Sunday, September 30, 2007

SEe the world, be a nurse

Opportunity in the nursing field is all over the place.

Right now, RN's are in demand, and I think we all know it. Most of us could walk into any hospital, in any town USA, and announce "I'm here, Gimme a job". And, unless we were felons or the like, we'd get one without any undue pain.

I've seen more and more nurses choose the route of becoming a traveling nurse, lately.
To be honest with you, as much as I love to go see new places, it was a thought I considered. But I hate hate hate the idea that I'd be constantly having to get used to a new hospital, it's politics, it's people, and it's standards. Or lack of standards, for that matter. I was in the Navy for 4 years, a long time ago, and while the traveling was fun, it is very nice to have a home with some roots, so I decided against it.

Another factor is, from what I've heard, unconscious or not, travelers tend to get "dumped" on on a regular basis. I've heard horror stories from some of the travelers we've had come through our doors about how unwelcome they have been made to feel at some facilities. The nurses don't want to connect with them because they know that the person will just be leaving. And they tend to get the crappy assignment, every time they work.

Podunk, in my opinion, is not that bad to travelers. About the worst thing that probably happens to them is that when there is someone thats going to float, and a traveler is on the schedule, they end up being the floatee. Most of the traveling nurses I've talked to don't really care about that. They are there to to a job, and get paid. And they get paid well, so it doesn't matter to them where they work.
We tend to get really friendly with our travelers. Especially in the ICU. We want them to stay, most of the time. Its like a breath of fresh air. Most of our travelers, if they are happy with us, extend at least once. We have one now, who just extended through January, and I am so glad she's staying. She's smart, funny, and a good nurse. She really fits in well with us. We want her to stay, forever.

Of course, we've had the polar opposite, as well. One lady didn't make it a week in the Podunk ICU. She hated the small town, hated her housing, hated hated hated. And that's how she acted when she came in. Hated everything. She did not jibe well with us. So she left, and I respect that. It has to be hard to constantly move around and try to carve a life at the same time. I couldn't do it. She is really the exception to the rule as far as our luck with travelers has gone. We've been very lucky with most of the ones who've come to play. I hope our luck continues. (Though, two of our regular staff positions have just been filled, and we may be not having new travelers come for a while.)

So, there are lots of travelers, lots of companies recruiting travelers. I get messages fairly frequently from some of these companies. We even get faxes straight into the ICU trying to recruit us away from Podunk. With the nursing shortage continuing, traveling is a definate opportunity for those that choose to take it. I am sure it is an interesting challenge. I'm glad there are nurses out there to accept that challenge.