As a travel nurse, one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects is finding the best travel nursing agency to work with. There are literally hundreds to choose from, so how do you know which travel nursing agency will provide you with the best travel nursing jobs and meet all of your needs?
To help, we’ve created a checklist of some of the most important topics that travel nurses should consider when choosing an agency.
10 Aspects to Consider When Choosing a Travel Nursing Agency
- Travel Nursing Agency Payment Policies
At the end of the day, despite how much you love your job as a travel nurse, you aren’t working for free. So, it’s important to ask travel nursing agencies important questions about your pay. Some of these questions include: How much are you going to get paid? How often are you going to get paid? Does the travel nursing agency provide a direct deposit? Will you be paid for any overtime you work? If so, how much extra will you be paid for overtime? By asking these important questions about your payment you’ll get a better feel for how the travel nursing agency treats their nurses and whether or not you want to work with them.
- Travel Nurse Recruiters
The relationship between travel nurse recruiters and travel nurses is arguably the most important relationship in the industry. Travel nurses have been known to follow recruiters as they move from agency to agency. So, when considering a travel nursing agency, consider their recruiters. How are they treating you? Do they seem to genuinely care about you and the jobs you’re applying for? Are they personable? Do they remember working with you in the past? Recruiters can be a direct reflection of the way the travel nursing company does business and are something important to consider when selecting an agency.
- Travel Nursing Agency Reputation & Stability
Another aspect to consider when selecting a travel nursing company is its reputation and stability. How long have they been in the industry? Are you familiar with their name? Have you heard other travel nurses mention how great, or bad their company is? Check out their reviews online. Do they have any? What do they say? While good reviews are a great indication the travel nursing agency is well received by travel nurses, don’t be turned off by a few negative reviews. Not every company can please every travel nurse, so keep any negative reviews you read in perspective. But, also try to understand why the negative review was written – does the complaint relate to something that relates directly to your needs as a travel nurse?
- Travel Nursing Housing Options –
If this applies to you, consider what benefits the agency offers for travel nurse housing. Does the agency provide a wide range of housing options for travel nurses or a lodging stipend? Do your research. Consider the area, your personal needs, and your safety. If they offer a substantial housing stipend that will cover your lodging in a place that you feel comfortable living in, then that’s a good sign that you should consider working with that agency.
- Travel Nursing Agency Contracts and Policies –
In this industry, it is very common for travel nurses to work with a number of different agencies to find the best travel nurse jobs available. So, if the travel nursing agencies you found have a problem with their nurses working with multiple agencies, then that should throw up a red flag for you and you should consider not working with them. It’s also important to understand evaluate the contracts and policies of each travel nursing agency. What is their policy for a canceled contract? Is it something simple, or does it involve a lawyer, a lot of money, and your nursing career? Life happens. So, it’s important to understand what consequences you may face if you have to cancel a contract.
- Travel Nurse Locations –
Something else to consider when choosing the right travel nursing agency is the locations that they offer travel nursing jobs in. For example, if you are interested in only working travel nursing assignments in Texas, then it’s probably not a great idea to work with agencies that only offer jobs on the east coast. There are hundreds of travel nursing agencies so you shouldn’t limit your location interests based on your agency. There are plenty out there. Finally, just because you are an RN with a multi-state license, doesn’t mean you can work everywhere. There are still some states that require you to be licensed in their state before allowing you to work.
- Turn-Around Time –
Another important aspect to consider when selecting a travel nursing agency is how quickly they will be able to find and place you in a position, how quickly they return your calls and emails, and in general how quickly their processes work. Compare their timeliness to their competitors. Extremely slow turn-around time should be seen as a red flag and a reason for not working with them.
- Travel Reimbursements –
Along with stipends for housing options, find out if the agency you are interested in also provides travel reimbursements. Some, however, not all, agencies provide reimbursements for travel based on the distance you’ve traveled. If it is important to you that you get reimbursed for each travel assignment, then look into this before working with an agency.
- Specialty Fields –
Before working with a travel nursing agency, consider what specialty fields you are certified in and are most interested in working in. If the agency only works specializes in certain fields that are unrelated to your certifications, then it’s probably best not to work with them. However, if you find a reputable agency that offers jobs in a specific specialty that relate to your certifications then they may be a great agency to work with based on your experience level and job needs.
- Benefits Package –
Finally, an important aspect to consider when selecting a travel nursing agency is the benefits that they provide. First and foremost, do they offer benefits? If they do, what do their benefits entail? How long do you have to work with them before gaining the benefits? Consider what benefits are most important to you and your needs and then select an agency that provides them.