Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Calling All Travel Nurses

Right now I have a good job at a good hospital and I'm pretty happy with it.  I'm getting great experience and I enjoy living near (but not too near) my parents and three married siblings.  That said, I have a few problems:
  • I want to do some travel nursing before the kids are in school.
  • My wife hates the weather here (like she can talk... she's from Ohio)(okay okay, I don't like it either)(my wife made me put that)(okay, so she didn't force me to, but she strongly encouraged it)(if you can call a butcher's knife encouragement)(no, I don't need to speak to your social worker about domestic violence concerns.  I have a butcher's knife, too)(my wife's is sharper, though).
  • I want to go back to school and get at least my BSN and more likely my MSN (I have an AA right now - all 12 steps of it!), and I don't like the options around where I am living now.
  • Both meself and me misses get wanderlust and the idea of going someplace else attracts us.
  • I hate the politics of my blue, blue state.
I've already chatted with one kind fellow blogger who helped me with some information about one possible location that we are considering that solves all of our problems (except the weather one), but I would like to see if there are any other intrepid souls out there that would like to extoll the virtues and warn of the pitfalls of Travel Nursing.  What are the best agencies?  What are the traps to avoid?  How do we know we are getting a good deal?  How easy is it to come and go from an agency? 

And even more, I would like to see if any of the 509 Arizonians that have stopped by my blog would like to help me with some information about living in the Phoenix area and what hospitals are good and which ones to avoid at all costs.  We have done some research over the past few days and have found a couple that really interest us and a few that grab our attention.

Other places that we have considered include Colorado Springs, San Antonio, San Diego and Santa Cruz (as you can tell, we are most interested in the Southwest).  All of these places violate one or more criteria that we are looking for, but I think that if you want to live in the perfect place you need to live a life of service and gratitude and mostly a life of avoiding killing men in Vegas just to watch them die.  But I digress.  Anyone from these areas have any input?  You can leave a comment, or even better, send me an e-mail to


whitbit317 said...

I'm an EMT in the San Antonio area, and if I may brag, I think we have some really great hospitals. I'm not sure what kind of pay/benefits you would be looking at. We have at least sixteen hospitals in the area, and I may be missing one or two, so you have options. As well as hospitals in the outlaying towns if you're not keen on living in town. Three of those hospitals are level 1 trauma centers, two are military though. Cost of living is pretty cheap here, and jobs are aplenty. Not sure any of this helps you at all, but thought I'd toss it out there...

Robert said...

Have you considered Albuquerque? UNM's hospital as all kinds of things to do, and it's the biggest hospital for several hundred miles in any direction...

The climate of Albuquerque is very pleasant. It pccasionally gets above 100* in the summers, but it is indeed a dry heat. Winters can be chilly, but the snow general stays below 5 or 6 days a season. You have access to the mountains, lots of fun historic culture, and the food...

Best of all, 4 actual seasons...

Amanda said...

Hey Brandon,
Randon reader and fellow ER nurse, have looked into traveling myself and the place with the best info about all things traveling is

Curdie said...

What's snow?

In case you haven't already seen it, here's a blog post about traveling to deep south Texas. She hasn't updated in forever so she kind of leaves you hanging, but it's still informative.

Anonymous said...

My sister moved from the UK to Perth in Australia - she was sponsored by a Perth hospital... The weather is lovely there all the time!

Anonymous said...

Before going on any trip whether you are driving it or going by another other modes of transportation, it is important to have a variety of travel maps available. The last thing anybody wants to have happen is getting lost on his or her trip. Being lost takes valuable time away from enjoying yourself if it is a pleasure trip, or takes away from working time if the trip is for business.

Nurse K said...

I have a friend that was a travel nurse at U of NM-Albuquerque as well and she loved it...good work culture, lots of camaraderie.

Anonymous said...

Travel nursing's coin can be one-sided depending on what your priorities are as a traveling nurse.
I did it for 6 months last year.
It had many good points and many bad points. It's all in what matters to you and why you are doing it.
Flexibility is a must.
You 'hit the ground running' so-to-speak.
Shoot me an email if you'd like more information.
Best of luck with your decision.

Anonymous said...

if you head to san diego, go with either the sharp or scripps hospitals. stay away from paradise valley in national city.

also if you're thinking about the OC stay away from hoag, they run the hospital like a production line.


I think nurses should do the travel thing at least once, just to broaden their horizons and think outside the big comfy box they currently work in. As in the post above, I definitely recommend Delphi Forum's traveller's forum. Just read it regularly and pick up ideas and suggestions from people who are doing it, want to do it or have been there.

I did it early in my career when I thought I didn't know ANYTHING about nursing and (go figure!) ended up taking a charge nurse position in a great hospital for six months. Loved the job, but as a Florida girl, just couldn't take the winters.

But now after many years and unfortunately, due to the economic downturn in my home base, have gone back to traveling again. It's been great, even with a family now in tow. Key West, and now Marathon have turned out to be interesting places, the work is very decent, and we're happy to be here.

Just remember, not every city or assignment are perfect. They're just as permanent as you want to be. The don't call it "Life....13 weeks at a time" for nothing!

Best of luck to you......and consider all your options!

JoanneatNurseConnect said...

We have a mix of travel nurses and non travel nurses on NurseConnect. Always a good place to get some travel related questions answered. Here's a link to the Travel Nurses forum on the site.

Good luck in your future decisions.