I’m interested in travel nursing but I only have 14 months of experience as an RN. All my experience has been on a Telemetry/MS floor (It feels like more of a Progressive unit most days) with an average of 5 patients daily. I feel fairly confident I’d be ok but please be blunt and let me know if you feel I should wait. If I can travel, what companies would you recommend for a new traveler? I’m currently talking with American Mobile and Medical Express. I feel American Mobile is not a good company from what I’ve read so far.
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
I feel as if you would probably do okay with your experience as far as being out on the road, but I do think your chances would be a bit better after a full two years of experience.
Many of the more “up front” travel companies will tell you that it will be very challenging finding you something with less than two years of experience. The requirement used to be anything over a year of experience, but now days the hospitals tend to want more experience (which is the only reason the travel companies demand it).
Are there companies out there that will take you on with your experience? Certainly, and they might even find you the job you seek. But you would have to have a great recruiter that is working hard daily to find you something (and finding a good recruiter can sometimes be a challenge, let alone a great one).
I don’t want to knock any of the wonderful recruiters that might also be reading this, but I hear from many nurses that are signed on to a company and promised that it should be “no problem” finding them an assignment with only a year or eighteen months of experience. Then, the nurse never hears back from the recruiter again. This only works toward disenchanting nurses with the industry and many who have written to me finally just give up trying to travel because of it.
You will have better luck past the two year experience mark. Even then, with some hospitals stating “no first-time travelers” in their postings, it can be a challenge finding that first travel contract.
As for your company choices, I’m a bit confused how the corporate entity owning American Mobile (AMH) and Medical Express (ME) works. I believe AMH acquired ME a few years ago and they are essentially the same company. I’m assuming that you have two different recruiters (one with AMH and one with ME), so I do not understand why they would do this if they are under the same corporate umbrella (and therefore probably having the exact same assignment poistings). I may have to write to my recruiter at AMH and see what she says.
I do recommend AMH to travelers with experience that know how to negotiate a contract and have a great recruiter at the company. I do advise nurses to be on file with a large company so that if they ever have trouble getting to a certain location, they can call up a company with a large offering of assignment postings.
I also work with a great bunch of recruiters at four other companies I recommend. Since these are the people that I trust with my travel needs, I prefer not to post their info online, but will be happy to put you in touch with these people if you send me an email at email@example.com.
You can see what they have to say about your level of experience and what they think about the possibility of finding you something now (since these are the people in contact with the facilities on a daily basis).
I hope this helps 🙂