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smiling nurse using laptop to look for information about travel nursing agencies

5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Travel Nursing Agency

There are many questions you need to have answered as you try to choose your travel nursing agency. Of course, you can change agencies if you have worked with one and have an unhappy experience, but it is much simpler to make the right decision the first time about your travel agency for nurses. Here are five of the major questions you need to be sure you address.  

How long has the agency been in existence and is it reputable?

Do some research, both online and by asking other travel nurses for their input. All of the larger agencies have websites with information about the beginning of their business, how they conduct business, and some of the companies they provide staffing for. Some agencies only do healthcare staffing while others staff for a wide variety of industries. 

Are you comfortable with the recruiter?  

You must get along with your recruiter. It is best if your recruiter has worked in healthcare or travel nursing so he or she will understand what it is like to be in your shoes. Be honest and respectful with your recruiter so you can get those basic courtesies returned to you. Your recruiter is the person who establishes where, what, and when you are going to work. The recruiter can make your travel nurse experience with that agency wonderful, or not so great.

What do the salary and benefits package for a travel nurse look like?

There have been some rumors about RNs in New York City getting paid $75 per hour and a $2,200 housing stipend. These may be unsubstantiated, but travel nurses do get paid more than staff nurses. Some agencies offer not only excellent salaries but also 100% housing stipends, health insurance, retirement plans, prescription cards, paid vacations, and travel expenses. See the full list of benefits and openings at New Directions Staffing.

How is housing handled?

This is one area you need to be sure you discuss with any agency. Housing expenses can be handled in several different ways, so make sure you understand how each agency normally handles them. Housing expenses can affect your salary. You also need to know the norm so you know when you need to ask for an exception. Here are some of the ways agencies handle housing:

  • The agency always handles the housing. They arrange accommodation, reservations, and directly pay the housing bills. The nurse only needs an exception if she has family or friends to stay with instead.
  • The agency pays nurses a stipend for housing. The nurse can pick where she wants to stay. If the rent is less than the stipend, she can save some money for herself. 
  • The agency pays a higher salary and the nurse arranges her own housing.

What if I decide to go full-time at the hospital where I am travel nursing?

If you accept an offer from the hospital where you work, you must first complete your travel nurse contract. Then you would be free to take a full-time permanent position anywhere you would like. This comes up when a travel nurse finds a great opportunity or when a nurse gets tired of traveling or falls in love and needs to put down roots.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent release of two vaccines to help combat its spread, there has never been a better time for travel agencies for nurses. If you are an RN, and especially if you have a specialization, many hospitals are looking for you. Contact our experts at New Directions Staffing to find out how you can get started.

travel nurse

3 Tips for Picking Your Next Travel Nurse Assignment

Working as a travel nurse means that you have the opportunity to travel to various locations for your job and meet new people. Although it’s possible to find a job that’s close to home, most travel jobs will take you to a brand new city or state. If you have a preference for where you would like to work in the country, there are a few things you can do to help you choose the best location for travel nursing jobs. 

Three Factors to Consider when Choosing Your Next Travel Nurse Job 

Travel nursing jobs are only temporary, but they can last for several weeks or months at a time. Therefore, the city you choose to travel to will need to be one that you will feel comfortable living in for a while. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when you start browsing the job listings from travel nurse agencies. 

The Climate 

A sudden change in climate can take a while to get used to. And if you don’t tolerate weather that is too hot or too cold, the climate of a certain area could have an impact on whether you take a job there or not. If you have a difficult time with intense heat, for example, a job in the southern states may not be the best option. If you don’t like driving in the ice and snow, a job in the north wouldn’t work well for you. It’s a good idea to think about the type of climate you prefer and the time of year you will be working when you apply for a travel nursing job. 

Things to See and Do 

While your job as a nurse will take up a lot of your time, you will still have days off and time to do the things you enjoy. If you like hiking or visiting the local parks, it would be nice to work in an area that is close to a recreational area. If you enjoy shopping or socializing with others, you may be interested in taking a job in a major metro area instead of a small town. Taking a job that allows you to stay close to grocery stores and other places you’ll visit often is also something to think about since you will be very busy, and may not want to travel far to pick up groceries or other necessities. 

How Far Away Are You Willing to Travel?

Travel nursing jobs can be across town or across the country. It all depends on how far you are willing to travel. If you have family or other dependents at home, you probably will not want to travel too far for too long. But if you live alone and have nothing to keep you in one location, you could travel as far as you wanted for a nursing job. 

The distance between your current home and your temporary job is completely up to you. There are several travel nursing jobs available and you can find one that meets all your individual needs so that you can earn a good income while enjoying your life. 

Find the Right Travel Nurse Assignment at New Directions Staffing 

If you are interested in a unique career change, travel nursing may be for you. You have the opportunity to help out your fellow nurses while traveling to brand new and exciting places. New Directions Staffing has the latest listings for travel nurse jobs throughout the country at competitive rates. Find out more by visiting our website today.