Travel Nursing Agencies: How to Know it's Time to Switch

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September 14, 2022



How to Know It’s Time to Switch Travel Nursing Staffing Agencies

Onestaff Medical provided this article.

As a travel nurse, having a good relationship with your staffing agency is a key part of your success. Not only will your agency help you get the travel nursing assignment you’re looking for, but they’ll also be your best advocate as you move from hospital to hospital.

Sometimes, however, this relationship can turn sour and may no longer be helping you work toward your goals. Not every staffing agency will be a good fit for you, and you might need to switch agencies if you find this to be the case. If you’re unsure what red flags you should look out for, here is how to know it’s time to switch travel nursing agencies.

When Is It Time to Switch Travel Nursing Agencies?

There can be many indicators that your relationship with your travel nursing agency isn’t working out. In general, if you aren’t happy with your current agency and feel that your needs are not being met or heard, it’s time to begin the process of moving on.

You Aren’t Presented Many Options for Assignments

It’s likely time to look for a new travel nursing agency if the one you’re currently working with doesn’t have any job options that align with your goals. Many travel nurses have specific career goals in mind, such as expanding their areas of expertise, trying different nursing specialties, and even traveling to new places for work.

Whatever your career goals are, your agency should have enough opportunities and assignment options available for you to explore. That way, you are more likely to find an assignment you’re excited about.

The Recruiters are Pushy or Rude

Dealing with someone that is pushy or rude is never a good situation. Unfortunately, this can happen with recruiters from time to time, as well. Feeling pushed into taking on a new contract or location that you are not comfortable with will likely lead to a bad experience.

If you feel that your travel nursing recruiter is pushing you to do things you are not comfortable with, they may not be looking out for your best interests. Your relationship with your recruiter is a two-way street, so if your needs and wants are not being heard, this is a sign that your agency may not be the right one for you.

You Can Never Get Ahold of Someone

To be successful, you need to be able to reach your recruiter and get a response in a timely manner. If communication is lacking from your staffing agency, this is likely a sign of a larger organizational problem. You deserve a certain level of service from your recruiter and agency. If you aren’t getting the communication you need, it might be time to consider another agency.

Many recruiters make a habit of checking in on their nurses a few times throughout the course of their contracts. The most critical times to speak with your recruiter are near the very beginning and the end of your contract. During these communications, your recruiter will make sure that things are going well in the new role and help set you up for success as you discuss potential upcoming assignments.

Outside of those two crucial time periods, you may hear from your recruiter a few times. However, if you are unhappy with the level of correspondence, you can always discuss your concerns with your recruiter. Your recruiter is here to support you on your travel nursing journey. Proper communication is necessary to ensure that problems can be resolved in a timely manner and that you are happy throughout your travels.

Documents or Paperwork Are Missing or Late

Just like lack of communication, missing or delayed paperwork can be a sign of a larger organization issue. Getting documents to the hospital you signed a contract with is a vital step to making the contract successful. Late documents can delay the start of your contract, causing you to miss out on shifts and money. Missing paperwork is an even bigger problem and contracts may be canceled entirely for this mistake, leaving you without a job.

Compliance can be a long process for both you and the agency. Hospitals have different requirements and expectations for this process. Because of this, most staffing agencies are aggressive about collecting the documents needed for compliance from you at the early stages of planning new contracts.

If your agency is not asking for your credentials and any required documents they don’t already have, reach out to them and ask about the next steps so your contract is not affected or canceled.

Your Recruiter Doesn’t Put Your Best Interests First

Finally, one of the most important red flags you should look out for to know when it’s time to switch travel nursing agencies is if your recruiter doesn’t put your interests before there’s. Some recruiters are just looking to complete a sale; getting you to say yes to an assignment means more money in their pocket, which can be a primary motivation for some.

If you find yourself in a situation where your recruiter is pushing you to say yes, it’s likely time to ask yourself if they are really meeting your needs or helping you to achieve your goals. If the answer is no, it’s probably best to start looking for another agency that will make you a top priority.

3 Tips on How to Leave a Staffing Agency

Leaving a travel nursing staffing agency can cause a lot of anxiety for some people. It’s never an easy thing to do, especially if you need to tell your recruiter that you are unhappy with their performance. To ensure success, consider these tips to help you quit your travel nursing agency.

1.      Be Polite

You owe it to the recruiter and the agency you are working with to be polite. Even if they have not been kind to you, it’s important to be the bigger person. No matter what has happened, the agency has been a stepping stone to get you where you are. Respecting them as people is the best way to leave the situation with your reputation still intact. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges that may affect you later in your career.

2.      Be Honest

Anything less than honesty helps no one in difficult situations. If there are problems with the agency you are working with, document them and discuss them with your recruiter. It’s best to give the agency your detailed reasons for leaving, since giving feedback can potentially spur positive change for that agency now or in the future. Also, remember to stick to the facts when leaving, and try to keep your emotions at bay.

3.      Be Realistic

If you know it’s time to switch travel nursing agencies, be realistic about the things you want to be different when negotiating a contract with your next agency. While a lack of communication is a fair reason to move on, expecting the new agency to be in constant contact with you about positions is not necessarily realistic. Balance what you want with what you can reasonably expect to get.

Changing travel nursing agencies is not something that should be taken lightly. Consider your wants and needs, what your family needs, as well as your own career goals when making the right decision.

Our recruiters at OneStaff Medical are to help if you’re looking for your next travel nursing agency. Contact us today at 877-783-1483 to learn more!

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.


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