Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I am currently a LPN at a post acute rehabilitation center, I’ve worked this field for 3 years and it is my only job experience as a nurse. I will be graduating in May with my RN, and am wondering what my chances are of getting a travel nursing job right away. I always wanted to do travel nursing and looked into when I got my LPN, but there wasn’t any jobs at that time.
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
I’m sorry to break the bad news to you, but I know of no company that will hire a new grad for a travel position. Additionally, if you ever find one, PLEASE do not accept an assignment until you have at least a year of experience as a nurse.
I have written many times on this topic and your first year of nursing experience is critical in developing your practice as a nurse. You need to be a proficient practitioner to travel as a nurse. Skipping this experience will only put your license at risk.
Yes, you have experience as an LPN. But the roles and responsibilities you will have as a nurse are different. One year used to be the minimum amount required, but in 2009 when the market took a drastic dip, hospitals started looking for only the most experienced travelers and two years experience became the norm for many travel companies. I do not know what the market will look like after you have a year of experience and you may very well be able to travel after one year. But the first year is the time to develop a comfort level in your practice and become proficient in things like IV, NG, and Foley insertions, dressing changes, prioritization and critical thing skills, and a bevy of other skills that you will use on a consistent basis as a traveler.
Take a year to specialize in the area in which you wish to travel (OB, peds, critical care) and gain a comfort level in your role as a nurse. Travel nursing will be here when you are ready. Don’t risk a bad experience by trying to rush the process.
Hope this helps.