What is Rapid Response Travel Nursing? - The Gypsy Nurse

By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

March 16, 2019

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Rapid Response Travel Nursing

What is Rapid Response Travel Nursing?

Sponsored by: Fastaff

Rapid Response travel nursing
Rapid Response Travel Nursing
Photo: Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

In order to understand what Rapid Response Travel Nursing is, let’s first look at the different types of Travel Nursing.

Types of Travel Nurses

  1. Traditional travel nurses – Generally able to start in 4-8 weeks, contracted for a typical time-frame of 13 weeks.
  2. Rapid response travel nurses – Able to start in 2 days to 2 weeks. Greater flexibility in assignment length, with shorter contracts available.
  3. Strike-nurses – Typically for only a few days or weeks. The sole purpose of providing temporary relief staffing in times of labor disputes.

Why do Hospitals NEED Rapid Response Nurse Staffing?

  • EMR (Electronic Medical Records) Conversions
  • Remote or “hard-to-fill” positions
  • Unexpected acute fluctuation in staffing or patient loads. (Flu season is a good example).

What are the Benefits for the Travel Nurse in doing Rapid Response Nurse Staffing?

  1. Work shorter assignments of 2-8 weeks This can be a great ‘filler’ if you are looking for a contract that is shorter than the average 13 week contract.  Perhaps you had a contract cancelled? Need something right away while you look for a longer contract?  Rapid Response travel nursing is a great way to fill in and make great pay for a shorter contract.
  2. Greater Flexibility in Contract Length Companies like Fastaff Travel Nursing provide the travel nurse with various possibilities. Contracts lengths ranging from short-term 2-4 week contracts to standard contract lengths of 13 weeks or longer.
  3. Earn top pay rates Depending on the severity of the need of the hospital, the Rapid Response Nurse can earn significantly more than the traditional travel nurse.  Furthermore, hospitals look to Rapid Response solutions when their needs are urgent. The increased bill rate hospitals pay is shared with the travel nurse in the form of above average pay. In addition, rapid response staffing agencies like Fastaff Travel Nursing, often negotiate for 48 guaranteed hour work weeks. Factoring in overtime, this can translate into a 50% to 70% increase in total pay over a traditional travel assignment.

What does the Staffing Agency need in a Rapid Response Nurse?

  1. Ready to start quickly
  2. Multiple state Licenses/Compact License
  3. Knowledgeable
  4. Experienced

Ready to start quickly

In order to be available for these Rapid Response needs, the Travel Nurse will need to be organized and make certain that all their paperwork is up to date and readily available.  It’s a good idea to have everything on hand with a Rapid Response Nurse Staffing agency well ahead of time. It’s also recommended to give the agency approval to submit prior to consulting with you.  (This is not recommended with Traditional Travel Nursing).

Multiple state Licenses/Compact License

Being licensed in multiple states or licensed in a Compact State will be a huge benefit to the travel nurse.  Multiple state licenses means quicker placement and more job availability.

It can be costly to maintain multiple licenses. I recommend that you do your research and find out where it’s best to be licensed. It’s also important to note that multiple state or compact licensure is not a requirement for Rapid Response travel nursing.

Another important aspect to remember is that the time needed to obtain licensure varies widely depending on the state. It’s important to think ahead and work to obtain licenses in states that you are interested in working in.  States like NY can take up to 10 weeks or longer for licensing and often have rapid response needs. Don’t miss out on some of these great opportunities. You may be a great fit for an assignment but, if you can’t process your license before the scheduled start date.

Some travel nurse companies will often cover your licensing costs and assist you in obtaining licensure for open positions.

Knowledgeable in multiple types of systems and platforms

Experience in multiple EMR systems is a huge benefit. This will yield you great flexibility as well as availability in obtaining a Rapid Response position.

Experienced Nurse

Rapid Response Travel Nursing is generally utilized to fill an emergency need.  It’s expected that the travel nurse will be able to hit the ground running.  These positions are even more demanding than traditional travel nursing.  Rapid Response Staffing agencies are looking for confident and experienced nurses to fill these needs.  Most agencies will require a minimum of 2 years of recent acute care experience in your specialty.

What to look for in a Rapid Response Staffing Company

  • Proven experience and history of Rapid Response Staffing
  • Joint Commission Certified
  • A company with good staff support in place.

How to get started as a Rapid Response Travel Nurse

Research agencies and sign up with an agency that specializes in Rapid Response Travel nursing like Fastaff Travel Nursing.  Fastaff is a subsidiary of Reliant Healthcare Professionals and has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.  Fastaff pioneered the concept of Rapid Response travel nursing to the healthcare industry in 1989. Search the current rapid response jobs available via Fastaff.


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