What a Common Travel Nurse Contract Looks Like and What You Can Expect

So you’ve decided to join the fantastic world of travel nursing. Congrats! The life of a travel nurse is teeming with opportunities to fulfill your wildest dreams. But, before you take off into the sunset, every traveler must know all the important moving parts within their chosen career.

In the beginning, it can be difficult to understand different pay packages, what to look for in the travel nurse contracts, and a variety of other information from other sources. However, your contract is probably the most important document you will sign as a travel nurse. It lays out your job specifications, responsibilities, and the details of your pay rate—it also serves as a tax document to verify your reimbursements. To ensure you’re prepared for your next travel nurse assignment, we’ll tell you what should (or could) be expected from a contract and even how it should look.

Every facility does its contracts a little differently, but there are a few items that all travel nurse contracts should share. We’ll use Cleveland, Ohio, as an example.

Travel Nurse Job Description

The basic information of the assignment that you may already know. This section should include:

  • Hospital name: UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • City/State: Cleveland, OH
  • Position: L&D
  • Salary (per hour): $34.50
  • Shift: 12-hour shifts, evening (7P-7A)
  • Number of weeks: 13
  • Start/End Date: 8/19/2022 – 11/18/2022

Healthcare Facility Description

A major affiliate hospital of Case Western Reserve University, UH Cleveland Medical Center is a large not-for-profit academic medical complex. UH has provided the residents of Northeast Ohio with expert clinical and hospital care for more than 150 years and is among the nation’s leading academic medical centers. With more than 1,000 registered beds, UH Cleveland Medical Center provides primary, specialty, and subspecialty medical and surgical care. 

Unit Description + Orientation Details

  • Unit Name: Labor and delivery
  • Unit Description: L&D; BLS, ACLS, NRP, Fetal Heart Monitoring Certification; 2+ years experience required—travel experience preferred

This section is unique for different travel nurse contracts and agencies. Depending on the situation, a traveler might not receive an orientation or have a fixed nurse-to-patient ratio. Always ask your travel nurse recruiter and the hiring manager of the facility to verify any lingering questions you may have.

Travel Nurse Benefits

Everyone loves perks. With Nurse First, you’ll receive:

  • Day 1 health insurance options
  • 401(k) with match
  • 100% license and certification reimbursements for required licenses and certifications (as well as assistance obtaining them)
  • Nationwide job opportunities
  • 24/7 access to a Nurse First Travel Agency representative
  • Access to nationally accredited CEUs
  • $1,000 referral bonus for each friend you send our way upon the successful completion of their first contract

Travel Nurse Compensation

A breakdown of where all the money in your pay package comes from.

  • Salary: $34.50/hr
  • Overtime: $63.30/hr
  • Bonus: $20.06
  • First Paycheck: 9/9/2022
  • Last: 12/9/2022
  • Payroll: Direct Deposit

Fun Facts And Activities About The Area (Cleveland)

The City of Cleveland is known for its beautiful parklands, vibrant art and culture scene, musical history, and Cleveland Clinic medical center. It has several sports teams and was the first city to have electricity!

As the second-largest city in the state, travel nurses have a lot to pick from in terms of attractions, entertainment, and of course, delicious food. Don’t leave the city without visiting Little Italy, the Cleveland Arcade, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, West Side Market, or the World’s Largest Rubber Stamp. If the Indians are in town for a home game, head to Progressive Field, and catch an exciting baseball match.

Additional Sections

Everyone needs to be protected, including your travel nurse agency. It shouldn’t surprise you that your contract may include the following.

  • Penalties for Missed Hours. Because your agency has promised a certain number of hours to the hospital, your contract may include a “missed hours penalty” if you call out for any reason. 
  • Penalties for Cancelled Hours. This one is in your favor. Since you were promised a certain number of hours, your contract can include a “canceled hours penalty,” meaning the hospital has to pay you the potential earnings from the canceled shift.
  • Non-Compete Clause. Basically, a stipulation in your contract that limits you from working with another travel nurse agency for a certain time or prohibits your employment by the same hospital of your last travel nurse contract for a while.

Read Everything

This step may be tedious and probably not the most enjoyable, but it’s critical nonetheless. Your travel nursing agency, recruiter, and fellow travelers will all tell you never to skim over any information concerning your travel nursing career, especially the contract. As a legally binding document, a travel nurse contract goes over the duties you will be responsible for in the eyes of the healthcare facility and the agency where you’ll receive your payment. The golden rule to remember is that if it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist!
Many staff nurses are making the leap to the travel nursing world. If you’re ready to hit the road, visit our job board to browse all of our available travel nurse jobs in the top travel nurse locations.

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