It’s possible that the state of Florida utilizes more travel nurses, travel healthcare professionals, and temporary healthcare professionals than any other state in the nation. Florida’s insatiable appetite for travel nursing is driven largely by seasonal population fluxes. As everyone is well aware, Florida experiences an annual population spike as “snow birds” migrate south from the colder northern state between October and May. The migration peaks in the winter months between December and March. Florida then experiences a population reductions as these people return to the northern states for the summer months. The annual population fluxes create a unique set of circumstances for travel nurses. Understanding the factors at play will help travel nurses interested in Florida formulate a strategy.
Texas is often flush with open travel nursing assignments. With approximately 8% of the nation’s population, there are plenty of hospitals in the state. Travel nurses will find open travel nursing job in big cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin as well as rural settings and smaller cities like El Paso and Brownsville. Texas is a great travel nursing destination for several reasons. Understanding some of the basics of the Texas travel nursing job market will help you formulate a strategy.
California is a prime destination for travel nurses, and why wouldn’t it be? The state has some of the nation’s best beaches, skiing, cities, and national parks. It’s also home to 10% of the nation’s population. Where there are more people, there are more hospitals and more travel nursing assignments. California also has strict RN to Patient Staffing Ratios which serves to increase the overall need for RNs. But just because California seems wide open for travel nursing assignments doesn’t mean it should be approached willy-nilly. There are vast differences across the state and understanding these differences will help set expectations and allow you to formulate a strategy.
Healthcare professionals face a unique and difficult challenge when measuring and conveying their skill sets. This is largely due to the vast array of skills that encompass a given healthcare specialty. Consider the difference between the skill sets of a general professional, like a sales professional, and a healthcare professional, like an ICU nurse. While I’m sure that the sales professional could develop a nice list of desirable skills, I’m positive that this list would in no way compare to the voluminous list of diagnostic, equipment, medication, procedural, age related, and condition related skills that the ICU nurse must maintain. Attempting to measuring and track these skills or convey them to potential employers may seem futile for the healthcare professional. However, “Skills Checklists” can be useful tools for accomplishing these goals.
Many travel nurses and travel nursing agencies tout the high pay of travel nursing jobs as one of the top advantages of travel nursing. However, the pay for most travel nursing jobs is actually in line with the regional average pay for nurses once all of the costs have been calculated and an apples-to-apples comparison has been conducted. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any high paying travel nursing jobs out there. Indeed, there are some very high paying travel nursing jobs out there. In this post, we’ll provide some general information high paying travel nursing jobs as well as some insight on landing these elusive assignments.
As a travel nurse, gaining control over your Submission Profile is a great way to gain control over your travel nursing career. A Submission Profile is the set of documents that a travel nursing agency is required to submit to a hospital in order for the agency’s candidate to be considered for an open travel nursing job. The standard Submission Profile includes a resume, a job application, a skills checklist, and references. Hospitals will almost never accept a candidate for consideration without an up-to-date Submission Profile.
Meanwhile, travel nursing jobs are filled very quickly. They’re sometimes filled within a few hours and candidates stand very little chance of landing a travel nursing assignment if they haven’t been submitted within one week of the assignment’s announcement. The high speed-to-fill is due largely to two factors. First, the proliferation of Vendor Management Services has allowed hospitals to efficiently work with a large number of competing travel nursing agencies, sometimes hundreds of agencies at a time. Second, while hospitals are certainly looking for the best candidates, they are also looking to fill their travel nursing jobs quickly. Remember, this isn’t a permanent hire, so the same commitment isn’t involved. This all means that quick submissions are an urgent matter for both the travel nurse and the travel nursing agency.
The problem for both travel nurses and travel nursing agencies is that each agency has its own set of documentation to complete. This means that travel nurses must complete tons of paperwork just to be considered for a travel nursing job. Moreover, travel nurses are always better off working with multiple travel nursing agencies in order to gain maximum exposure to the job market because different agencies tend to work with different hospitals. As a result, travel nurses are stuck filling out mounds of paperwork for multiple travel nursing agencies. The worst part is that the paperwork is nearly all the same.
Of course, nobody wants to spend their days completing paperwork for nothing. Therefore, many travel nurses refuse to fill out the paperwork until there is an opportunity that they’re interested in. This makes it very difficult for travel nursing recruiters to convince travel nurses they should fill out their travel nursing agency’s paperwork over another agency’s paperwork. Moreover, waiting until the travel nursing job is available is most often too late. It takes time for the travel nurse to complete the documentation and the submission profile can’t be sent to the hospital until the travel nursing agency has verified the references and conducted a thorough screening of the profile to ensure that all the required information is in order.
This problem persists even after the travel nurse has completed a profile with an agency. Profiles must be kept up to date . This means that work history and references must be updated continuously. Meanwhile, skills checklists expire annually so they must be updated as well. As a result, if a significant amount of time has passed since the travel nurse has worked with an agency that they’ve completed paperwork for, then the travel nurse may be required to complete additional paperwork to bring everything up to date.
This paperwork nightmare also creates additional problems for travel nurses. First, travel nurses may miss out on their ideal travel nursing jobs because their Submission Profile isn’t ready in time. We alluded to this previously but it’s important to add clarity here. For example, there is more competition for travel nursing jobs in the most desirable locations, like San Diego, CA, so you want to make sure your Submission Profile is ready at all times for such opportunities. Similarly, the highest paying travel nursing jobs are also in high demand so your Submission Profile needs to be ready at all times for them as well.
Second, the current system has a tendency to limit options for the travel nurse. Completing yet another Submission Profile for yet another travel nursing agency can eventually become so repulsive that travel nurses simply choose not to do so. In essence, they’re choosing to accept the limited options offered by the travel nursing agency they’re currently working with in lieu of completing more paperwork. And who could blame them?
Third, this scenario tends to limit the travel nurse’s bargaining position. In an ideal market, you want to create as much competition for your services as possible. If agencies know that you can be submitted in a flash by competing agencies, then they’ll work harder to keep your business.
For all these reasons, controlling your own Submission Profile is the means to gaining full control over your career as a travel nurse. BluePipes provides travel nurses and travel healthcare professionals with the ability to do just that…for free! BluePipes‘ patent pending Self Directed Career Management System provides members with all of the tools they need to create and control their own Submission Profile. This way, travel nurses won’t have to complete so much paperwork and they’re submission profile will be ready to go at a moment’s notice so they can land their ideal travel nursing jobs.
By now, everyone reading this is most likely familiar with LinkedIn. If not, LinkedIn is a social networking service for professionals, more commonly referred to as a professional networking service. LinkedIn provides users with the capability to display their career information and interests, connect and communicate with colleagues, and keep up with business related news. LinkedIn’s service is geared toward the vast and broad market of, well, everyone. This approach has worked well for them. They have over 200 million members worldwide and rake in nearly $1 billion in revenue annually.
A significant percentage of those who engage in travel nursing will eventually make the transition back to permanent employment. Conveying your travel nursing experience on your resume in a way that both masks the perceivable negatives and capitalizes on the great experience you’ve gained can be challenging. Understanding the issues at play will help you formulate the best possible strategy.
A New Grad RN recently expressed frustration with the difficulties encountered in finding a first job. Having spoken to many New Grad RNs over the years, I know how frustrating it can be for them to land their first job with an acute care hospital. These days, many people point to uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act as the cause. However, my experience indicates that New Grad RNs have been having this difficulty since at least 2006. While the problem has certainly been magnified since 2008, I’m not sure how much of it can be attributed to the Affordable Care Act. The poor economy and an overall misunderstanding of the “nursing shortage” are more likely causes. Understanding the issues at play can help New Grads formulate a strategy for landing their first job in an acute care hospital.
California is a great place for travel nurses to be licensed. The state’s population is over 37 million and accounts for more than 10% of the nation’s total population. A large population means more hospitals and more potential travel assignments. In addition, California has something for everyone. It’s got some of the greatest cities in the world, a swath of rural communities and quaint small towns, beaches, mountains, and even desserts. So, as a Registered Nurse, how do you obtain your California license?