Published Nov 15, 2003
Does anyone know if there are any travel opportunities for new grads out there, or do all of the agencies require at least 1yr experience?
The agencies all require a year of experience. Many hospitals want 2-3 years, especially in critical care areas.
Think about it- as a new grad in a staff job, you're going to get weeks of orientation and supervision. It costs a lot of money to hire and orient a nurse. When you're a traveller, you are expected to pull your own weight day 1 or 2 at the latest. They don't teach you how to be a nurse, just how to do their paperwork. You need and deserve a proper orientation. Nursing school teaches you very little about actual nursing.
Lots of new grads want to go right into travelling. But you need to be properly oriented and able to function on your own. Hospitals pay a lot of money for travellers- you're there to solve problems for them, not to be trained.
There are a couple agencies that will hire with 9 months of experience. Whether that is enough or not is something you will have to see for yourself. There are a couple agencies that offer "internship" contracts but I've never heard anything good about them. They are for long periods of time, pay less than regular contracts, and if you want to quit it costs you a bundle. Since you'd be in one place for a while anyway, it's better (IMHO) to take a staff job, get the benefits that travellers don't have, and get properly trained.
Good luck. See you on the road in a year or two.
I agree with Rachit. 99% of travel companies want at least 1 year experience before traveling. Most hospitals want more! Especially in specialty areas. (for example: 2 nurses up for the same position; the more "experienced" traveler usually gets the job!)
IMHO, even 1 years experience as an RN is not enough. You need to be VERY confident in your skills, confident in yourself, and able to be very flexible and accepting of different ways of doing things as a traveler. Now, I know not everyone feels this way; again it is just MHO!!!!
Traveling is a great life; it is a perfect way to see the country, to experience different lifestyles and ways of doing things. I think it is unfair to expect a new nurse to be put in a position to "hit the floor running"! Even a new grad who feels they could handle it cannot.
My advice: Get AT LEAST a years experience in one area, see how you feel about yourself and your experience in that field, and reassess your desire to travel.
Maybe we will meet up someday! GOOD LUCK!
Ditto Rachit and rncopper. I started out in ED and wanted to travel after one year and had even contacted some companies to learn more, but hesitated because I knew I needed more knowledge and experience. Give yourself some time to develop professionally and then "hit the road."
All of your advice makes perfect sense and I agree with you! Thanks for your replies. I suppose I should be posting questions about finding first jobs in my destination city, not traveling there as a brand new RN!
Thanks again :)
As a new nurse, you may not qualify for an agency, BUT!, pick a desired location that you want to go, find local newspapers online. Read help wanted adds. Fax resume to prospective employer. Employer will fly you out and put you up in hotel night prior to interview. After taking about 3-5 interviews, pick one you want to go with. Have them agree to put you up in a fully furnished apartment with your proposed salary. Give and take a little, not too much though. They need you more than you need them. They will probably want you to sign a year contract. Do it. At least you will be at your desired location for a year until you qualify for real travel nursing. You might even luck into a huge sign on bonus to boot. Bank the bonus and prepare to be a serious travel nurse. Also, if you throw 5-10K in a savings from bonuses and overtime, you could then relocate to a foreign country with a much lower exchange rate and goof off for a year or so perhaps doing a gig every now and then while you enjoy cheap living and having a huge ass vacation.
I worked a couple of shifts on ICU with a new hire who said she had only done traveling since graduation.
This babe had great difficulty in understanding that you don't, for example, transfer poop from your glove onto the patient's gown and bedding without regloving and cleaning up your mess. (She didn't seem to notice and when I pointed it out, said "oh, that's okay," and covered up the bedding with another piece of bedding, soiling that in the process too.)
She also tossed a specimen that she submitted to the lab "because [she] didn't know what else to do with it" and couldn't figure out how to collect a 24 hour fecal on a patient with diarrhea.
I wasn't so unnerved by her not knowing, but by her indifference to asking.
Good for agencies that want people with some experience. I think it makes a better nurse, all the way around.
I have seen ads lately from agencies taking new grads, and/or travel! STAY AWAY from them!!! And as for signing on somewhere for a bonus, I wouldn't advise it! I have run into too many new grads who did that, and were very sorry they did! In fact ran into one just last year, and she was ready to chuk nursing all together, after taking a relocation bonus, sign on bonus, and stipend for an apt.
And she came from a family of medical people, but had no idea that her orientation to critical care, would end up the way it did! She signed at a good hospital, but she ended up with about five different preceptors, and two who made sexual advances to her, both male and female!
She was alone in a strange city, that she came to hate, after being soo excited about relocating there. Plus she was in a bad position to boot, as the hospital and her parted ways within months of her arrival!
Plus many hospitals now want you to sign on for two years, and bonuses are cut in half with taxes! I would suggest being very careful about where you go, and get a lot of feedback from nurses who work and have worked in that hospital. And remember recruiters are professional sales people, and will say anything to get you to sign on the dotted line!
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