Choosing a travel nursing agency

Choosing the right travel nursing agency isn’t always easy, but it is a very, very important decision for the travel nurse. There are a lot of agencies out there, and they are definitely not all created equal.  Some of the “mom-and-pop” agencies offer great rates because they have lower overhead but the trade off is usually that they have fewer assignments to choose from, may not have assignments in “choice” areas or facilities and, since they’re small the risk of tem going out of business and leaving their nurses unpaid is a real concern.  I know this may sound crazy but I have heard many stories about agencies closing their doors and leaving their staff without paychecks.  The larger agencies have a reputation for being less service oriented and treating their nurses “like a number”.  I think this may be true of some of the larger agencies but not all of them.  What is important is that you do your research, ask the recruiter lots of questions and get everything in writing.  Do some research and determine what you’ll need going in to the contract negotiation.  Do you need housing provided? What about the bills, who will pay?  Do you need relocation assistance? Will you need to obtain a new license?  What will that cost and can the agency reimburse?  Do you need health insurance? 401k? etc, etc, etc.  Of course, the more you need provided to you for your assignment, the lower your hourly pay rate will be.  Again, do your home work, shop round, ask questions, get it all in writing, and make sure you are dealing with an agency you feel good about and with a recruiter you trust.

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Me, a Travel nurse?

I didn’t ever think I’d become a travel nurse. I didn’t like the travel nurses I knew (okay, it’s not that I didn’t like them, but I was weirdly suspicious and maybe a bit jealous of them) and felt like it was too much of a “freewheeling” lifestyle. But I’ve since become a travel nurse myself and realize that many of the previous ideas I had were silly and unfounded and that the benefits of traveling can certainly outweigh the drawbacks  Of course, it’s not for everyone. Some will certainly not like having to move, say from Arizona to California for a nursing job. But for others it represent true freedom and the opportunity to see new places, learn new things, meet new people and generally LIVE LIFE more on my terms.

I can’t think of how to explain that well just now, but other travel nurses may be able to relate.