Okay great, you think you’d make a great fit for becoming a travel nurse, now what?
The next step is finding the right agency and recruiter for you. If you were to Google “travel nurse company,” you would get an overwhelming 156 million results (woah!). Where do you start? I first signed up with three companies to better my chances of getting a contract that I wanted (specific city, shift, and floor acuity). Other travel nurses had advised me to do this and I chose companies that my friends had gone with and had success. If you go with more than one, just be prepared that you will get an endless number of calls, texts, and emails from recruiters. It’s like your crazy, desperate, ex-boyfriend that is trying to get you back. They will try anything to get you to sign a contract with them. Just remember, they need you more than you need them.
The company I ended up going with was the one that found me the job first. Easy as that, right? Wrong. That was a dumb mistake. I did not do any research on this company nor research what good pay was or what benefits they provided (such as license reimbursements, insurance, bonuses, etc). This company provided me with NOTHING extra. They made me pay for my license for the state I was traveling to (+$130) and they did not provide any incentive for completing or extending my contract. I didn’t know this was even an option when I started, but now that I am with a company that DOES offer all of these things, it is such an amazing difference.
Also, make sure your recruiter is personable and checks in on your well-being. It’s so important to have a good relationship with them because they are your best resource! The big takeaway here is do your research. A resource I found very helpful is the “Travel Nursing Newbies” Facebook page. There is a ton of information and opinions on recruiters, pay, benefits, and advice that will help you with your first assignment. Definitely go and check it out!