Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Travel Nurse Job
By Erica Ronchetti
Before signing up to travel the United States as a travel nurse, there are several important things you may be interested to know. Travel nursing can be extremely rewarding as well as enjoyable; a paid vacation to the beaches of Hawaii and California is certainly appealing but before departing on your next travel nursing job, take a minute to read the following information.
Salary is very different from typical hospital employment. Travel nurses are paid significantly higher hourly wages then staff nurses who work at hospitals. The reason travel nurses are paid larger salaries is because of the “sacrifices” they make to uproot their lives and work away from their families and homes. Placed in an attractive location, many nurses don’t see their travel nursing assignment as sacrifices, and many enjoy their days off enjoying gorgeous scenery, excellent weather, and interesting culture. When negotiating salary with your travel nurse agency, make sure they are willing to negotiate the highest rate of pay before you sign any contracts to a travel nursing assignment. Certainly don’t feel pressured to accept the first travel offer that comes your way; you may be able to find a better one. It might be good to compare different agencies and select the one willing to assist your move, provide you with a competitive salary, and perhaps even a monthly housing stipend.
Here are some important questions to consider asking your travel nurse agency before starting a travel nursing assignment:
1. Does the travel nurse agency I’m considering guarantee my travel assignment in writing?
2. What hours will I be working? Are these hours guaranteed?
3. How often will I get paid? (Weekly, bi-weekly, etc…)
4. Will the travel nurse agency help me pay for my move?
Travel nurses with experience: do you agree or disagree? If you’re an experienced travel nurse and can provide any additional information or useful questions novice travel nurses might need to know, don’t hesitate to post a response or comment.
Erica Ronchetti is Account Manager for Travel Nurse Source, a recruiting company for traveling nurses. Travel Nurse Source is affiliated with Allied Travel Careers, a recruiting company for traveling physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists. For more information on what we do, please visit our websites.