I'm currently in my first semester if nursing school and so incredibly excited to start my career as a nurse. I've always wanted to be a travelling nurse and from what I hear it's a really great experience. I was just wondering if anyone has any tips about travel nursing. What are the advantages vs. disaadvantages? any tips on how to go about being a travel nurse once I'm an RN with some experience. Any information would help.
Hello Vickzen8, Please read my post under "Medical/Surgical Nursing-Thinking about Traveling." Most travel companies and facilities will require that you have at least 1 year recent nursing experience in the area that you want to work (many require 2 years). But more importantly, facilities generally do not do much training. They want you to be able to hit the floor running because that's the reason they need travel nurses in the first place; they are short staffed.
Another reason that you want experience before you travel is that many times, if the travel nurse doesn't know any better, the facility and other nurses will "allow" you to do anything if it makes their lives easier or is convenient for the facility. But as soon as there is a problem, you will be own your own.
If a facility is needing a travel nurse, many of the permanent staff may not be very experienced themselves and you will need to know how to properly care for your patients and take care of yourself.
If you really think you want to travel when you graduate, I would suggest trying to secure a critical care job to gain a deeper level of experience in assessments and recognizing changes in patient's conditions that you generally do not receive from working as a general floor nurse and certainly not in school. You will need very good assessment skills, you will need to know your scope of practice, policies and procedures, the nurse practice act and you will need to know how to function as an independent nurse, even though you will be working among other nurses. In other words, "Know Your Stuff" if you plan on traveling because you may not get a lot of support and usually the permanent nurses are too busy or too inexperienced themselves to offer a lot of support.
Good luck with your education and future nursing goals.
Unfortunately, you can't do travel nursing until you have several years of nursing experience under your belt. Than you can do all the exploring and traveling. It makes sense, a travel agency's rep is on the line and they need some one totally familiar with all the variety of nursing emergencies that come up in a specialty. Plus, there is no 6 week orientation. It is 2 days of "here is where supplies are" and "here is how to access and give reports and chart on the computer". You need to hit the ground running. You will be shocked when you leave nursing school how little you know. They real learning is on the job training. If you truly want to travel, go to the sights and see what their needs are. At this time, it is L&D, ICU and ER. There is very, very little psych, home health, dialysis, etc. for example. So get a job as a new graduate in one of the in-demand specialties. Get certification, too.
When you pick a few companies to work with (when you are ready to travel)just explore on the Internet and list question on pay (break it down completely) and if you are promised a particular shift GET IT IN WRITING. You will find that they can say anything to get you - and then change the shifts on you, the number of hours, etc.