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November 18, 2008

How Does Your Workplace Treat RN Travelers?

Consult2.72x77[1] As I watch the stock market plunge again today, I am hearing rumors of more and more local medical facilities letting their per diem nurses go, replacing them with RN travelers. Is this the right approach, considering the nursing crunch?

Throughout my career in various ICU settings I have met many nurse travelers, some quite knowledgeable, some well gifted; others could use a few classes in organizational and efficiency skills. But, all have been flexible in meeting the needs of the various units. Yet, speaking to them one-on-one, many believe that the nurses that they work with don't seem to recognize their abilities and skills. Nor do the managers. Some RN travelers feel like they are portrayed as incompetent in knowledge and skills.

I have found exactly the opposite. Many of the RN travelers one meets are exceptional nurses and interact with patients more so than the regular staff. This makes me feel a bit sad as many my colleagues see the traveler as a simply a  “body to take over the next shifts' patients,” without recognizing who they are, where they went to school,  their hobbies, interests, and why they chose travel nursing. It is not easy to acclimate to new setting every 13 weeks or so, but they do so in multiple, varied environments. So, why don't we take the time to get to know them and their accomplishments a bit better? 
How does your workplace treat RN travelers?

November 18, 2008 in Beka | Permalink


I think it is important to accommodate all nurses given the current economic situation. For nursing jobs, have a look at:


Posted by: Annie Morley | Oct 17, 2011 10:46:41 AM

I think that RN is also about to raised the standards of professionalism and quality of service in the healthcare staffing industry,and mainly have the permanent placement of all types of nurses,therapists and technologists,so this is a good thing which is helpful and really useful for the people.

Posted by: Dissertation Writing | Mar 5, 2011 3:14:34 AM

I tried enrolling as an RN traveler because I want to, basically, travel around different states and observe their hospital’s procedures and I also felt the animosity that regular staffs give to RN traveler like me. Taking up courses in ceu classes, how to deal with the travelling and getting along with other nursing staff, allowed me to separate myself and be all business with them. Along the way, I realize that the treatment is made because emotional ties when separation is about to take place is very hard and being in a hospital, emotions run hardest. Nevertheless, I leave with no hurt feelings because I know that I will be leaving something that is important and worthwhile.

Posted by: Rob @ ceu classes   | Sep 17, 2010 12:31:27 AM

My workplace treats travelers okay. Sometimes I have noticed that they send them home before others if we get low on patients because they typically earn more than other nurses.

I also see that sometimes they get moved around to other floors depending on the census levels. But all in all they treat them okay.

Posted by: Sarah | Jun 1, 2010 5:17:12 PM

have been looking at all of the main sites for college financial aid, such as:

so Im not looking to be directed there, what I was wondering are if there are any sites for nursing work study specifically, that i could use to help with my nursing school costs? Thanks.

Posted by: KN | Mar 14, 2010 3:26:32 PM

Having been a travel nurse for over 5 years now, I can tell you it's not always easy. I've seen where sometimes the perm staff resents travelers and it can create conflict. However if you address the situation with the nurse manager early on, it usually resolves itself. It's nice to have a great rapport with your agency too, so they can intervene if need be. My agency: http://www.americantraveler.com/ has gone to bat for me before and I'm thankful for their efforts.

Posted by: Jack Wilson | Feb 4, 2010 9:51:45 PM

I am traveling nurse with 17 years exp., mostly in Telemetry, but have floated and worked in most other areas as well. I have been working as a traveling nurse and have accepted positions in areas other than Telemetry such as PCU, (and other Intermediate Care areas), ER, M/S, Ortho...etc. The company hired me and the hospitals accepted me because of my "well rounded" knowledge. I accepted the positions based on my needs and desires at the time...(location, pay and other)When sent to ICU I was given PCU level patients. When sent to Ortho, I was given patients that required minimum actual Ortho knowledge. When sent to Oncology, I may be given a Chemo patient, but a Chemo nurse would be required to hang the Chemo and be available for reactions, etc... In all of these different areas, the managers assumed that given all of my years and the diversity of experiences that I would surely have the basic nursing knowledge necessary to safely care for patients and assumed stand by assistance of regular staff and/or the charge nurses to supply additional or specialty knowledge PRN. Why did I tell you all of this? Because this is what traveling nursing is all about. During this 13 week contract the hospital has time to searches for, teach and train a nurse for that particular specialty position. Every hospital wants things done according to their policy and procedure regime. The doctors at these hospitals also have the specific orders and are unique to that doctor and that hospital. One doctor wants this and another doctor doesn't! The second doctor wants an entirely different approach to the same problem. I don't believe either doctor is wrong. But it just shows how inadequate judging others is...like the PBDS test for travelers. So many of the nurses say the same thing. The PBDS test is extremely subjective and should be class acted out of our lives. We need dedicated nurse attornys to take this on and we need to support them. On one blog, one nurse quoted the labor law/hiring act above, is correct in that is the place to start. Nurses need to know that if they are traveling to a hospital that uses the PBDS testing that they will be sent home if they do not pass it and that some travel agencies will drop you like a hot potato right then and there! No paid passage home. Dumped like a pimp does a prostitute. The information about Texas, particularly the DFWHC (Dallas-Ft Worth Hospital Commission) patrolling nurses is very scary in deed. One may make someone angry and then get fired or reported by a nurse who may be jealous of something so stupid as your hair is shiny and hers isn't, or that you are not fat and she is (or vise/versa) and get away with it because they may be friends with the manager or someone in the right position to cause trouble...etc. CRAZY, but TRUE!!! Happpens every day!!! How many nurses have you heard voice this scenario? Many? Well, I have too. I think we need someone who has the knowledge and technology to do something about it. I mean like a legal nurse (attorney) to help bring nursing back to a profession of helping others ... NOT ... covering our own asses.

Posted by: Linda | Aug 8, 2009 2:37:14 PM

I am a travel RN and have experienced various types of treatment depending on regions of the country. I only once was treated very poorly and that was in a LTC facility on the border in Texas. Otherwise, I did a lot of traveling in WA state. I must say, there people are treated with dignity and respect for their abilities and with courtesy. I had many wonderful experiences in facilities in the Puget Sound area that would make this a place to return to over and over again. I do remember my first job straight out of nursing school in a rural hospital in Ct. We occasionally had a few travelers from time to time in this 27 bed cardiac step down unit. I remember being appauled when the charge nurse consistently assigned the most difficult patients to the travelers. The unit always placed its MRSA patients in the front of the nurses station, and designated about 5 rooms. Well, it was nothing for the charge to assign all 5 to the traveler. Certainly times have changed and the travelers will not tolerate this behavior. This particular charge would say, "they are making the big bucks, let them work for it". I hope there are not people out there who continue to think that way. I atleast have not run into any, thankfully.

Posted by: Candace | Aug 3, 2009 12:25:37 PM

I am a current nursing student who is interested in travel nursing. I am almost at the finish line. I would appreciate any words of wisdom that anyone may have to offer to a nursing student.

Posted by: Jelie | May 22, 2009 2:48:54 PM

I worked as a "travel nurse" in the early 1990's, in the Southern States-Georgia and Louisiana- and although personally I had no problems with the nurses I worked with, I heard of many instances where there was overt aggression and bullying amongst my peers towards travel nurses. I was certainly treated with reservation in the hospitals I worked in and it wasn't until I worked in a family physicians' office that I felt accepted and my skils fully recognised.. It certainly takes different skills to be a travel nurse- flexibilty and adaptability being high on the list!

Posted by: Rosemary | Feb 12, 2009 7:41:17 AM

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