When choosing the right travel nurse assignment, there are several considerations. The good news is the choices are up to you, including the people you meet, and the options presented to you. There are requirements such as one to two years of shift experience after nursing school, where you practice as a travel nurse, and how you shape your career is up to you. We understand from our travelers that when they choose the right assignment, they are more fulfilled at work and in their personal lives.
According to this survey of travelers, destination and pay are the most important considerations when choosing the right travel nurse assignment. To help the process, list cities and states where you’d like to work, evaluate travel healthcare agencies, and explore the open positions. We recommend working with an agency like AB Staffing because we will pair you with one recruiter for your journey with us. That way, you can develop a relationship, have one point of contact for questions and feedback, and feel like you have a home base for your career decisions.
What are your preferences?
Travel nursing is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a new opportunity, a way to grow your experience and skills, or are seeking a place to transition from full-time to part-time to retirement. You will find ways to fulfill your life while at the same time finding adventure.
- Which cities and states have you always wanted to visit and explore?
- What do you want to do on your days off? Think museums versus hiking. Think city versus rural adventure.
- What type of climate do you prefer?
- Is there a culture or lifestyle you’d like to experience or a better fit for you?
You will develop a list of places of interest as you explore your preferences. Then, look at the job boards for positions you’re qualified for and the facilities offering the jobs.
- Evaluate the facility and work environment using online searches of their website and employer websites.
- Join Facebook groups and ask others about their general travel nurse experience and specific locations and workplace cultures.
- Review the community, safety, leisure activities, shopping, and living arrangements.
- Consider options for your family, whether pets, people, or a combination.
- Ask if the agency assists with finding housing. AB Staffing has Housing Specialists, but not all agencies offer this service.
If you’re living on a reservation in Arizona, you may be hours away from the conveniences of big box retailers and grocery stores. That means food may cost more and take more time to shop. You may not be able to get the products you like in a short time. The housing cost may be less because you live in a rural area, so there is a balance. You may have quick access to shops but higher rent in an urban area.
What happens after you choose an agency?
Once you’ve chosen the agency, you will work with a recruiter or multiple recruiters, depending on the agency, to identify opportunities that match your skill set and preferences. Remember that while we work to find the best opportunities, we also need to fill positions in areas of need, so we don’t guarantee dream placements, but we do try our best.
It’s up to you to understand the compensation packages, read the contract for compensation and benefits, and ask your recruiter questions. You will have an hourly rate, an overtime rate, and a stipend. All benefits will be listed, including healthcare. You are paid as a contractor, which means you are responsible for paying taxes, so remember to save as you go. Our recruiters are always available to answer questions.
We have articles on our website, including What to Know Before You Start Travel Nursing, How to Budget as a Travel Nurse, and How to Save Money as a Travel Nurse, where we offer tips and best practices for personal finances.
Ask your recruiter for advice and see if you can speak to another provider who works for us at the same facility to get a first-hand experience. At the very least, it can take away the first day jitters if you know what to expect.
We hear from our travelers that when they choose the right travel nurse assignment, they meet people with whom they stay connected long-term, gain personal fulfillment helping those in need, and experience new places they may not have been able to see otherwise.
We look forward to working with you and helping you choose your next travel nurse assignment!