Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
As a first-time “wannabe Traveler,” where can I find a small, Traveler-friendly hospital, good pay and benefits, a beautiful location and surroundings, and nurses who will be helpful and give good orientation?
Don’t laugh, this must be possible somewhere!
I have 20-plus years in ER with all the certifications. I’ve always been afraid to travel by myself, but I would like to travel to see the country and make new friends. What do you think? How can I find the perfect Travel Nursing job?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
Please forgive me because I did crack a smile when reading this 🙂
What you ask is not possible because I believe what you seek is the assurance that your first Travel Nursing assignment will be perfect in every expectation. While it could be, there is no person or company that can make this assurance. If you find one that does, I’m not actually sure I would travel with that company, as they would just be telling you what you want to hear.
You can certainly ask your recruiter to find you a facility that is around “x” number of beds, so that you are not taking your first assignment in a 1000-bed teaching hospital. Beyond that, how is one to say what is “good” as far as pay, benefits, orientation, beautiful surroundings, and nurse dispositions?
Honestly, Travel Nursing is about taking a risk. While there are things that you can do to minimize the risk, if you tend to fall on the “glass half empty” side of the fence, then you will likely find flaws in just about every contract. But, if you are happy to be afforded the chance to travel the country, staying for three months at a time in a location, and being able to make a living while doing so, then you will find many rewards in the world of Travel Nursing. In over 20 years of travel, there has only been one assignment that I felt was so bad to allow me to contemplate “walking.” But while it was not what I had signed up for (supposed to be in one “home” unit and it was instead more of a float position), it was something I only had to endure for three months … and even then, I did find a lot to do on my off days to make up for working so hard!
Forgive me for such a shameless plug, but I would like to recommend my book, Travel Nurse’s Bible, which you can download digitally from Amazon. I think you will find a lot of your questions and concerns answered within the book. Plus, because it was published in 2009, I have made it available for less than the price of your next meal at McDonald’s. I have been trying for some time to get out the second edition, but a rambunctious three-year-old seems to have thwarted my efforts. However, in rereading and restructuring the book, I have found little that I need to update to bring it current to the world of Travel Nursing today. The direct link to the book is here.
My hope is that the book may provide much of the information that will make you feel confident enough to accept your first travel assignment. I can’t guarantee that your first assignment will be flawless, that you will be the highest paid Traveler on the floor, or that the core staff will always carry the sunniest of dispositions, but what I can tell you is that in two decades of travel, I can honestly say that Travel Nursing has afforded me many wonderful opportunities that I would not have had, without this facet of nursing.
If you run into questions along the way, or do decide to take the plunge and would like some great contacts in the profession, please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope this helps.