Travel Nurse Contract: Time to Seal the Deal!

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By The Gypsy Nurse

August 8, 2018

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Step #13: Sealing the Deal

You have come a long way.  You’ve completed steps 1-12 and are ready to move on to the next step; Sealing The Deal.  At this point, you need to know what to look for in a travel nurse contract, so you can move on to the exciting part: traveling to a new location!

Review the Travel Nurse Contract

First, make certain that your contract is acceptable.  Generally, if something is presented differently in your contract from what it was prior to submitting for the job, it is a simple clerical error the agency will need to fix. When you verbally accept an offer, it is contingent on the written contract being acceptable. If the written contract is unacceptable, simply tell your recruiter that you will accept it only if XYZ is changed. If they don’t change those things and provide you with a NEW contract, don’t accept and move on to another company.

Expert Tip:

Understand all aspects of the contract. Once signing the travel nurse contract, you are held to all of the terms of the contract.

In Step #11, we went through preliminary contract negotiations.  This was all done verbally; hopefully, you took some notes along the way.  Once you tell a recruiter that you want to accept the position, they will draw up a written contract for you.  It’s important that you READ your contract thoroughly.  Make certain that all the ‘promises’ that you discussed with the recruiter are included before signing the travel nurse contract.  No matter how small the issue, if it’s important to you, make certain that it’s written into the contract.  Go through your notes and check off each item that was agreed upon with the recruiter once you verify that it is addressed in the contract.

It’s also important that you understand everything that is in your contract. If there are items that you find confusing or don’t understand, ask your recruiter to explain. Once you sign the contract, you are held to all of the terms of the contract.

What to Look For in a Travel Nurse Contract:

  • Guaranteed Hours
  • Start and end date
  • Cancellation policy and maximums
  • Agreed time off
  • Missed hour penalties (sickness)
  • Housing location or stipend amount
    • This should include any housing promises, i.e., washer/dryer, TV, etc.
  • Hourly, holiday and overtime rates
  • Shift and unit
  • On Call requirements
  • Travel reimbursements and date of distribution
  • Floating agreements
  • Any benefits offered
  • Any penalties for early termination need to be detailed and understandable.

Before signing the travel nurse contract, take time to read it thoroughly. If you have someone you trust, you could have them read through the contract as a double check.

If there are issues with the contract, inform your recruiter immediately and DO NOT sign.  Once the contract has been corrected to your liking, there is usually a way to sign and submit it digitally.  Always opt to email yourself a copy of the signed contract, just in case you need it.

Communication on All Submissions

You have probably submitted for more than one position with most likely more than one company.  It’s important to remember that you should make certain to notify all parties once you have accepted a contract.  Give your respectful declinations to any companies that you are not going to be working with and let them know that their hard work was appreciated and you will check with them when your contract is coming to a close. If there are submissions pending, ask them to withdraw them.

Don’t burn bridges here. Simply communicate professionally. This is a business, and if you’ve been upfront about working with multiple companies, it’s expected that you may rotate through a few different companies depending on job availability and your needs.

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