What Your Travel Nurse Recruiter Wants/Needs/Expects From You

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

April 4, 2021

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What Your Travel Nurse Recruiter Wants/Needs/Expects From You

Learning what your travel nurse recruiter wants/need/expect is an important aspect of building a mutually beneficial relationship.  Just as it’s important for our recruiters to know what we are looking for in them or expect out of them, it’s important to know what is important to them as a recruiter.

Do you know what your recruiter wants from you?  Do you know what qualities they feel they need in a travel nurse?  Are the recruiter’s expectations known to you?

I recently consulted with several Travel Nurse Staffing Companies. I asked them to answer three simple questions to understand better how to help a recruiter build an effective working relationship.

I asked…

1. What do you WANT from a traveler?
2. What do you NEED from a traveler?
3. What do you Expect from a traveler?

I received some great responses from the recruitment side of things.  Some were expected, and some were surprises.  Here are the recruiters that responded and their answers.


Jason Sagehorn, Recruiter at Triage Staffing

I think it comes down to a few things. While experience and work history will always play a role, hospitals are placing a greater emphasis on flexibility. The traveling nursing pool is stocked with qualified candidates, and competition for jobs is fierce.  The more flexible a candidate can be, the better chance they have of landing positions, regardless of experience.

Another thing is communication, understanding, and teamwork. I kind of group these all together. I want nurses to feel that they are a part of a team. As a Recruiter, my success is directly linked to the success of the RN.  Sitting in Omaha, NE, I do not know what is happening on a day-to-day basis with my travelers unless they communicate and keep me in the loop.  By communicating openly and often, we create “win-win” situations.

As a final thought, the traveling industry is changing and evolving as a whole. Vendor management companies, aka “Third Party Vendors,” are gaining a larger share of hospital contracts than in the past.  The agencies are responsible for paying these “middle” vendors a fee, which affects how we can pay our travelers. While we are all motivated to maximize our earnings (staffing firms, recruiters, and RN’s), we have to keep the current market conditions in mind as we move forward.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 10-years of Recruiting, it’s that the medical staffing world is cyclical.  At the end of the day, there will always be a demand for flexible, dependable, and professional traveling RN’s.


Crystal Lovato, Manager of Recruitment, Freedom Healthcare Staffing

My Top 10

1.     Honesty is the most important to me.
2.     Mutual respect.
3.     An understanding that this is a team effort and we each do our part.
4.     Realistic expectations
5.     Honoring a commitment – If a traveler backs out of an assignment after accepting, there should be a good cause.
6.     Honor the rate/package negotiated upon submission – As a recruiter, I never renegotiate after the offer.
7.     Good patient care
8.     Professionalism – Be a good representative of our agency
9.     Being cooperative with Quality Assurance
10.  Communication – If there is a question, issue, concern, I need to know asap.  I can’t fix what I’m not aware of.

Andy Wuebben, Senior Recruiter TotalMed Staffing


I want a traveler that is friendly, professional, and courteous. This is a working relationship, so trust and honesty are the most important things to make a successful long-term recruiter/nurse relationship work.

need a traveler with at least 1 year’s experience in whatever specialty they want to travel and preferably past travel experience. I also need them to be flexible and be able to open to helping the facility in whatever way possible.

expect a traveler to be upfront and honest with me about what they have going on. We are working very hard, spending a lot of time helping locate job opportunities, and an open line of communication and consistent updates if their situation changes are crucial to a successful relationship. The worst thing that can happen is for us to have someone submitted and push for a phone screen only to find out that our facility calls them they have accepted another position that we have no idea about.

Beth Ann Turner, Senior Recruiter TotalMed Staffing

I want a traveler:

  • That communicates well and will return a phone call/text promptly.
  • Who is open to getting to know their recruiter personally
  • Who isn’t afraid to try new places for a contract even if it isn’t their “perfect” location.

I need a traveler:

  • To put their best foot forward on a new contract.

I expect a traveler:

  • To commit to deadlines on paperwork.
  • Will show up to work on time and have reliable attendance.

Tom Horan, Recruiter TotalMed Staffing

  • I WANT a traveler that is open-minded and positive
  • I NEED a reliable traveler
  • I EXPECT a traveler to be honest about their needs/plans/etc.

Donald Kinsey, Recruiter TotalMed Staffing

  • I WANT a traveler that is  motivated and energetic
  • I NEED a traveler that has experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm.
  • I EXPECT a traveler to be flexible.

Erin Penza, Recruiter TotalMed Staffing

  • I WANT a traveler that is hardworking
  • I NEED a traveler that has good communication skills
  • I EXPECT a traveler to be able to adapt to different situations at the hospital and be flexible

Jason Palleria, Senior Recruiter TotalMed Staffing

  • I WANT a traveler that is experienced and knows the ins and outs of travel.
  • I NEED a reliable traveler that does not need a lot of push to have items completed.
  • I EXPECT a traveler to use me as their main resource for ANYTHING!!!

Andrew Johnson, Recruiter TotalMed Staffing

  • I want a traveler that is energetic, motivated and enjoys their profession.
  • I need a traveler with at least 2 years of experience, past travel experience, and who worked within their specialty in a clinical setting within the past year.
  • I expect a traveler to keep an open communication line with me, always letting me know if they have any concerns.

I want to thank the companies and recruiters that contributed to this post.  I feel that it’s important to have a mutually respectful relationship with your recruiter.  Besides informing your recruiters what your wants/needs/expectations are, find out what your recruiter wants/needs/expects.

Recruiters reading this, feel free to post in the comments what your wants/needs/expectations are.  Gypsy nurses everywhere need to know…

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