If you’ve been on assignment for a few weeks and are enjoying the job, it is time to consider extending a travel contract. Whether or not the facility can make that happen depends on patient load, season, and overall need, so work with your recruiter as soon as you think you might like to stay longer so they have time to help you.
Don’t be shy about asking your recruiter to extend your travel contract. If you love where you work, a 13-week contract may not be enough. AB Staffing wants to be sure you are right where you want to be.
Before calling your recruiter about extending a travel contract, ask yourself:
- Do I enjoy the staff at my current facility?
- Am I flexible in terms of night shift vs. day shift?
- Are you enjoying the area’s people, culture, and events?
- Is your family loving their new home?
- Are you forming lasting relationships?
These are all reasons to request a contract extension.
If you’re gaining experience in an area, for example, an ICU nurse working in the ER, from a critical care background, then let’s see if you can stay. The experience will expand the possibilities for your next assignment or job.
How do I ask for a travel contract extension?
Our recruiters are here for you to ask many questions, including if an extension is a possibility. The earlier you call, the better the chances of you being the nurse who can stay on at a facility. We also recommend working with your nursing manager to let them know you are enjoying and learning and would like, if possible, to stay longer.
If for some reason there isn’t an option to extend, asking early will give your recruiter the time they need to find another placement for you.
Take a look at the nursing field and your specialty in particular. Are there hospitals in certain cities or towns in need of nurses? Maybe now isn’t the time to stay in an urban area if the need is in a rural community. During the height of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, we were placing travel nurses and others in crisis contracts in hotspots like New York City. If that need arises, would you want to take that contract or extend where you are now? It’s food for thought.
Work with your recruiter to see what perks may be included in an extension. Do you want to change from night to day shift or vice versa? Would you like additional vacation time? Do you want a week or two off before the next contract starts? Now that they like you, they may be more willing to work with you on these, and other, requests.
Benefits of Extending a Travel Contract
In addition to the benefits that you may negotiate into the new contract, there are other benefits:
- You stay where you are and continue your work with no additional travel or moving costs
- Extended experience at a facility of your choice
- More exploration of the area and culture
- Continued friendships and extension of your network
And who knows, you might even find love or some great lasting friendships! Yes, we’ve heard stories about our travelers finding love on the road, making it an even bigger decision of where they want to work.
When is extending a travel contract a bad idea?
It’s a bad idea if you’re only staying for the social aspect. You’ve got to have continued passion for serving patients. Not only that but if you’re homesick, limited in professional growth, or want to be in a new place every few months, it is likely you will not enjoy an extension.
Extending a travel contract, like making the decision to become a traveler, is a deeply personal one.
We urge you to think about the next 13 weeks long before your contract expires.
- Assess your family situation. Are you needed in your hometown? If there is a big family event happening soon, you might need time off. If that doesn’t work with your contract location, then it might not be the right time for extending a travel contract.
- Make a career plan. Where do you see yourself in six months, one year, etc.? If you want to be closer to home or work in a different facility, then extending may not be the right fit for you.
- Create a budget. Can you afford to move again? Know your own numbers so you can make a decision that’s right for your career and bank account.
Now that you’ve assessed the pros and cons of extending a travel contract, what’s your next move? While there is a lot to consider, extending a travel contract starts with a conversation with your AB Staffing recruiter and making sure your decision is right for you and your family.
Interested in becoming a traveler? Contact us today to learn where we have open positions for travel nurses and other medical professionals.