This article was provided by TheraEX Staffing Services.
Travel nursing is a great way for nurses to gain experience, travel the country, and earn an above-average income. While there are numerous benefits of traveling, achieving success comes down to choosing the right travel agency. Most travelers will sign up to work with a couple of different agencies to ensure that they are maximizing the advantages. So, how do you know if a travel company is the right fit? Here are six ways to know if you are working with the right travel nurse agency.
Strong and Long-Standing Reputation
Due to the growing popularity of travel nursing, there are a wide variety of companies to choose from. Throughout all industries, anyone can start a business. This means that there are both low and high-quality companies to work for. Aim to choose a stable agency with a positive history of reviews by fellow travelers. There are several websites and nursing blogs that list and share testimonials on top-rated travel companies, which can help you determine which are most desirable.
When first starting out with a new company, it’s important to decide whether you need benefits. Will you need a retirement account or health insurance? When do the benefits take effect? How expensive are they? Some companies provide benefits at day one, while others require travelers to wait a full 30 days before gaining access. Additionally, does the company offer to set up housing or rental car services at the location? For those who require benefits, these are essential questions to ask during the decision-making process.
Sick Time and Quarantine
COVID-19 has sparked a lot of discussion for travelers on how to approach a mandatory quarantine when your company does not offer any paid sick leave. Since the traveler will not receive payment during that time, this can be a financial concern. Furthermore, what is the company policy for calling out sick? Some companies charge a ‘missed shift fee’ for each day that the traveler does not work when they are scheduled to come in. Understanding these policies in advance can provide key insights on anticipated and unanticipated time off.
Does the company have travel contracts in desired locations? Keep in mind that an agency can be excellent in other ways but not be located in an area where the traveler wants to work. Many companies will not share details on their contracts until a traveler agrees to work with them, while others will post locations publicly. If a traveler does not have a strong preference on the particular setting, this may not be an issue.
Serving as a driving force for pursuing the travel nurse path, payment is a critical factor in the selection process. Transparency around contract rates is one way to determine whether your company is compensating nurses fairly. It is also important to compare apples to apples. If a company is offering a weekly rate that seems high, break down the individual pay structures to make an accurate comparison. For example, the weekly rate may also include housing stipends, travel reimbursement, call pay, overtime, and holidays. Focusing on individual pay structure will give you a better idea of how much money is involved in the entire contract.
Recruiters are the primary contact for the company, and it is critical to maintaining a good relationship with these individuals. However, the first recruiter you work with will not always be a perfect match. It is completely acceptable to request a different recruiter if you are happy with the company but not thrilled with the recruiter. It is also important to honestly communicate your expectations around frequency and methods of communication, as well as what you are looking for in a travel assignment. It is crucial to fully trust the individual who is lining up your next travel assignment and managing all of its complexities.
Choosing the right travel nurse agency comes down to a traveler’s unique preferences. While every agency won’t offer the same experience, plenty of companies will provide the type of benefits, locations, recruiters, and contracts you’re looking for. Be sure to do your research before making a decision, and keep in mind that completing one contract with a company does not mean you have to stick around. Take the time to compare the advantages of different agencies to determine the best fit for you and your travel lifestyle.
If you are a new travel nurse or a veteran travel nurse looking for an agency, click here to check out all that TheraEx Staffing Services has to offer their travel nurses.