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Is anyone on here a traveling Nurse? Do you enjoy it? What do you do on a regular basis? How do you get the most money on an assignment?

#Nurse #medicine #Hospital

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Tequila’s Answer

Hi Kailey. I tried doing it. I had 2 assignments, but missed being home and the conveniences of my home. I met several people who made their livings just by travel nursing. Some had their own mobile homes; that probably made it better. Some moved with families, with younger non school age children. Some just enjoyed the constant change. Some single and some took their spouses with them; either as fellow nurses or as homemakers. Owning a home and traveling seemed expensive for me. I wasn't paying for both living spaces and that is why I wanted to try it. But there are expenses of owning a home that isn't included in the mortgage payment.
I chose to live in extended living type hotels. I liked the effortlessness of it all. Others chose to live in other people's homes/apartments. Some people lived with the owner/their family; or had the entire place to yourself. I found between deposits (and worrying about getting it back) and probably living further away from the hospital, extended living hotels were cleaner, safer, less hassle, and more amenities (gym, pool, laundry on premises, and weekly cleaning). The ones I used had a full cook-in kitchen, cable, internet, free laundry, outdoor cooking, pet friendly, and free parking. After 30 days, most states don't force you to pay hotel taxes or state sales tax on your hotel bill; they consider you a resident. As far as the salaries, that was relative. If you worked in intensive care settings, worked in California, you tend to get pain more money. However, most of your money went to housing and transportation due to the expensive cost of both in California. So profit was eaten by housing and transportation. You can always have your travel agency provide you housing. But then there are catches with that too; just depends on the travel agency. I actually don't think you make more money travelling. I think it's a lifestyle. If you get bored easily, you can get a new working environment after 13 weeks; or less if you make arrangements in advanced. If you like to travel, travel nursing is great for that too. But don't let the money change your mind; you get to see the country. Just remember, all states don't take what's called a compact nursing license. For those states that don't, you have to apply to each state for a nursing license. Most travel agencies will pay you to get the new nurse license, but that takes time. In the meantime, you will only working where you are licensed. Which means, if you have a compact nurse license; that about 34 States in which you can work. All the others you have to apply and receive a nursing license before you can work there.
So to make the most money, you need a specialty, like any ICU nurse, but mostly: cardiovascular ICU nurse, neonatal ICU nurse, cardiac catherization nurse; and ER/Trauma nurse. Another way to make money, go as as team, helps to spread out the cost of living between 2 or more people. Another trick, live over 50 miles from the hospital and then you can get paid to live at home (you get paid the living stipend). The negative side is that you have to travel the distance on your work days; which are typically only 3, 12-hr shifts per week. Another trick, I heard a travel nurse do is to only travel where her family members lived; she saved money on housing and the family was happy to have her there.
Another nurse paid her family member money and it was extra money for them. Another way to pocket the most money, is to cook your foods and try to limit restaurant or cafeterias (bring your lunch too) usage; drink hospital water (there's ice and it's filtered); use your days off during the week to see sites (less crowds and get specials). Another thing to remember, try to get overtime when it's available. Travel agencies pay you extra and you get overtime pay; like getting double overtime.
If you decide to become a travel nurse, always have your vacation days locked into your contract. The contract is the only thing that matters to a hospital.
Good luck with your endeavors.
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Tiffany’s Answer

Hi there! I am not a travel nurse, but my friend is, so I asked her to answer your questions:

I’m an ER/Trauma travel nurse. Usually, hospitals prefer 2+ years of experience prior to traveling. Certain certifications help you get jobs easier (in the ER you’ll want ACLS, BLS, PALS, and consider TNCC). That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be paid more, but you’ll have more options for jobs—and therefore likely higher paying jobs in the mix! To get the most out of your money, ask you recruiter for your take home pay—tell them you’ll want a bonus if you extend your contract. Ask the hospital if you’ll get the chance to work overtime (that’s where the money is). Generally, nights pays better—that’s going to be anywhere you work.

As for the what do I do and do I enjoy it? I’m an ER nurse, so I do just about everything—from helping with broken ankles to running codes and traumas. It’s incredibly hard work and can be overwhelming, but it’s rewarding. Do something you love and do it for the right reasons and you’ll always be happy. 🙂
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much. This really helps! Tell your friend she’s amazing and thank you for helping me out on this! Kailey
Thank you comment icon Absolutely! Tiffany Frits
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Lisa’s Answer

Hi Kailey. I am not a traveling nurse but during the recent pandemic and it's impact in the critical care area where I work, we have worked with many travel nurses recently. They all love it. They pick their assignments based on the pay rate and location. They manage the time frames. They meet many other nurses and medical professionals and learn a lot about flexibility and how to develop relationships. They see many different facilities and processes. They learn how to adapt. There are many benefits of traveling as well as drawbacks. It truly depends on your specific situation.

Good luck !!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for replying! I am still highschool actually, but I feel like this occupation is so right for me. It helps to know that it gives great job satisfaction too. You and your friends are amazing! Stay safe! Kailey
Thank you comment icon Aww thanks Reach out with any questions you ever have. Best of luck Lisa Fiorello BSN, RN, CCRN
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