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By December 15, 2011 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How do I convince companies I have enough experience?


frustrated travel nurseAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

I am researching and talking to several companies about becoming a traveler. I am currently working as a house supervisor ( past 3 yrs ) with 5 years previous history of ER. I am having a hard time with several companies stating that I don’t have experience to work in the ER anymore so they are not interested in talking to me. How do I convince a company or hospital to try me out? I am on the code team, trauma team and IV team as we are a smaller ( 170 bed ) hospital so I do a little of everything, including work in the ER when we are in overload. Should I just give up on traveling??

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

You have several options here. I would say that if you plan to travel and work at the bedside, ER is your best bet. When talking with a company, focus your experience on how much time you have spent in the ER and how much time you continue to do so. If you work several shifts a month in the ER, I wouldn’t think you would have issues as far as companies at least attempting to find positions for you. If you work several ER shifts a year, then it might be a harder sell. If that is the case, then you have to decide if you really want to travel and if so, you might need to get back to the bedside more.

However, you also have the option to travel as a house supervisor. Now I have no idea how prevalent these positions are, but I know I have seen listings for house supervisors before. Since this is a narrowly focused position (as opposed to something like “critical care” where you might be able to work CCU, ICU, MICU, etc.), you should join a h and ful of companies so that you can open yourself up to as many positions as possible. I honestly am not sure why more companies wouldn’t agree to work with you with your experience, but then again, they know what hospitals currently want as far as travelers and after all, a company can put you on file, but it doesn’t mean anything unless there are hospitals out there willing to look at you.

Spend some time and talk with more companies. Make a list of ten companies (of which you have heard good things) and spend a day calling and talking to recruiters. Feel free to email me at if you’d like me to give you a few names of the recruiters I work with and we’ll see if we can’t get you started.


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.

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