Why should you do a travel nurse contract evaluation?
In keeping with the Nursing Process of Assessment, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation – it’s time for your Travel Nurse Contract Evaluation.
If you have been following the Travel Nurse Guide steps, you have already began this process of contract evaluation. The evaluation of your Travel Nurse contracting process is an important step to ensure that each contract will be better planned, more organized and a better fit each time.
It may take several contracts before you feel like you have a good handle on what makes you happy as a travel nurse. Don’t become discouraged, I’m still learning after many years of Travel Nursing.
Let’s just review all the steps in the process:
- Assessment Starts Here: Step #1: Determine Why You want to Travel
- Planning Starts Here: Step #6: Building your Travel Portfolio
- Implementation Starts Here: Step #19: Arrival On Location
We will discuss three parts in the evaluation phase. Your travel nurse contract evaluation truly began around Step #19, when you started the contract. This is when you begin to decide about continuing your Travel Nurse career.
Travel Nurse Contract Evaluation Part I
There are several factors that need to be addressed in collecting data. I’m going to break it down into three area’s.
- The Hospital
- The Agency
I suggest that you take a notebook and jot down the items that you feel need improvement (or you can print this article and jot your notes on the print-out).
(By evaluating the facility, it will assist you to determine what types of facilities provide a good fit for you.)
- Was the hospital/facility ‘comfortable’ for you?
- If you were in a large teaching facility; did you enjoy the atmosphere?
- Were you overwhelmed? Small community hospital; was it too small? Did you feel ‘at home’ ?
- If you worked in a clinic or outpatient setting, were you happy in this type of environment?
- Did you work as a ‘float’? Did you like this? (Realize that as a travel nurse, you WILL float.
Some positions are actually House Float positions and others are assigned to a specific floor with an occasional float.) Me personally, I do not mind floating but do not want to float every night and so I attempt to avoid ‘float’ contracts. I have a friend however, that loves to work as a house float so she in turn tries to find float positions.
- What did you like and dislike about the hospital?
- Don’t forget to add an hospital review to help other travelers!
Realize when analyzing the hospital, we are looking at your comfort level with the type of hospital/facility you worked at not the individual hospital issues, problems, policies, etc.
- Was your recruiter easy to contact?
- Did the agency respond to calls, emails when needed?
Were the benefits ‘as discussed’?
- Was the contract correct? Did it include everything discussed?
- Was pay correct and on time?
- Did you wish that the recruiter had contacted you more? Less?
- Was there anything that stood out about the agency that you loved? Hated?
- Did the company stand behind you in a tough situation?
- Were any issues handled professionally and expediently?
- Did the company provided benefits meet your needs?
- Did the company provide adequate housing?
- Were you allowed to make up missed shifts?
- Would you recommend the company to another traveler?
- Would you work for this company again?
- Don’t forget to add an agency review to help other travelers!
- How would you rate your ‘happiness’ during the contract?
- Did the contract meet your financial needs?
- Did you make new friends?
- Were you able to enjoy the ‘travel’ aspect of the contract?
- Was the location too far away from family & friends?
- Was the local environment a good fit? Too hot? Too Cold?
- What issues did you have during the contract?
- Did you experience Loneliness?
- Did you have difficulty transitioning to new processes? New Facility? New staff?
- Are you able/willing to work through these issues?
Travel Nurse Contract Evaluation Part II
FACILITY – By answering the questions above, you should be able to determine if you enjoyed the type of facility. In time, you will be able to fine-tune your likes/dislikes.
AGENCY – I always suggest working with more than one company at a time. If you had a negative experience with the company or the company didn’t meet some of your needs, determine if this particular company will remain on your list of preferred companies or not. For example; if the company doesn’t provide affordable health insurance and this is important to you; you may want to mark them off the list and look for a different company.
PERSONAL – Here is the most difficult part. Travel nursing is NOT for everyone. If you don’t feel that travel nursing is a good ‘fit’ for you, don’t stress it. Find a staff job and be proud that you gave yourself a new experience and explored a new career option within nursing. Perhaps you enjoyed it but it just isn’t a good financial choice for you right now? YOUR Happiness is the NUMBER 1 priority. By answering the questions above, hopefully you will determine if Travel Nursing is right for you.
Travel Nurse Contract Evaluation Part III
If the Personal analysis has determined that you want to continue Travel Nursing, It’s time to put your desire into actions. Utilizing your answers to the above questions will assist you to determine what areas of the Travel Nurse Guide you need to review. If you didn’t feel like you had a good fit, don’t worry. It make take several contracts to find the right ‘mix’ of company, location, type of hospital and personal needs. I’ve worked in 15 different states and I have been able to find something enjoyable about each and every contract that I’ve taken. One day…when I find the perfect place; maybe I’ll settle down?
It’s important that you go through a travel nurse contract evaluation after every assignment. Preferences and need change as you grow and get more comfortable with the lifestyle of a traveler.
Now, Wash, Rinse, Repeat…. Some of these steps will go very quickly for you the second, third, fourth….time around, and some will take some additional more serious consideration. Some of the steps you will be able to skip over entirely depending on your personal evaluation responses. Take a look at each of them and make changes where necessary.
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