Tips for going from Travel Nurse to Permanent Employment

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By The Gypsy Nurse

March 26, 2022



Transitioning from Travel Nursing to Permanent Employment

Sponsored by: Aya Healthcare

Permanent employment?  I thought I was supposed to be learning how to TRAVEL.

There comes the point when you may want to get off the road and set down some roots again. Perhaps you want to branch out into another specialty or try a different setting? All of these may require a transition from travel nurse to permanent employment.  But how do you know that this is the right choice?  You probably don’t. Perhaps it’s time to explore it more thoroughly if you are questioning it.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you get ready to transition from travel nursing to permanent employment to make the transition go a little smoother.

How to Navigate from travel nurse to permanent employment.

Your Resume

The first item that I recommend is that you update your resume.  A travel nurse’s resume is much different than a resume for a permanent job. Employers are not looking to see how well you transition from place to place. They are seeking information on your long-term skills. Ask yourself, “What skills has travel nursing given me?”  This could include equipment, procedures, types of facilities, etc. Focus on these items.

permanent employment

Tax-Free Reimbursements

Many travel nurses utilize travel nursing as a means to seek a new home for relocation purposes.  Many reasons might require the move from travel nurse to permanent employment. Perhaps a spouse has obtained employment in a new city, or a family member needs someone close by. Travel nursing is a great way to scope out a new area without making a firm commitment.

One of the best ways to scope out a new location is to start with a travel nursing assignment. A travel nursing agency can help you find a job and provide free accommodations or a housing subsidy. At the same time, you look for a permanent home and offer reimbursement for some of your travel expenses.

To comply with the IRS rules for obtaining these tax-free allowances, I recommend that you return home after your ‘scouting’ assignment and work at home for a minimum of three months before making the final move.  Please consult a tax professional for additional information on IRS Tax home compliance.

Non-Compete Clauses

Whether or not you know of it, most agencies have non-compete clauses in their contracts. These clauses generally go both ways: Between the hospital and the agency and between the travel nurse and the agency.  So, what is a non-compete clause? The non-compete clause is an agreement between you and the agency (or between the agency and the hospital) that states you cannot work for that particular hospital for a certain period following your contract.  Many times, this is up to a full year.  The hospital can face huge fines/fees if they break this clause.

Don’t despair…

There are ways out of the non-compete. If a hospital wants to employ you as a permanent employee bad enough, they can buy out your contract with the travel agency.  Think of it like a ‘finders fee.’ The agency ‘found’ you, and they want their cut. The other option (since you need to go home anyway to fulfill the tax requirements) is simply waiting out the non-compete.

Please be aware that it is up to you to know if your travel nursing agency includes a non-compete clause in any of the contracts you sign. If you are unsure after reading your contract, ask your recruiter.  You can also ask the recruiter to remove these clauses before accepting a position. Depending on the company and your relationship with them, they may be willing to eliminate it.

A few staffing agencies out there that not only staff for temporary assignments but also do permanent employment. Connecting with one of these companies may make the transition a bit smoother.

Interested in a travel nursing job? Our job board is a great place to search for assignments, and if housing is an issue, our housing page can help. It’s time to make a difference!

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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