Friday, July 17, 2009

Travel Nurse Across America

This is a guest post by Simolyn S.

The United States faces a severe manpower shortage in the nursing industry today. Qualified nurses are in demand and the industry generally favors the chances of good nurses. The travel nursing segment is in need of quality nurses too. It is a known fact that the travel nurses industry is booming because of this shortage of efficient nursing staff. The industry is quite receptive to the travel nurse concept, as it is able to meet the demands of the industry without having to rely only on the locally available skill sets. A hospital in Alaska might have a travel nurse from Alabama and vice versa. This not only solves the problems of inadequate local nursing resources, but also gives exposure at various levels to the travel nurses too.

A travel nurse is paid on par with a regular nurse and in some instances they are paid higher than the regular ones. A travel nurse has got more chances of working along with healthcare professionals of different standards and exposure to different types of medical technologies. The fact that someone has chosen a career in travel nursing is proof that the person is aware of the potential in terms of monetary benefits this occupation offers, and also the various kinds of exposure that they will be open to. If you are a travel nurse and have been working as one for quite some time, but you still feel that you are not earning the kind of money that you imagined you would and/or are not being exposed to diverse working environments, then there is a problem.

In simple terms, you’ve been given a raw deal! Most possibly the travel nursing company that placed you does not have an idea of your potential or your requirements. In most cases, what happens is, a candidate gets lured by the higher salaries promised and the travel opportunities they get and all the accompanying goodies, they forget to check one vital area, and that is the credibility of the travel nursing companies. Good travel nursing companies know how to rate you and how to get the maximum benefits for your quality. There aren’t many travel nursing companies that offer you insurance, travel benefits, 401k right from day one, bonuses and incentives to encourage you and a 24 hour online support. But there are some really first-class travel nursing companies that do offer all these and a whole lot more.

As a thumb rule, any travel nursing company that offers you upwards of $22 per hour is one of the better companies. This is the industry standard. The best ones even offer $50/hour to the deserving candidates and these companies will get you the minimum guaranteed work hours too. Good travel nursing companies like these will offer a travel nurse, work hours between 36 to 48 hours a week. So the wages/salary you get, multiplied by the hours that you can put in will leave you no unhappiness on the money front. Next thing is exposure. Many travel nursing companies assure you that you will get ample travelling opportunities (one of the things that most aspiring travel nurses want) and exposure to different hospitals/working environment all over the country. But sadly, many of them fail to deliver that promise and stick you with one hospital/place for very long periods.

This is because these companies do not have tie ups with hospitals across the length and breadth of the country, nor do they have the trained manpower resources to supply the demands of the hospitals. Professional travel nursing companies have extensive tie ups and a network that covers the whole country. These companies will start you off on a 13 week tenure and might get you work terms in between 8 to 52 weeks. Now, how long a period you want to work in one place/hospital is entirely up to you and all that is required of you is to tell the travel nursing company your preference before you sign up and they’ll place you in a hospital that meets your requirements.

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