Travel Nursing

  1. Gary and I have finally become "empty nesters"
    We are interested in traveling, we think......
    I need advice
    Let me hear from you and what company you used.
    Also, anyone worked in the Virgin Islands
    What's the deal with licenses there?
    Let me hear from you on the post
    Last edit by nightingale on Oct 1, '06
  2. Visit NurseDianne profile page

    About NurseDianne, ADN

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 527; Likes: 58
    Hospice Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Hospice, PEDS, MS, Surgical


  3. by   NurseDianne
    No one is willing to answer questions? come on ya'll........Gary talked to a guy from MedStaff today. Said it sounded good, but is it too good to be true?
  4. by   azerrn
    I'm considering travel nursing also. Any recommendations on agencies to work with and who to avoid?
  5. by   tealadymom
    I too am considering traveling nursing as an LPN. If you have any info/wisdom to share I would appreciate it. Lynn
  6. by   k_cole21
    Hello There,

    I'm a traveler and I'm on my 7th travel assignment. I absolutely love traveling! The money is great. I've been fortunate enough to work at hospitals where the nurses were great and happy to have me. I've been to Seattle (twice), Wichita, Oklahoma City, Chicago, one local travel & now I'm in Reno. I love seeing the country at someone else's expense! lol. They pay is great for me. Since I live in OK, it's financially benefical for me to travel. Some nurses who live in parts of the country where pay is better, it may not benefit them to's beneficial for tax purposes regardless. You can claim just about everthing when you travel. There are a few accountants that specialize in travel nurses' tax preparation.

    The down side to traveling, in my oponion, is the fact that agencies will take advantage of you if you don't know "the game". I suggest you check with & sign up with more than one agency. Look at the benefits and perks that each company offer. Decide what's best for you. If you have a travel buddy, it's beneficial if one of you take the housing and the other take the subsidy. Then you can split that subsidy between you. A couple of companies offer rental cars. Don't travel with agency that advertise "free housing" must be "free private housing". Otherwise they expect you to "share" housing or pay extra for private housing. Don't feel pressured into anything. Always get things in writing on the contract, ie: days off, correct amount of pay, call pay etc.

    Well, I think that's about all I can think of right now. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
  7. by   azerrn
    Thanks K Cole 21 for the information. The only thing you didn't say was who you were with and, if possible, whom would you avoid, based on what you've heard while traveling or thru experience.
    I am also curious if anyone out there has ever worked for IHS - Indian Health Services...
  8. by   rnurse49
    I, too, am a travel nurse and LOVE what I am doing! I just started this year and I can tell you--so far, so good! It is hard to say what is a great company and what isn't, so my advice is to look at the comparisons and choose what works for you. Do you need 1st day insurance, do you need travel assistance, do you need license assistance, best pay or best location!? I found a website that actually gives the top ten and compares the top 25--I think it is called Highway Hypodermics. Try a Google search.
    Last edit by nightingale on Oct 14, '06
  9. by   azerrn
    Thanks, RNURSE49, I loved the Highway hypodermics website and the info they gave on the top ten travel agencies to work with.

    I took a few minutes out and read the travel RNs storeis and that was extremely enlightening...a few companies came up over and over as not good to work for and a few came up consistently as good to work for.

    Everyone's suggestions in response to this question have been very helpful.
  10. by   efuchs1
    I almost took a travel position in the Virgin Islands. Sounded great at first but there were a few drawbacks.

    1. The licensure process was a pain. It was only $75 but required 2 Letters of Recommendation (on letterhead), fingerprinting, 2 passport photos, the $75 money order, and many other forms, ALL of which needed to be submitted together otherwise they would send it back. It also took 2 months to get.

    2.The hospital sounded fine but in my specialty (NICU) they required floating to the newborn nursery, PEDS, PICU, and Labor and Delivery. I don't know the first thing about L&D! It sounds like a very small hospital and the nurses float almost everywhere.

    3. The HR person I talked to was horrible to me on the phone. Very rude. VERY rude.

    4. The hospital (not the agency) finds your housing thru a realty company and they can't guarantee that you'll be close to the hospital. When I asked about transportation, they said I could rent a car if I didn't want to buy one. When I was in the VI last time, my car rental cost $550/week. There's no way I could afford to rent a car for 13 weeks!

    Needless to say, I didn't take the job. I still wonder what it would have been like and kind of wish that despite all it's shortcomings, that I would have taken it.
  11. by   tulip_aron
    the info here is encouraging. But some one tell me about the pay for the entire assignment and do u need any additional qualifications apart form being an RN. I am CCU how will be the scope in this field of nursing........
  12. by   debizrn
    I have traveled for 7 years; look before you jump be aware some companies paint pretty pictures but in the end it is just business .
    Last edit by nightingale on Oct 27, '06
  13. by   Sylvia321
    Some agencies offer short contracts, 4-8 weeks. What agency works well for one person may not work well for another. If it is your first time, I would suggest trying a short one. As one poster stated, it is business, and you must look at this as your business. The "seeing" the country is a nice perk. I had a recruiter tell me once that the pay is low in FL (low $20s) because the sunshine makes up for it. I told her the bank that holds the note on my car would not be understanding if I put "sunshine" in the envelope. And moved on to another agency. If you tell the recruiter you want to go to Norfolk,Va and they try to "talk" you into Pheonix, they are not listening and you should just move on to another agency, as if they aren't listening to you now, imagine how they won't be listening if you should have problems during the contract. Also, do not be hesitant about asking what the base pay is, be careful of those who talk like used car-salesmen. It took me 6 months of hounding american mobile for my little $500 completion bonus,no, I did not use them again. If an agency does not immediately correct wrong pay then tell then you will be contacting the labor board where you are working, and be prepared to follow up on it. I worked last fall in Miss after Katrina and Richards helathcare paid me $12/hr for working on Thanksgiving...that is NOT what the contract stated. I filed with the TEX employment commission. It took about 5 months to get my pay. Save your contracts, as someone said, write done what the recruiters tell you, try to get them to send it to you in an email. They do lie, often.
  14. by   irnpsych
    These are two very good resources for new travelers. I will post more later when I have time.