Travel Assignment: When to Start Looking

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By Triage Healthcare Staffing

November 9, 2022

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New Year Travel Assignments: Why You Shouldn’t Sleep on Finding One Now

Triage Healthcare Staffing provided this article.

The new year seems so far away, but the reality is that it will be here before you know it. The time of year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s flies by for travel nurses, recruiters, and onboarding specialists, which means waiting to find a travel assignment that starts in January can leave you without a job come the first of the year. If you’re considering taking the holidays off and jumping back into the job market in January, here are a few reasons you should button up your new year positions now.

Why It Can Be Difficult to Find a New Year Travel Assignment

There’s one simple reason why finding a travel assignment in January can be difficult—many travel nurses plan to take time off during the holidays and then get back into the swing of things after the new year. Sounds like a great idea! And it is. Being able to completely customize when you work is one of the greatest perks of travel nursing.

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However, because it’s something that a lot of travel nurses do, it can be harder to find a job right after the holidays. The market is flooded with travel nurses looking for new travel assignments, and recruiters are swamped trying to find their established travel nurses a job. So, if you’re thinking about switching to a new recruiter or agency, right after the new year is not the time to start. If you wait too long to start your January job search, you might be left out entirely and stay out of work longer than planned.

When To Look for a New Year Travel Assignment

It might seem too early, but the time to look for a January travel assignment is actually in October or November, before Halloween or Thanksgiving. If you’re planning on switching to a new agency or recruiter, you should start even earlier because you’ll need time to create your profile or make sure you find a recruiter that you vibe with. (Side note: this is where a Kamana profile is a huge benefit for travelers. The universal Kamana profile can be sent to any agency or recruiter, meaning you’re already ahead of the game.) When you start making these connections before the holiday season begins, you’ll have a better chance of finding a travel assignment where you want to go.

Having something lined up before the holidays allows you to still take time off, but without worrying about what you’re going to do when January rolls around. It also lets you go through the compliance process over a longer period of time, which is important. The folks at your agency, your facility, or even the labs where drug tests are processed like to spend time with their families during the holidays, which can sometimes slow things down. Remember, they’re people, not robots!  

Tips for Finding a New Travel Assignment

Luckily for travel nurses who want to take time off during the holidays, a few things can help them find assignments.

  • Be flexible. Remember that everyone wants to go somewhere warm in cold, dreary January. So, if you’re willing to take assignments in northern states, you’ll probably have an easier time finding one.
  • Start early. Like we said before, getting your January assignment buttoned up ahead of time means you’ll have less competition for the available jobs.
  • Keep your skills current. If you’ve taken off more than a few months, finding a new assignment can be a challenge. It’s not a bad idea to pick up a PRN shift each week at a facility near your home. This keeps your skills current, which makes you a more attractive candidate to facilities.

Looking for a travel nurse agency that will treat you with honesty and candor? Triage Staffing listens to what you want and then shoots you straight. So you can make the decision that’s right for you. To connect with a Triage recruiter, apply for travel nurse jobs on the Triage website.

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step by Step

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