It’s a great time to become a travel nurse and will only get better from here. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nurse occupation is projected to grow due to the aging population and the increase in long-term care. This growth can help facilities like hospitals solve nurse shortages, and Nurse First can match travel nurses with a wealth of contract opportunities.
With thousands of facilities ready to bring in more help, travel nurses have access to a variety of facilities in each state. So, to help narrow down the many location options, this blog will list 3 major things to consider while picking a facility to work as a travel nurse.
The high number of contract opportunities gives travel nurses the chance to choose a location they may like. A nurse may be limited to whichever state they received a nursing license in after passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCSBN). However, you have the option of choosing a city within your state depending on personal preferences. Some factors to keep in mind while deciding on a location include:
- Job markets – Some locations have a higher demand for nurses, so if you favor a location that has a high demand then you may be able to stay in that location for a longer time.
- Compact states – Although a nursing license is state-specific, some states, such as Alabama, Idaho, and Maine, are classified as compact states. This means receiving a nursing license in one compact state allows a travel nurse to work in another compact state without an additional license.
- After-work activities – Check out the nearby areas of a location to get an idea of life there. How you spend your time off work is essential to enjoying the new location, so look around ahead of time to get a feel of the area.
At the end of the day, the best way to ensure your next facility is in a location that you like is by researching. Most locations will have a facility appealing to you, so understanding the market and surrounding areas can help you narrow down your search. Check out our online job board to view open positions specific to your state.
While one hospital may offer a 7 am-3 pm shift, another may offer 7 am-5 pm, and you may prefer one shift length over another. Many facilities determine the hours on the job posting, but some leave the hours up for discussion during interviews.
Keep in mind that Nurse First signs an HCP Agreement with the facilities we work with, which allows the facility to call you off for a specific number of hours. However, Nurse First also bills them for the excess hours if the facility goes beyond the number of hours specified. This ensures the nurses we work with are guaranteed the hours specified in the contract. For more information regarding this uncommon situation, check out our FAQ here.
Another major thing to consider while picking a facility is the contract length, a factor that facilities state in the job description. When a facility plans to bring in a travel nurse, they already have a plan for the contract length. Be sure to check the length on the job posting, including the start date and the end date, because some contracts can be as short as 4 weeks or as long as 12 and 13 weeks.
Once a travel nurse contract has concluded, and if you would like to, you can always check with the facility to see if they would like to keep you on longer. Otherwise, Nurse First allows travel nurses to stay on the supplied health insurance for a short gap. That way, you don’t have to worry about finding another position as soon as possible—take your time to find the best facility for you.
Choosing a facility can be difficult when many appeal to you, so we hope this blog helps you narrow down your search. If you’re ready to start your journey, click here to contact us now or check out our job board for the latest travel nurse jobs in the top travel nurse locations!