Are you a new travel nurse and don’t know what questions are important to ask your travel nurse recruiter? Or maybe you’re a seasoned travel nurse and aren’t confident that you're asking the right questions. In this article, we review some key questions to ask your travel nursing recruiter before accepting any assignment.
Travel Nurse Recruiters 101: What You Need to Know
A travel nursing agency staff consists of many travel nurse recruiters and other team members. They often receive a base salary, but make most of their money on commission. Their commission is based on the amount of signed travel nursing contracts they recruit. They often receive about 20% of the total contract amount. With that being said, your recruiter should have your best interests and career success in mind because ultimately, it will make them successful at their job as well.
The world of travel nurse recruiting is pretty competitive. It’s important to speak with several recruiters from different agencies before committing yourself to one recruiter or agency. Ask them several questions about their recruiting background and the benefits their agency has to offer. Communicate your needs, wants, and preferences in a travel nursing assignment. This helps your recruiter find you a desirable travel assignment. Also, build a strong rapport with your recruiter, as they will be your liaison between you and the healthcare facility.
If you find that your recruiter isn’t meeting your expectations with finding an assignment, you can change recruiters at any time. You can either ask politely for another recruiter from the same agency or talk to another travel nursing agency altogether. Sometimes it takes speaking to three or four recruiters before finding a good fit. Find what works for you!
How Do Travel Nurse Recruiters Find Assignments?
A travel nurse recruiter acts as the liaison between you and the healthcare facility. They have many professional connections and communicate with hospital representatives. The representative informs the recruiter of unit shortages, needs, and desired skills of the recruited travel nurses. After a recruiter receives information about the job specifics, the recruiter will post the travel nurse opening on a job board.
Sometimes travel nurse agencies have exclusive hospital contracts. Exclusive contracts are when one staffing agency has exclusive rights to recruit travel nurses for that facility or healthcare system.
Key Questions to Ask Your Travel Nurse Recruiter
Now that we’ve reviewed the basics of travel nursing recruiting, let’s review some key questions to ask your recruiter below.
What Kind of Experience Do You Have in This Field?
During your initial process of speaking with many recruiters, it’s important to ask about their level of recruiting experience. You want a recruiter who has at least a year of experience recruiting in the travel nurse field. You wouldn’t want a travel nurse recruiter who has been working in the industry for only a few weeks.
What Are the Compensation and Benefits of This Position?
Before signing your contract, review and ask questions about your entire travel nurse compensation package. This can include hourly pay, overtime pay, travel expenses, housing arrangements, and meal stipends. Even though you aren’t a permanent staff member, ask about retirement options, paid time off (PTO), and medical and dental insurance. Ask about when your coverage begins for benefits as well.
Many agencies also offer travel nurse contracts with guaranteed hours, crisis pay, and completion bonuses. When hours are guaranteed, you still get paid if a hospital cancels your scheduled shift. Also, ask about reimbursement for continuing education and licensing fees. Most agencies want you to refer fellow travel nurses to their agency, so they offer referral bonuses. Ask about the terms of the referral bonus and if there is a limit to the number of people you can refer.
How Frequently and in What Way Will Pay Be Distributed?
Ask about how frequently you will get paid and how your pay will be distributed, like direct deposit. Most agencies pay weekly and require a travel nurse to submit a signed timesheet. Ask how often, where to submit your timesheet and the deadline for submission.
What Cities and States Have the Highest Demand Right Now?
Ask your recruiter about which cities and states have the highest demand. This will give you an indication of higher-paying travel assignments. Also, if you don’t have a nursing license in the state that you are interested in traveling to, apply immediately. If the state currently has a high demand, this could potentially delay the expected turnaround time in receiving your state nursing license.
What Kind of Support System Will Be Available With This Assignment?
Whether it be family members or friends, a support system is always important during a travel assignment. Also, the support you receive from your travel nurse recruiter during your entire assignment is vital. If you have a family emergency, work-related injury, or need to call in sick, it’s important for your recruiter to support you. They will inform the hospital of your need for time off and work out any issues with hours and pay.
What Feedback Have You Heard from Nurses Stationed at This or Similar Locations or Positions?
Always ask about feedback from nurses who have worked at the same healthcare facility and unit. This can indicate the type of patient care populations you will be working with and unit demands.
Why Health Carousel Travel Nursing is the Most Trusted
Health Carousel Travel Nursing is your most trusted travel nursing agency. We partner with top healthcare facilities across the country, helping take the stress out of your job search. Our experienced travel nurse recruiters will advocate for your success and help you land that dream job you’ve been looking for. Speak with one of our recruiters today!
Building a strong rapport with your travel nurse recruiter is important. Your recruiter should understand and advocate for your wants and needs in a travel nurse assignment. Ask your recruiter these questions to gain a better understanding of their role, as it’s key to your career success.