Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I am an RN with 23 years’ experience under my belt. I was Travel Nurse for five years about 11 years ago and I am looking to get back into it before I retire. Since I haven’t traveled for 11 years I’d like your advice regarding best travel companies and any changes that have occurred since I have traveled. Can you tell me, has Travel Nursing changed in the past decade?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
I have been traveling for about two decades and in that time, I would honestly say little has changed.
I wrote a “how to” book on travel nursing in 2009 and I’ve been trying to find enough free time to do a second edition. In rereading the book that is now six years old, the only major change is that many travel companies now require two years of recent hospital based experience to begin in travel. Something that with your experience, and prior travel, should not even be an issue.
You will likely find that travel nursing is not the “cash cow” it once was with every other assignment having a completion bonus. That mostly went away with the dip in the economy in 2009. These days, you will make about the same as a staff nurse on most assignments (more if taking a housing stipend).
As for companies, I do not endorse or recommend companies because of how important I believe the recruiter to be in the process of travel. I did my last assignment with one of the most vilified companies out there, but had no hesitation in doing so because I have a few great people I work with at that company. However, if you asked me if you should travel with them, just calling in “cold” and being placed with any recruiter they choose, I would advise against it.
If you would like some help in reestablishing some contacts, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help. Many of the companies I use may not do seasonal, but I do have a great recruiter at a company located in Florida, so they might.
I hope this helps 🙂