The Do's And Don'ts Of Travel Nursing
When first starting out in the field of travel nursing it can be very overwhelming, that's why it's important to listen to sound advice and positivity. So we collected a list of do's and don'ts for those who want to learn from the mistakes of nurses that came before them.
Don't – be nonvocal about your unavailable dates/time off needed during the submission phase
This is typically an oversight, but it is so important for travelers to track their needed time off and address during the submission process as this is a crucial part of the negotiation process between the traveler, the recruiter, and the facility. Giving unavailable dates after being accepted or after the contract has started creates added stress for everyone and could even set up the assignment to start on the wrong foot.
Do – know the difference between time off you need vs time off you would like to have
Demand for travel nurses is at an all-time high, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a hospital is going to accept outrageous scheduling requests. Travelers are needed to help support a staff and ease the stress of the unit/facility they’re accepting the assignment to. Having an exorbitant amount of unavailable time in a three month period can make it very difficult for a hospital to accommodate, which can then become a challenge in getting placed for the next assignment.
Don't – underestimate the importance of speaking with your recruiter about your experience
Don't leave anything out, include all certifications and accomplishments relative to your area of experience and areas of strength that can help you stick out in the stack of candidate profiles. It is a recruiter’s job to help sell the traveler to a facility. But it is also very important that the travel nurse help the recruiter properly market themselves to become the stand-out candidate. Point out key achievements, discuss the experience you have with special devices/equipment and make sure your recruiter can articulate that well. Work together so that you can become the traveler the hospital needs to have on assignment.
Do – realize the importance of having a good relationship with your recruiter
A recruiter that you can trust and that trusts you will help give you the real insight into the assignments because they will have a better understanding of what you need out of your assignments. That recruiter will be someone who will fight to get you every dollar you can get out of every assignment, this is where that strong relationship pays off the most. They will be loyal to you and will fight to make sure your loyalty to them and the agency are recognized and compensated for.
Don't – assume that there is more money a recruiter can offer you for an assignment, but is trying to keep it from you
Recruiters and agencies are fighting to help be a provider to the hospitals they work with and often times are working through a third party company which opens the door for 40-60+ agencies to submit for just one position, and with a very low bill rate (and third-party fees). The most important thing a traveler can do is negotiate the compensation prior to being submitted to, and have a trusting relationship with the recruiter you’re working with so that you can be confident that you are getting the best compensation package. That way you can be submitted for an assignment and a pay package you know you can accept, want, and work with.
Do – consult with a tax expert regarding your stipends
Tax stipends can get tricky, its best to consult a professional take a look. Let a tax professional do what they do best, so you can stick to what you do best. The last thing you want is to be flagged by the IRS.