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An Interview With a Travel Nurse

Payscale

Name: Amy Robbins
Job Title: Traveling Nurse
Where: Tallahassee, Florida
Employer: Multiple Agencies
Years of Experience: 12
Education: Darton College in Albany, Georgia
Salary: A traveling nurse salary depends on where the assignment is located. (High hourly wage of $40, low of $30)

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As the healthcare employment landscape changes, travel nurse agency jobs are growing and many people are choosing a traveling nurse career over other nursing options. But what are the real benefits of a traveling nurse career compared to traditional nursing jobs? In this Salary Story, we spoke to Florida-based nurse Amy Robbins about her traveling nurse career, the benefits of being a traveling nurse and the average traveling nurse salary.

If you’re wondering about the future outlook for traveling nurse salaries, what to expect from travel nurse agency jobs, or how to start a traveling nurse career, this Salary Story is just what the doctor ordered!

Traveling Nurse Job Description:

The duties of a travel nurse are very similar to those of a non-traveling nurse. I am currently on an Orthopedic and Neurology floor where I attend 5 to 7 patients per 12 hour shift. When I first arrive at work, I am given a report of the status of the patients I am going to attend from the nurse on the shift before mine. The report generally includes the name, age, current medical problems and medical history. After the report I visit each of the patients to introduce myself and assess their conditions.

During a typical shift, I am required to administer medicine (oral, via injection, etc.), document medical information, receive and discharge patients, coordinate patient care with other departments such as physical therapy, respiratory therapy, speech therapy and others. Sometimes a patient will “Code” which means they go into respiratory and cardiac arrest.

For instance, last week a patient on my floor stopped breathing after a tracheotomy was removed from his throat. The patient stopped breathing and did not have a pulse. I started CPR on the patient and had to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation using a plastic device that has a valve to allow air into the patient’s lungs, but prevents the patient from exhaling back into the nurse’s mouth. After thirty minutes of CPR, the patient’s pulse returned and the patient recovered.

In addition to the traditional nurse duties, I also have to deal with several traveling nurse employment agencies I work with. That can require filling out paperwork, moving from assignment to assignment, negotiating contract provisions, etc.


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