Tips for going from Travel Nurse to Permanent Employment

By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

March 26, 2014



Transitioning from Travel Nursing to Permanent Employment

Sponsored by: Aya Healthcare

How to Navigate from travel nurse to permanent employment.

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. If you are questioning it, perhaps it’s time to explore it more thoroughly.

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

Your Resume

The first item that I recommend is that you update your resume.  A travelers 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.  Kyle Schmidt at recommends a total overhaul of your resume to comply with the Applicant Tracking System that most hospitals use for employment applications.  He offers some great advice, including how to organize your travel nurse experience into the re-vamped resume.

Tax Free Reimbursements

Many travelers utilize travel nursing as a means to seek a new home for re-location 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 you with 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 with a tax professional for additional information on IRS Tax home compliance.

Non-Compete Clauses

Whether you are aware of it or not, most agencies these days have non-compete clauses in their contracts. These clauses generally go both ways: Between the hospital and the agency and between the traveler 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 of time 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.


Sponsored by: Aya Healthcare

Our mission at Aya Healthcare is simple. When you’re happy, we’re happy. We put our heart and soul into creating the best possible travel nursing experience.  With over 10,000 open assignments spanning all 50 states, we can place you where you want to go, like sunny San Diego or near your favorite aunt in her small, quaint town in Ohio.  We have an expert team to guide you and help you accomplish your travel nursing goals.  You need help with licensure. We do that. Want assistance relocating? We’re on it. Dream of showing up to a beautiful, fully furnished apartment in your new city without lifting a finger? Done.

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