Travel Nurse Contracts: What is in The Fine Print?

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

February 24, 2019



Travel Nurse Contracts: What’s in the Fine Print?

Travel Nurse contract fine print can include many important factors. Make sure to go over the fine print in detail.

If you are about to embark on the exciting path of life as a travel nurse, then it is important that you understand everything you can about your employment. It can be very confusing to navigate the different packages, travel nurse contracts, and offers from various sources. Just as you would take on a “buyer beware” mentality when shopping for a significant item, you need to be wary of the contract you agree to for employment.

Travel Nurse Contract Fine Print

What’s in the Fine Print?

Getting caught up in anticipation of a new assignment in a place you have always wanted to visit is easy. You must stay grounded and evaluate the contract so that all expectations are agreeable and satisfied. Try not to be over-anxious. Look through your contract carefully. Ask for clarification when you are unsure.

Contract Details to Double-Check

Here are several areas that may be included in a travel nurse contract. It’s important to compare this list to your contract.  Have a conversation to ensure your contract meets your needs and that you can deliver appropriately.

  • Guaranteed hours
  • Specific hourly rate
  • Specific overtime rate
  • Clear definition of how overtime is defined
  • Missed hours penalties and charge-backs
  • Non-compete clauses and exclusivity clauses
  • Contract cancellation penalties
  • When and where you will be working
  • Reasonable start date
  • Bonuses, license reimbursement, and travel pay explanations
  • Benefits, including medical benefits, housing, utilities for that housing, travel expenses
  • Allowances for meals and incidentals
  • When will insurance/medical benefits go into effect? (if offered)
  • Will housing be private or shared?
  • What housing amenities are provided?
  • Floating expectations—how often and what units?

Additionally, when comparing different offers, you must look at them in totality—the big picture. It may not make sense to compare the hourly rate. A lower hourly rate may be the better offer if the value of other benefits makes up for the difference. For example, $40 an hour with no health benefits is likely a less attractive deal than $36 an hour with full medical coverage. The $4 an-hour difference is not enough to get full medical coverage on your own.

Be your best advocate. Ask questions and negotiate for a situation that works for you. In conclusion, if you feel you are being mistreated or need professional guidance with legal contract matters, you could contact the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations (NATHO).

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