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How Do I Choose A Travel Nurse Company To Work With?

Aug 17, 2007
There are hundreds of travel companies to choose from and it is extremely important to shop before you choose a company.

Plan to start looking for a company a few months before your plan to travel. You will need all that time to interview a few companies, get your license for the state you choose to work in, fill out all the paperwork, submit your file, which is done by the company you choose, interview with the hospital, and make preparations to head off on your new journey. First time travel takes the longest time. After that it is a piece of cake!

There are a few ways to look for a travel nursing company. One option is to look up travel nursing companies online and give them a call personally. Another option is to send in your contact information and application for the company online. If you choose to apply online, be aware that as soon as you provide the companies with your phone number, they will be calling you again and again to persuade you to choose them. If you decide to call them yourself, you do not have to give your number until you have interviewed them about their benefits, locations, or anything you would like to ask them.

It might be helpful to make a list of everything you are looking for in your first assignment. If you want free housing, write it down. If you want early move it, write it down. If you want insurance, which most companies offer anyway, write it down. If you want your travel expenses paid for, or if you do not want insurance but want to compensate for something else, write it down. If you primarily do not know what to ask them, simply ask them what they offer. Let them sell themselves to you and write down everything they are willing to offer you. From there you may have more questions to ask.

Some travel companies are affiliated with one another. For example, American Mobile is a sister company to Nurse RX, Preferred Health Care, Medical Express and a few others. All the affiliated companies usually have the same rules, benefits, and contracts with the same hospitals. So, it is important, especially in the beginning, to interview companies that are not affiliated with each other. There are hundreds of other companies, such as, INA, Fast Staff, and Cross Country, which have different benefits and other options for housing, insurance, and hospitals that may be more suitable for you. There are also companies that do only local traveling. If you are planning on staying in a specific city or even a state for a longer period of time, you may want to try interviewing a local travel company which might be more beneficial to you.

After you feel like you may want to work with them, want more information, or want to speak to a recruiter from that company, you can give them your contact information.

After speaking to a few recruiters, you will get a feel of which recruiters you might have clicked with. But do not choose just yet!! There might be a possibility that you may like the first recruiter you speak to. It is encouraged that you give other companies and other recruiters a chance to interview and answer all your questions before making your decision. Ask them anything and everything you want so you know which company offers you more or what you need and want. For example, some companies offer great housing but if you do not want their housing and want the stipend instead, they may not offer a good deal for that. Where as another company might offer you more stipends and not free housing. It all depends on what your needs are.

Another very important factor before choosing a company is how well you get along with the recruiter. That is the key!! The better relationship you have with your recruiter, the more he/she will be willing to work with you and offer you more. You must always remember that the travel nursing companies are in this business to make money. Rest assured they will not loose any money by helping you get more.Whether it is money or other benefits like travel expenses or extra furniture or early move in. When you need something, all you have to do is ask. It is extremely important that you give the recruiters a clear idea of what you want, what is important to you and what you need.

Once you have interviewed different companies and spoke to several recruiters, you can start narrowing down your options for your first assignment. Check your list you made previously about everything you are looking for and everything the companies are offering you, as well as which recruiters you built a good relationship with and try to pick out at least 3 companies you would like to work with. Each company has its own contracts with various hospitals in many different cities. One company might have a contract with the hospital you may want to go to and another may not and vice versa. So typically it might be a good idea to keep in touch with a few companies and build a good relationship with all the recruiters.

Once you have figured out which company is offering you what you want and the recruiter you are most comfortable with, you can go ahead and let them know that you are willing to work with them and start filling out all the paperwork they need from you.

On the other hand, you may come across a situation where one company is offering you one benefit and another may be offering you another benefit. This is when you can negotiate. This may be hard for the first time travelers but do not be afraid to ask for what you need and want. For example, one company might give you free housing, and not pay for your travel expenses and another company may give you free housing and pay for you your travel expenses but you would rather work with the previous company because you like the recruiter more. You can always let that recruiter know that you are also talking to other companies and they are offering you more but you would really like to work with them. More likely, the recruiter will find a way to make that work and give you the extra money that you need just so you choose them. Do not be afraid to let the recruiters know that you are also shopping around for a better deal. This will make them try to get you the best deal you are looking for.

After you have chosen to the travel nursing company you want to work with for you first assignment, make sure the deal that you have made with the recruiter is stated clearly in your contract and do not sign it until it is exactly what you had discussed.

Once you have chosen the company and the assignment, you are getting ready to be on you way for your first travel nursing assignment.

It might also be a good idea to try a few different companies for the first few assignments before you decide to stay with one.Especially if you are planning on traveling for at least a few years.
About the Author
Mrs. Kamadia is currently traveling the country while working as a travel nurse. Most of her expenses are paid for and she only works 3 days a week. To learn how visit her travel nursing website.
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