3 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Travel Nurse Agency

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
December 24, 2021
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Travel nursing is an exciting career. With perks like great pay, top-notch hospitals, and the ability to explore the country while working, it's no wonder so many adventurous nurses are seeking travel assignments. 

Are you ready to take the plunge and become a travel nurse? If so, avoid these 3 common mistakes and get the most out of your travel nurse agency.

Don’t Assume All Agencies Are the Same

When choosing a travel nurse agency, it is important to do your own research. You want an agency and a recruiter that are accessible, honest, and take the stress out of travel assignments. A great way to determine if an agency is a good fit for you is to talk to other nurses. Reach out to your nursing contacts and consider using discussion boards and  Facebook groups that cater to travel nurses. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of travel nurse agencies, thoroughly review each agency’s job board. In the current job market, travel nurses are in the driver’s seat, so you should choose an agency that has the type of position, pay, and assignment location you want. This is the moment to seize the best travel assignment. Knowing your options gives you the power to make a decision that is right for you.

Don’t Skim Over the Paperwork

Getting a travel nurse assignment is exciting. Don’t let your enthusiasm for starting your dream job get derailed by not knowing what is expected during the contract. Thoroughly review your contract and follow up with your recruiter about any questions you have. Inquire about credentialing requirements, make sure you understand the onboarding process, and review the policies and procedures of your assignment location before you start. Nothing is worse than showing up the first day of work and not knowing the basics to succeed.

Don’t Fixate on the Hourly Pay Rate

Travel nurse assignments offer fantastic pay, but the hourly rate is not the only thing to consider. You should factor in the medical benefits and sick leave policy that your agency offers. Also, additional perks like paid housing, meal compensation, and on the job support add to the value of your contract. Talk to your recruiter and review all of the benefits associated with your contract before you start.

With increased pay comes increased taxes. Fortunately, there are specific tax benefits that apply to travel nurses. One of the most important steps travel nurses can take to protect their assets is to understand the concept of a tax home. Per IRS guidelines, when travel nurses have a tax home that is different from the location of their travel assignment, benefits like paid housing and meal compensation are not taxable. Not having to pay taxes on your housing and meal compensation can make a big difference when it is time to pay your tax bill!

Travel nurses are in demand so now is the perfect time to jump into this exciting profession. There are more assignment options and higher pay than ever before. 

Make sure you get the best travel assignment possible by avoiding these 3 common mistakes when choosing a travel nurse agency.

  1. Don’t assume all travel nurse agencies are the same.
  2. Don’t skim over the required paperwork.
  3. Don’t fixate on the hourly pay rate.


Rebecca Brunelle is a pediatric nurse practitioner with experience in pediatric critical care and pediatric cardiology. She is currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since moving abroad in 2016, she has expressed her passion for nursing by writing blog posts and working in nursing curriculum development.

Health Carousel Travel Nursing

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