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Young Med\Surg nurse looking to travel

Travel   (18,104 Views 34 Comments)
by AlwaysthinkingRN8 AlwaysthinkingRN8 (New Member) New Member

AlwaysthinkingRN8 specializes in Med\Surg.

1,150 Visitors; 13 Posts

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Hello Everyone,

I'm new to this site and this is my FIRST post! Yayyyy!!!. Ok, here we go.

I've been a Med\Surg (regretfully no telemetry experience) RN for 19 months now. Recently, I've decided to definitely pursue travel nursing starting in February 2014. I'll be one month shy of 2 years RN experience. I'm a young AA female (29 in November), no kids, and free as a bird. But the biggest concern I have is whether or not I have enough experience. On my unit we get all types of patients; such as alcohol withdrawal, ARF\CRF, change in MS, Sepsis, CHF, COPD, DKA, TPN, Hep drips, Continuous peritoneal dialysis, infected wounds, trachs, LOTS of surgical pts, PCA pumps etc.. The average nurse to patient ratio is 1:5-6. NEVER more than that! But I still think to myself "Have I seen enough?" "Have I done enough"? So, the two states I am focused on are Texas and California. Texas first because I have been IN LOVE with the idea of living in California so I'm looking forward to that.

I would love to hear from new and experienced travel RNs, especially my fellow med\surg nurses, on but not limited to the following:

1. How much experience did you have prior to traveling and was it enough?

2. What are some important things to include in my contract?

3. What are some of the best and worst hospitals you've been to in Cali and Tx?

4. What kind of orientation did you have?

5. Overall, were the patients the same as you experienced as a staff nurse in your home state?

6. Do you get pulled a lot? Are you cancelled often?

7. If you need help are the staff helpful?

8. Do you find it hard to get work because you are med\surg with NO tele experience???

9. PLEASE give me whatever advice you have!! I am very appreciative of ALL info given.

Also, if there are any other nurses aged 25-39 that will be traveling to Dallas, Tx in February 2014 and would like a travel buddy let me know.

Thank you guys in advance for your help. Once I start traveling I will start a thread documenting my experience because I would love to help someone else. I look forward to your comments.

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ChristineN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

28,325 Visitors; 3,464 Posts

The travel nurses on my unit get 2-3 shifts orientation and are expected to hit the ground running. They are always first to float over staff nurses, one of the reasons being is all the ones I have worked with have 36hrs/week guaranteed in their contracts so we can not cancel their shifts or send them home early.

I have never traveled, so I have no idea how difficult it will be for you to find an assignment. I would suggest talking to several recruiters early on just to find out how much demand there might be for med-surg

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AlwaysthinkingRN8 specializes in Med\Surg.

1,150 Visitors; 13 Posts

Thank you ChristineN!!! I appreciate the info. 2-3 shifts is GREAT! Are you in either Texas or California?

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17,178 Visitors; 1,338 Posts

Hey there!

I currently work at a hospital that use travelers and I will be traveling myself in March 2014. I have been a nurse going on 4.5 years, mainly ER.

The travelers at my job get 2 shifts of orientation and then they hit the ground running. They are expected to take a full patient load and they do get guaranteed 36 hrs per week. Because it's ER, they do not get floated anywhere else.

I plan on traveling to CA myself and just sent off for my Cali license last week. I can't really speak on any specific travel experiences because I have yet to have any. I just wanted to respond based on having worked with travelers and what they have told me.

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AlwaysthinkingRN8 specializes in Med\Surg.

1,150 Visitors; 13 Posts

Hello ShoegalRN!....Thanks for your reply!! I have a California license and I can't wait to explore Cali. FYI be very patient because they take awhile posting your number. lol

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ChristineN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

28,325 Visitors; 3,464 Posts

Thank you ChristineN!!! I appreciate the info. 2-3 shifts is GREAT! Are you in either Texas or California?

I am not in TX or CA, just felt the need to share what I travelers experience in my facility

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21strawberry has 8 years experience and specializes in PICU, CTICU.

2,569 Visitors; 56 Posts

I will be starting my first travel assignment in Cali (LA) the first week of November...I have almost 4 years of experience...hopefully it's enough! It's a peds ICU assignment. Included in my contract are my CA license fees and PALS reimbursement since it expires during my contract dates. I am also going to try get to my NRP certification and parking fees included as well. That's as much as I can give you at this point, but will follow up to answer more questions when I start my assignment. Oh and getting my license by endorsement through the California BON took about 5 weeks and that was using Live Scan for prints. Hope that helps a little!

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595 Visitors; 2 Posts

I think you should be just fine with 2 yrs. i have traveled for 7 yrs, I am an icu nurse and only had 11mo experience when I started. I learned so much and had many great experiences. Just do not hesitate to ask if you dont know something. Staff are mostly helpful everywhere I have been/

You will so enjoy it and meet many great friends along the way! CA is great in many ways especially because they staff so well and have mandatory breaks that you are given (this often does not happen elsewhere), nurse to pt ratios are great too. Let me know if there are any other questions that would be helpful

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AlwaysthinkingRN8 specializes in Med\Surg.

1,150 Visitors; 13 Posts

Thank you 21strawberry!! I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience. I wish you nothing but a GREAT experience.

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AlwaysthinkingRN8 specializes in Med\Surg.

1,150 Visitors; 13 Posts

I think you should be just fine with 2 yrs. i have traveled for 7 yrs, I am an icu nurse and only had 11mo experience when I started. I learned so much and had many great experiences. Just do not hesitate to ask if you dont know something. Staff are mostly helpful everywhere I have been/

You will so enjoy it and meet many great friends along the way! CA is great in many ways especially because they staff so well and have mandatory breaks that you are given (this often does not happen elsewhere), nurse to pt ratios are great too. Let me know if there are any other questions that would be helpful

I hope so petey00. I'm starting to get very excited. Thanks for your help!! ALL of the comments are helping me prepare for this new journey.

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807 Visitors; 12 Posts

I am also trying to get my first travel assignment. The hospital I spoke to gives you one day of computer orientation and only one day of orientation on the floor then you are expected to take a full patient load. Is one day of orientation on the ward a norm? I thought I would get at least one day and one night of orientation. I guess not. Any thoughts? I've been nursing for 5 years but mostly just on Ortho.

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abcnurse123 has 4 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg.

1,133 Visitors; 20 Posts

Im a Med/Surg nurse with No tele experience. Im also 28yrs old AA, and i just finished my first travel assignment. It was for 13 weeks. I think 2 years is enough experience to start. I had 5 yrs before i started. I found that nursing is nursing, no matter where you go. I felt very good about the nursing part, that was the same, policies will be different and certain procedures may go about differently. But nothing that a strong nursing foundation cant over come. The staff was willing to help and answer questions. You just have to have an open mind to change and dont be afraid to ask a question. Dont go to a facility putting down on how they do things, just adapt and go with the flow.

I have not found it hard to get any assignments and i actually got my next assignment a month before my contract had ended. Which from what i understand is typical.

I had a 1 day HR orientation to policy and their computer charting system. And then a 2 day floor orientation. Then i was on my own. And i felt that to be plenty enough of orientation.

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