Seasonal Nursing in Florida

  1. Has anyone done seasonal nursing in Florida? If so, what hospital system did you go through? How were you treated? I've looked through some of the posts on here but it seems like most of them are a few years old. Any input regarding pay, housing, etc. would be greatly appreciated! Looking for honest opinion, good or bad. Thanks!
  2. Visit motennrn profile page

    About motennrn

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 13


  3. by   wanderlustRN24
    Seasonal nursing in South Florida hospitals typically runs September-May. This is the general timeframe when all the "snowbirds" from up North are here for the mild winters. I think most of the hospitals typically hire travelers or agency nurses during this time due to the influx of mostly geriatric patients. What area in Florida are you looking to go? I would research the hospitals in each city that you are interested in, and then call the hospital HR department directly and ask them which companies they use for seasonal nurses, etc.
  4. by   chicagotoots
    There are two ways to work in Florida in the winter. Travel contracts where you are placed by the travel company, seasonal agreements where you are working directly for the hospital. I have done both. Prepare to work very hard. "Season" in Florida is extremely busy with snowbirds from North and the hospitals try to gear up but often you have a very heavy patient assignment and the nurseatient ratio may be more then what you are used to. Working directly for the hospitals - the pay is usually quite good, some will supply housing for you (which you WILL be taxed on) and others will give you a stipend from $250 -$1100 per month to find your own housing. Housing in southwest FL in season is expensive and hard to find..especially if you are traveling with a pet. You could end up with a long commute or staying in a hotel/extended stay.
    You also may find your hours cut towards the end of your seasonal "agreement" as the census starts to drop with no makeup of the hours/time. The hospiital can also alter your "agreement" (note it is an agreement, NOT a contract as it would be if you were placed by a travel company), change your hours, end your assignment early because their needs have changed.
    Travel companies you have a contract which specifies your time period, hours, salary, shifts and the TC will arrange your housing or give you a stipend..sometimes they cannot provide housing for you either. Pay may or may not be comparable to a seasonal agreement but you won't get shorted on hours or shifts changed easily.
    Staff in Fla are used to travelers and seasonal nurses... they know how they need them. Usually they are pretty friendly, there are always a few with "Attitudes" but you will always be meeting new people because there are so many nurses traveling to Florida in the winter months. The majority of needs are January - March/April. You will be the outsider and bottom of the food chain for scheduling, shifts, etc I won't mention hospital systems (I have worked for two and have heard grief re: others) but do your research and know the nurse managers will sometimes stretch the truth a bit to get their units staffed.
  5. by   motennrn
    Thanks for the info! I was kind of looking anywhere on the gulf coast between tampa and naples.
  6. by   doro8144
    Does anyone specifically know about NCH north campus? How are the nursing units? nurseatient ratios?
  7. by   motennrn
    Yeah, and I was looking at Lee Memorial...
  8. by   RNcorazon
    I just finished my contract w/ lee memorial and I really enjoyed it! the pay was great for Florida. I love the west coast, population is mostly elderly. I am def. considering going back every year!
  9. by   motennrn
    RNcorazon, thanks for the response! I'm glad to hear that you had a good time there. Where did you live while you were there?
  10. by   overtonis
    I did two years travel in florida (2009-2011). I worked at JFK, Boca Raton & Palms Garden. You will find florida healthcare a bit behind times. Rates are lower than in other parts of country but you pay for sunshine is phrase you hear.

    All about staffing is major placement company (they do Agency and Travel). They were actually created by HCA hospital to handle their staffing issues. HCA Hospitals are typically poorly run as they are recovering from staggering penalties by government. You will see alot of foreign nurses, lack of supplies at these facilities. But you can still make good connections with other travelers.

    You also have Tenet Resource pool for Agency & Travel. They handle Tenet Hospitals (Palms Garden, Samaratan, Boca Raton West). Their rate was about 43.00 for agency but you have to give them list of three hospitals and you could be pooled to any of those three hospitals on any given day.

    Maybe its because I started at such a good hospital of University of Pennsylvania Hospital but I found Florida to be disappointing in terms of healthcare but weather in March - May was beautiful.
  11. by   caroladybelle
    Even Floridians find the WPB corridor "disappointing" and often dangerous to one's license. Healthcare is more about appeasing people than actually making them healthy, there.

    The poor staffing in HCA (and other forprofits) has less to do with penalties and more to do with the forprofit aspect, as well as the poor economy in FL, the major cuts to medicare reimbursement (which was inadequate to begin with) and the fact that a disproportionate number of pts have medicare/medicaid as a primary insurer, and multiple comorbidities.

    Add in the draconian cuts in reimbursement made by Rick Scott, governor (and prior top CEO of Columbia HCA when it was perpetrating one of the biggest medicare frauds in history) and it makes for very poor funding.

    The hospitals also have to maintain themselves year round, regardless of the significant decrease in population in the offseason.
  12. by   RNcorazon
    In ft myers, I rented an apartment from craiglist by owner, i look for furnished and everything included so I dont have to buy anything. Make sure that you know which hospital you will be placed, becuase there is the resource pool that floats everywhere or super pool that stays in one facility. I stayed in healthpark Medical for the season, so my apartment was 5 min. away. I liked the area very much, safe and closer to the beach.
    If you need some contacts let me know, one of my friends owns 2 places there for rent. usually for nurses.
  13. by   RNcorazon
    ok, i totally agree w/ you! I worked in HCA hospital for the longest time and I dont ever wanna see one again!...but those are the jobs here in south florida. I find out that the west coast of Fl is not as bad...specially the patient/ratio, so I do the seasonal travel overthere.
    I work All about staffing, now is called Parallon. but they always send me to Kendall, the have a very unsafe patient/ratio....really bad!
    Do you know anything about Memorial health or Cleveland Clinic? if they hire travelers or which agencies? How a nurse makes a decent living in south florida!?
  14. by   doro8144
    I have been talking with NCH north campus, they are very friendly and easy to deal with. I am contemplating the different option packages. The 2 packages I am considering are:

    make $43.45/hr for 7 shifts in a 2 week period. 6 month agreement.No housing, no benefits, $2000 completion bonus.

    The second package I am interested in is a 2 year agreement, includes housing (a hospital furnished apt) includes health insurance which starts the 1st of the month and bridges over the summer, and housing. If I don't come back for the 2nd season, I have to repay the insurance at full COBRA rates. This position pays about $29/hr.

    I am seriously considering the second package because it would allow me to only work PRN over the summer months, making my own schedule and earning better rates without having to worry about insurance. Plus finding my own housing in a city I am only a little familiar with seems like a big hassle. But then I wonder if the extra $$ per hour would be a better deal financially???