Travel Nurse Recruiter: Are They Looking out for My Best Interest?

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By The Gypsy Nurse

October 23, 2017



Ask A Travel Nurse: Travel Recruiter Looking out for My Best Interest?


I am currently on my first travel assignment. For the most part, my experiences have been good. My co-workers are helpful; management has been very supportive, my housing (although small) is adequate and safe.

However, I am experiencing growing pains in adjusting to traveling nursing…

For example, before starting this assignment, I suggested to my recruiter that I get my TNCC. I wanted to get all of my certifications out of the way; this way, I would be ready for any travel assignment.

My travel recruiters responded that in her experience, it was better to wait. No need to get certifications too early. That is was just important to get the first assignment out of the way. During this assignment, I’ve spoken with her about things I should be doing to prepare, and she still cautioned me to wait. As another example, about a month into my current assignment, I told my travel nurse recuriter that I wanted to go to another state that had a long-timed process for obtaining licensure. She didn’t tell me not to get the license but made it seem like I was thinking too prematurely about the process. Well, now I’m in the last four weeks of my assignment. I just put in for my license for one state that says it could take 4-8 weeks to obtain. There is another position that I’m really excited about, in another state, that, of course, wants the TNCC.


Thank you for reading The Gypsy Nurse. You have taken the first step on your journey to becoming A Gypsy Nurse.

It sounds like you have a good first contract experience!  You’ve brought up several issues:

– Relationship with your travel nurse recruiter
– Certifications
– Licensure

I’ll address each of this individually.

Travel Recruiter:  Many travel nurse recruiters aren’t nurses and don’t quite understand what certs you may or may not need. Nor do they generally care.  As long as you have what you need to do the ‘current’ job…this is their focus.  A relationship with a recruiter is very important.  You should be able to trust your recruiter, depend on them to resolve any issues.  Do not rely on them for career advice!

Certifications:  It’s my recommendation that you should obtain any/all certifications that are appropriate for your specialty and keep them updated.  This will only make you more marketable.  As you have seen, not having the appropriate cert can cost you a contract.

Licensing:  There are two trains of thought on licensing.  Licenses are expensive and there is no sense spending the money on a license that you ‘might’ use. I personally do not license until I know I am looking into a particular area; I have gotten licenses that I’ve never used (wasted money in my opinion).  I also do not keep my licenses all renewed.  Only those that I think I may return to.

On the flip side of this…there are a few licenses that are very time-consuming to get: NJ, NY are two of these. If you think you want to work in those areas, licenses are difficult/time-consuming to gI would recommend going ahead and proceeding with the license applications.  In addition, if you need/want to be in a certain area go ahead and get that license.

A couple of articles I would recommend you read over:

Working with your travel nurse recruiter.
Certification Renewals 
Where Should I License?

I would also recommend you check some of the Travel Nurse Resources via PanTravelers  It’s free for basic membership. You can also check out the Travel Nurse Staffing Agency Directory for your Agency research.

I hope that this helps to answer your questions.

I love hearing the opinions of my readers.  Your opinion could be the perfect solution for someone.  Please share your thoughts below in the comments.  Do you have a question for me?  Fill out the Ask A Travel Nurse form and submit your questions.  In addition, if you like what you’ve read here don’t forget to SHARE.

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