You’ve spent the last few hours helping a patient to recover from a life-altering illness. Now, as your nursing shift comes to an end, you plan to get some rest and head to a nearby mountain to catch a glimpse of a gorgeous sunrise. Then, you’ll do it all over again in another city in a few weeks. And no matter how much you pinch yourself, you can’t wake up from your dream, because you’re living it.
Your dream has always been able to generate income as a nurse while simultaneously traveling the world, and fortunately, the travel nursing industry has made this possible for numerous nursing professionals. The question is, how exactly do you choose the best travel nursing agencies?
Here’s a rundown on three things you’ll always see at the best travel nursing agencies.
A top-tier travel nursing staffing agency generally has a large number and a wide variety of jobs available for travel nurses searching for work. This is critical because a higher number of contracts at a travel agency means increased travel nurse job placement opportunities for you long term.
In light of the above, it’s paramount that you ask a potential agency how many hospital contracts it has, and in which states, when looking for the best travel nursing agencies. The majority of companies have contracts ranging from four weeks to 26 weeks, with contracts often lasting around 13 weeks. In addition, be sure that the nursing agency has assignments available across various specialties and at today’s leading facilities. This is particularly important if your nursing specialty is relatively obscure.
The best travel nursing agencies also provide their travel nurses with the support they need to consistently excel at their per-diem jobs. In other words, these agencies will always be there to assist them as needed when they are on assignments. So, be sure to talk to your potential agency about how its support system works.
For instance, the best travel nursing agencies should be available in the event that you have any issues or questions while you’re on an assignment. In fact, such companies should ideally have support staff, such as clinical liaisons, who are ready to serve them 24-7. These agencies should be able to help you to address not only your job placement needs but also licensing or housing matters, as needed, as you travel to various states.
In addition to making sure that your chosen agency will support you during your assignments, be sure to ask the staff about the specific policies you’ll have to comply with when working with them.
For example, does the agency have a policy on canceled or missed shifts? Will it allow you to miss 1-2 shifts before penalties kick in?
Also, how does the agency handle additional hours of pay? If it offers extra hours of pay, find out what its pay rate is. This will tell you whether working extra hours would be worthwhile with that particular agency.
You should also find out if guaranteed hours exist so that you are not penalized in the event that a hospital suddenly cancels your nursing shift. In some cases, hospitals may cancel 1-2 shifts without penalty, whereas in others, no such leeway exists.
All of the above information can easily be overlooked, but it ultimately impacts your personal bottom line as a travel nurse.
The best travel nursing agencies also include those with longevity in the competitive travel nursing marketplace. The reason for this is that long-standing nursing agencies possess matchless industry knowledge, expertise, and connections.
Also, consider asking your potential agency how long its recruiters have been with the company. The top agencies have recruitment staff who have remained with the company and met the needs of traveling nurses for extended periods of time.
At Coast Medical Service, we take pride in offering the best travel nursing staffing agency opportunities for today’s most passionate nurses and avid travelers. We value the work you do—including the lives that you’ve helped to save, as well as the patients whom you’ve cared for—and we’re ready to pair you with the right hospital for that next career opportunity.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how our agency can help you to make the most of your career and experience the world on a whole new level in the months ahead.