooklyn, NY to San Francisco because she was able to get a sweet first travel assignment. I was told by the handful of recruiters we were working with, that it wouldn't be difficult to place me, but alas, it's been over 2 months, many submissions, and not even an interview.

    I have over 2.5 years of level II trauma experience in a busy Brooklyn ER (would have up to 15 patients on my own at times...) and used my recent time off to study and pass the CEN (yay!). So now I have what I would *think* of as enough experience and certs to set myself apart. I've now heard that it can be extremely difficult to get that first placement, but I didn't think it would be this bad. I've even cold-called hospitals, after being submitted, at one of my recruiter's suggestion, even though that seems very unprofessional to me...

    At this point, we're looking to move down to SoCal (LA/San Diego) after her contract is up because it seems there are more opportunities down there. The obvious challenge is being able to find both of us jobs within a reasonable vicinity from each other, especially on the same shift.

    Is anyone else having a difficult time getting placed for their first assignment?
    Can anyone send me words of advice/encouragement?

  2. Visit Lauren Bear profile page

    About Lauren Bear, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 41; Likes: 19


  3. by   ChrisMMS
    Hello Lauren Bear,

    Recruiter here! I'm not sure which agencies/recruiters you are working with that told you it would be very easy to get you a travel assignment down there. California in general is a very competitive market and often times contracts can have anywhere from 25-100 candidates in front of them. A majority of the contracts in the areas you are looking for are privately owned by one specific agency/company. Most of the facilities in San Diego are going to be Kaiser facilities which are owned by AMN/AYA.

    2 Months is a long time to go without a job offer, but I wouldn't say that it is uncommon. From my side of things the ER specialty is currently very dry in terms of the amount of contracts that we have versus how many ER nurses there are. The first travel assignment is always going to be the hardest because many facilities will notice the lack of travel experience and disregard your submission. Summer in general is a very difficult time to find a contract in travel destinations, but I would try looking at critical access hospitals or something a little less competitive to increase your chances. The extra certificates and training that you complete is always going to help set you apart from the competition out there. I wouldn't be discourage many of my travelers express the same concern you have when starting off because it is perceived to be much easier, but it'll happen just keep on trying!
  4. by   8-ball
    I agree with above. I would try to work with AMN directly since as stated they have majority of contracts in the area. 3rd party vendors also get put on back burner. You may have a better time in LA with so many hospitals in the area. Kaiser LAMC is about 40% travelers but I am ICU not ER so thats where I speak of. Be flexible on hours (day, night) and as stated without travel experience some hospitals may not take you. Another option might be Reno NV and she can work in CA since Reno is right on the border of Lake Tahoe and they are a travel friendly hospital.
  5. by   Argo
    Medical solutions also seems to have a few primary contracts with sutter.... another local string of hospitals in the area. If you want to msg me for a recruiter I can tell you mine. I have had good luck with my AMN recruiter in the past as well as my medical solutions one.
  6. by   NedRN
    SF General used to use a ton of travelers, but I've never known who staffs them. But I'm pretty sure you are not talking to enough agencies. I'm a bit more current on North Bay hospitals, and while there is not a ton of ED, two hospitals that use ED travelers on a regular basis include Santa Rosa Memorial (AMN is the vendor manager, but there are ton of subcontracting agencies), and Marin General.

    Southern California has a very robust per diem agency environment. Travel is lower pay down there, but generally still more than local agency. Just saying you will have some options. I've met per diem workers there who have worked in an amazing number of hospitals, exceeding twenty!
  7. by   RNtoBSNjen
    Hi LaurenBear,

    I am also considering travel nursing now that I'm finished with my graduate degree. My first search here on allnurses for traveler yielded your post. Small world, I'm moving out of Brooklyn also! While I can't offer advice, I can do two things - congratulate you on your CEN and send well wishes for your career ventures. Please let us know how it's going.

    A recruiter today also advised me how difficult it is to get an assignment in CA. I'm not sure where I will be going yet, but I need to earn some money while I search for a decent WHNP position.

    By the way, I believe I have seen you in action at two different ERs when I came in for my wife.

    Keep on hustlin'!