How does one become a travel nurse? You can do the research, talk to the people, and sometimes still end up working for a bad agency. What may work for some – may not work for all – and you may get frustrated and give up on the career possibility all together – or if you’re like Doreen Hancock, a Med/Surg RN based out of Oklahoma, you give it another shot.
Here Doreen talks about her travel nursing experience, why one particular agency left a bad taste in her mouth, how she went back to staff nursing, and then very recently, decided to give travel nursing another try.
Why did you choose a nursing career?
I was originally educated in the Philippines, where I obtained my business degree. But after some time, I became interested in migrating to the U.S. and was looking for a career I could pursue there. It was my sister who suggested that I pursue Nursing and so I did!
Why the switch from staff nursing to travel nursing?
My husband got a job in Pennsylvania & I didn’t have a Pennsylvania nursing license and at the time Pennsylvania wasn’t a compact state. So I started browsing jobs. My family lives in Wisconsin, so I started thinking, maybe I could take a travel contract in Wisconsin, and at the same time spend some time with my family.
It was a good experience. A short while later, we decided to move to Wisconsin & I took another travel contract. But, this time I didn’t like it as much because I wasn’t happy with the travel agency I was working with. They didn’t treat me like an equal. It very much felt that they were just looking to get something out of me (probably a commission) and didn’t really care about who I was (or what I needed) as a person. So I stopped travel nursing for some time.
Why did you start working with Next Move?
A few years after my last travel nursing contract, when I made the switch back to staff nursing, my husband wanted to move closer to his father in Oklahoma. But my family was in Wisconsin, who I also wanted to be closer to. It became difficult, as a staff nurse, to do both: live near his family and live near mine at the same time. So, I thought, maybe travel nursing would be a solution. I could work closer to my family and he could live closer to his. Around the time we were trying to figure this out – I got an email from Next Move about a contract in Springfield, Missouri – and I thought – that’s perfect.
What’s your experience been like with Next Move?
I’m having aa great experience with Next Move. A must better experience than I have had with other travel nurse agencies. You guys and my recruiter Danielle Adkisson are awesome and very professional. It really helps that Daniel has travel nursing experience herself, so I feel like I can definitely trust her more. I also feel that Next Move really treats their nurses well. That’s why I’ve stuck with you guys, I’m not just a number with Next Move.
I feel like everyone is really upfront about all the details of their contracts – and there aren’t ever any issues. The whole process is very easy. Once there’s a job I’m interested in, my recruiter submits me right away, the interview follows, and I know almost immediately if I got the job or not.
How is staff nursing different from travel nursing?
Aside from the obvious: travel nurses travel to different locations to perform nursing duties and get paid a bit more than staff nurses – I’d say the main difference, that maybe staff nurses never really think about, are the sacrifices that are needed to travel. We do get paid more, yes – but we also don’t get PTO, no call-ins, no sick days, and often not the same level of benefits.* We’re also away from our families for months at a time, sometimes staying in long-term hotels.
I think also a lot of staff nurses do want to travel – but maybe live in the fantasy of what it is – rather than the reality of what it is all about.
I also believe that staff nurses’ burnout out at a much higher rate than travel nurses because they’re required to work more hours, are sometimes forced to work overtime, and often have to perform duties they would not normally, such as acting as their own CNAs, due to staffing shortages.
Note From Next Move: Next move does offer a loyalty bonus of $1,500 after an RN signs a fifth contract with us. We also offer full healthcare benefits including health, dental, vision, 401K & more.
Advice for Nurses Interested in Travel Nursing?
For any nurse looking to start traveling I’d suggest getting as much information as you can about travel nursing in general and the different staffing agencies. You really want to hear about all the good and all the bad so that you know what you’re getting yourself into before you get started.
Like some agencies won’t even tell you what type of accommodations you’re going to get, or give you any information about the city you’ll be working in. For example: some contracts, like in California, have really high pay rates – and they seem really tempting. But you have to think about what kind of accommodations you’re going to get for the amount of money you want to pay. Like in California, you’re not going to get any decent accommodations for less than $3,000 a month.
You want to work with an agency that is going to support you through every step of the process. Having Next Move as an agency has been a huge help to me – because I’ve felt very supported by them – and they really give me all the information I need.
Next Move Inc
(816) 601 -3800