You already know the benefits of travel nursing—exploring the country, creating a stellar resume, making more money, and obtaining personal and professional experiences you can’t get anywhere else. With all the opportunities that come with travel nursing and the increasing demand for travel nurses, you may consider entering the industry yourself.
Finding a travel nursing agency that you feel comfortable with is important as a traveler. Your agency and travel nurse recruiter will majorly impact your experience as a travel nurse, so it’s important to understand what to look for before making a decision. Determining the best travel nurse agency to work for requires some research, a bit of your nursing assessment skills, and intuition. There are three things to look for during your research that every top-tier agency has in common.
Three Things to Look for in a Top Travel Nurse Agency
Variety of Travel Nurse Jobs
The more contracts a travel nursing agency has, the more likely you will get the best job placements as a travel nurse. They will also have a range of travel nurse assignments that can fit your needs and skill set. If their job postings are up-to-date and a travel nursing position that’s piqued your interest is unavailable, good agencies will have a way to alert you about the most current, similar jobs so you can apply promptly.
Some larger travel nursing agencies will also have exclusive staffing contracts at some of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals and medical centers. These exclusive assignments allow you to get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience in your nursing career. If you are seeking specialty assignments, ensure your agency has diverse offerings. Some travel nurse specialties are in greater demand and provide more lucrative pay rates; you will want your agency to be attuned to that.
Knowledgeable and Friendly Recruiters
Honestly, a travel nurse recruiter can make or break your experience with an agency. They are your lifeline and should ensure that you have all the resources and information you need when you start traveling. Before committing to an agency, interview your potential recruiter and ask many questions—you want to find out what they can do for you while building rapport and establishing a relationship. Travel nursing recruiters serve as your sounding board, advocate, and partner throughout your journey, so having one that is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and friendly is critical when selecting a travel nurse agency. If you feel that your travel nurse recruiter isn’t responsive to you or you’re unsure of what your agency will do for you, it’s probably a sign to pick another staffing company.
Perks and Benefits
Depending on what you’re looking for and would like to have, it can be challenging to filter through the long list of travel nurse agencies. Nurse staffing agencies will often list average pay rates for their job postings, but that is just part of your overall compensation, and these amounts will vary by contract. Some companies package taxable and nontaxable monies differently, so take the time to ask.
Nurse First provides health, vision, and dental insurance that starts the first day of your contract and covers gap insurance if travelers decide to take a small break. Travelers with Nurse First are also eligible for bonuses, including a referral bonus after they complete their first travel nursing contract.
The most important thing is to find a company you trust, with a staff that can provide great job placements and support throughout your travel nursing journey. Listen to your gut, and don’t settle for less! If you’re still exploring your agency options, learn more about Nurse First, browse our travel nurse jobs or top travel nursing locations for various travel nursing opportunities.