Written by Christine Purviance, BSN, RN, Director of Clinical Services at Medical Edge Recruitment
Finding a travel nurse agency that fits your needs can be overwhelming with the immense number of agencies out there. Whether you are just beginning the search for your perfect agency, or you have been traveling and are wanting to switch things up, consider the following when selecting a travel nurse agency.
1. Contract Availability
Are you a highly specialized nurse like a CVICU or Pediatric ER nurse? Maybe you work in a less critical area like med-surg or long-term care. No matter what your specialty is, every agency may not have a variety of contracts available for you. Imagine working a 13-week contract in your specialty with a new agency, then finding out your agency has no other contracts available for you when you start looking for your next assignment. Although this is unlikely with the nationwide nursing shortage, it is an important consideration. Starting fresh with a new agency means re-credentialing, another drug screen, and another background check. Time is money as a travel nurse--and the process of starting over can easily take up to a month. When talking to a new recruiter, be sure to find out how many contracts they have for you for future assignments!
Nurses chose to travel for several different reasons. Some may want to make as much money as possible while others travel for adventure and scenery. Are you wanting to spend your summer in California, the spring in Colorado, and the fall in New York City? Make sure your agency has contracts in the locations that you want to go to! Travel nurse agencies do not share the same jobs across the board, so it’s important to find out what is available in your desired locations prior to committing to an agency. Finding out how many states they staff in is a good starting point!
3. Quality of Contracts
It’s no secret in the nursing world that there are some healthcare systems to avoid! For many travel nurses, these healthcare systems are a dealbreaker no matter the amount of money or location. Depending on the size of the travel nurse agency and how many states they staff in, each one will have contracts of various quality. If there is a healthcare system you want to avoid, talk with a recruiter about it to make sure that they have the right contracts available to meet your needs and wants. Doing your research for each facility on the available contracts will help you make the best choice for you.
4. Agency Support
It’s essential that your agency has your back when you are on assignment. A few questions you can ask a new agency when determining if they will be there for you are:
- How easy will it be to get in touch with my recruiter?
- Is there a clinical team on staff available 24/7 for emergencies?
- Is there a housing specialist that can assist in finding temporary housing?
The agency should respond with yes! If they do not have this support available, you may want to consider other options.
5. Agency Perks and Benefits
Travel nurse agencies will each have their own perks and benefits—but they may not all be upfront about what they can offer you. When talking to your recruiter, find out what their agency has to offer. Below is a list of common benefits and perks that many agencies offer:
- Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance
- Employee Assistance Program
- Paid sick leave
- Housing assistance
- Travel reimbursement
- License renewal reimbursement
- Completion bonus
- Referral bonus
- Scrubs reimbursement
Determine which benefits and perks are important to you and make sure that your agency offers them on day one of your contract!
Don’t Settle for a Subpar Agency
If you aren’t 100% confident that an agency is right for you, trust your gut and keep looking! Finding an agency that you can trust, supports you, and has the right contracts for you is the key to finding your perfect travel nurse agency!
Medical Edge Recruitment is the premier travel nursing recruitment agency, specializing in providing top talent to clients in the healthcare industry. We connect clinical and allied providers to their ideal opportunities, focusing on building long-lasting relationships through honesty and transparency. In travel nursing, bigger does not always mean better. While we have an extensive network of job opportunities, our experienced team is dedicated to making your personalized provider experience our priority. There are a lot of moving parts in getting set up for a new assignment, but we take care of all the details along the way. Adventure awaits, let Medical Edge Recruitment show you where to go next!