By August 31, 2012 1 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: Can I be a travel nurse if I have 7 years experience, but not in a hospital?

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ask a travel nurseAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

Are there travel companies that will hire a Med Surg MS who has not worked in an acute hospital.? I have spent the last seven years working in an LTAC for Med Surg Patients along with high observation patients.

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

The only way you can know for sure is to ask. Call a few travel companies and see if they will accept someone with your qualifications. The recruiters know what the hospitals will and wont accept. While you might not see a ton of mainstream assignments, I would think that there would still be some opportunities available, but again, the recruiters should know this.

If you need some direction there, you can try the recruiters I use at the companies I trust. Here is some of the info I send out to those looking for contacts:

RN Network is what I consider a “medium sized” company and while I don’t believe you will find that you are the highest paid traveler on the floor working with them, they do make up for it in other ways. I have been with them through a lot and even two contracts where I was terminated (and subsequently backed up by my recruiter and the company). Overall, a solid choice. If you’d like to start there, my recruiter’s name is Donna Hollinshead and she can be reached directly at 1-888-287-6950. I have been working with Donna since my previous recruiter was promoted (as the great ones often are), but she was hand picked by my previous recruiter to maintain the contacts I had given her and Donna seems to be every bit as great.

Another company I consider “medium sized” is Trinity Healthcare which was started by Matt Floyd who was a travel nurse himself. I’m on file with them, but have never had a chance to take an assignment with them. However, I have known many travelers who have been on assignment with them and the pay/benefits were right in line with what I was getting with RN Network. Two people I know at the company are Ron York and Donna Bunch (I sometimes like having a male and female contact for travelers just in case they prefer one gender over the other). Ron can be reached at 1-888-855-5048 and Donna can be reached at 1-888-855-5047.

If you’d like to keep one of “the giants” in your back pocket, in case you ever have trouble finding an assignment in a certain location, you can call one of my contacts at American Mobile (AMH). Now if you read any of the travel blogs, American Mobile does not have a great reputation. This is one instance where a kick-ass recruiter makes all the difference in the world. My recruiter is Kristen Ledgard-Jackson and she can be reached at 866-894-2857. She is a recruitment manager, so she’s kind of “next level” when it comes to recruiters, but she still works with a few travelers. Her partner, Rebekah Ghan, is also a recruitment manager and with the conversations I have had with her, I would not hesitate to work with her either. I mention Rebekah because I do not know how many travelers that Kristen works with at any given time and there is a possibility that Kristen might ask if you would be willing to work with Rebekah. If that were the case, just have a conversation with Rebekah and I’m sure you’ll find her to be just as on top of things as Kristen. Rebekah can be reached at 800-929-2503.

At Cirrus (considered probably a small to medium sized company), you can contact either Mo Fregia (male) or Annette Bolster (again, I like having a male and female contact should people prefer one or the other). I can’t find my direct numbers for my Cirrus, so just call the main switchboard and ask for whomever you’d like to try. Their number is 1-800-299-8132.

At Medical Solutions, you can contact Doug Rowe or Charity Crawford. They both have a lot of experience and do a great job of taking the time needed to explain the ‘ins and outs’ of traveling. I don’t have direct lines for them, but you can just call the main number for Medical Solutions at 1–866-633-3548 and ask for either.

If you don’t have luck at any of these, you might need to just start calling any company you find. Pick up a copy (or read online) Healthcare Traveler Magazine. The mag features many ads from travel companies and you might find what you seek.

It might take some doing, but if you sell yourself well enough, there might be a travel opportunity that would get you back at the bedside and then go from there.

Hope this helps.

David
TravelNursesBible.com
david@travelnursesbible.com

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About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

1 Comment on "Ask a Travel Nurse: Can I be a travel nurse if I have 7 years experience, but not in a hospital?"

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  1. It can be difficult to find an assignment for this scenario but it really comes done to having the right recruiter. I can only offer a source I have worked with and for throughout my experience. http://www.travelrnplus.com uses a personality algorithm to connect you with the a recruiter that fits your personality type but also a job that fits your career focus.

    No matter what company you work with please above all else make sure you have a recruiter that is on your side. It makes a huge difference when trying to step into the world of travel nursing especially when you may not have the standard experience. Best of Luck on your search!

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