Travel nursing is usually looked at as a glamorous opportunity, which is highly weighed by the location of the contract. Good travel nursing jobs are judged by many by the quality of the work environment, how it fits the personality of the nurse and how easy a recruiter and company is to work with. After the first few assignments, a nurse may run into problems with hospitals or recruiters and not have fun in the most sought after places, because of these issues.
A recruiter is like a lifeline for a traveling nurse. It takes some work to find a recruiter that compliments a nurse’s personality and is willing to work for the nurse just as much as they are willing to work for a commission. If a recruiter is willing to negotiate and compromise in issues such as housing, call payor over time, they are usually willing to work hard if there is a future problem. A nurse should always interview or ask recruiter questions about accounting policies, travel costs, and housing options. If a nurse is unsatisfied with his/her accommodations he/she should be able to move. Some travel recruiting companies pay for the rent of a place in advance, therefore will not move the person, until those rents are used up. This should be discussed before choosing a recruiter. A recruiter should be available or have a way for a nurse to get assistance 24 hours a day. Most will provide cell phone numbers, home numbers and general emails for emergent or important situations.
Interviewing the hospital is imperative for the nurse to know exactly what he/she is getting into. When applying for travel nursing jobs, one will find the interview process slightly different, as they are almost always interviewed via telephone. During the interview, a hospital will talk with a nurse at length to see if they are a good fit for the position and it is a nurse’s job to then interview the hospital. Even if a company has a position that is open and wants no interview with the nurse, the nurse should still request one. A nurse should know if the hospital is about to go through a strike or is already in a situation that looks like employees will strike, a nurse should also know how much call is expected, her set hours and exact duties, prior to accepting the position.
A nurse should be tolerant of another person’s culture prior to traveling across the country and working with strangers who may or may not like the fact that he/she gets higher pay for the same work. There will be some culture shock if a nurse hasn’t traveled much, but it is part of the experience that makes travel nursing jobs successful.
If a travel nurse is comfortable discussing all of his/her options with a recruiter and contracted hospital he/she will be more likely to succeed at a positive travel experience. A nurse should always keep in mind that contracts are somewhat negotiable, as well as housing, furnishings, utilities, and location of housing. It is just as much a travel nurse’s job to get what they deserve by asking for it, as it is for them to do a job within a facility.