Are you considering starting a travel healthcare career as a nurse, but don't know where to get started? Maybe you're having trouble comparing traveling nurse agencies. Below, we review how travel nursing agencies can help you with travel nursing placement and explore what to look for when comparing travel nurse agencies.
How Travel Nurse Agencies Help You
Traveling nurse agencies help you search and land travel nursing placement assignments. Whether you are first starting your search or looking for your next travel nursing placement, your travel nurse recruiter is there to guide you every step of the way. Your traveling nursing agency is the liaison between you and the healthcare facility where you are looking to land your travel healthcare job. Besides searching for travel nursing jobs, they will also help you find travel nurse housing, and advocate for a higher base rate, or average base salary.
Importance of Travel Nurse Agencies Today
As we mentioned before, your travel nursing agency is the link between you and the healthcare facility regarding your travel nursing placement. Travel nurses are a vital part of the healthcare system, as many times they help fill gaps in patient care. When hospitals experience a high influx of patients or higher acuity in patients, this is where travel nurses are able to help. They help hospitals decrease nurse-to-patient ratios, which leads to a better quality of care and patient satisfaction. It also helps staff nurses combat burnout with the demands of higher patient acuity or assignments.
What to Look for in a Travel Nurse Agency
There are several things you should look for in a traveling nursing agency.
First, your traveling nursing agency should offer exceptional customer service right from the start. As a rule of thumb, if you apply or show interest in any travel nursing assignments, a recruiter should contact you within 24 hours (as long as it doesn't fall over a weekend). With tons of top travel nursing opportunities out there, travel nurse companies are there to help you land your next travel healthcare job.
Next, look for a traveling nursing agency that has a robust job board that offers lots of travel nursing jobs. You want to have plenty to choose from! Their job board should be transparent with job descriptions, travel nursing pay, and the hourly wage paid weekly. This way, you can compare which travel nurse agency offers competitive pay rates or has a higher base rate or lower base rate. If their site lacks information, then you will need to get as many details as possible when you speak to a recruiter .
Also, make sure the agency you are interested in has assignments throughout the country. You don't want to be limited on assignment choices! If you decide you want to go with a smaller agency, keep in mind that you may have to switch companies for future assignments if they don't have many available.
Travel nursing companies oftentimes have great benefits to offer their travel nurses. Before receiving and signing your contract, your travel nurse recruiter should be reviewing these with you and what their travel nurse agency has to offer. Many travel nurse companies also offer 24 hour customer support, an employee assistance program, hourly wage paid weekly, and other benefits.
About Health Carousel Travel Nursing
When it comes to travel nurse agencies, Health Carousel stands head and shoulders above the competition. But don't just take our word for it.
Kelli, one of our more seasoned travelers, was gracious enough to take the time to score 45 different travel nursing companies. With over eight years of experience in domestic and international nursing, Kelli has a clear understanding of what factors are in a nurse’s best interest. Kelli started working with her recruiter, Cindi Greene, in April of 2014, and we were thrilled when Cindi informed us that we made the top 5!
Kelli began her research by accessing the 300 plus rated travel nursing agencies on Highway Hypodermics and Travel Nursing Central. From that point, she reviewed about 113 different rated travel nursing agencies to ultimately compile her list of 45. This list was based on the following criteria:
1. Benefits Provided by the Agency
2. The Agency’s Website Design and Navigability
3. The Number of Job Posting
4. Job Descriptions (Average Travel Nursing Salary/Dollar Range)
The scoring system is based on a 20 possible-point scale. One of the largest healthcare staffing companies, Health Carousel Travel Nursing (HCTN) was able to earn 16 out of 20 points. The highlights that contributed to our score include our ability to provide first-day insurance coverage, weekly direct deposit, vacation pay, 401k match, industry experience, and much more!
After providing this information to Cindi, Kelly stated, “It gives you the recruiter a perspective from a traveler as we look at comparing and contrasting different agencies in our quest to find the best!” We could not agree more with this statement, and we welcome such honest feedback from our travelers. Our team is constantly striving to provide our travelers with the best possible experience and gaining this valuable insight will further propel us toward that goal.
Besides the great benefits and nationwide travel assignments, HCTN offers competitive pay rates, exceptional customer service, an employee assistance program, and 24 hour customer support. They also have resources for travel nurses, such as their travel nursing blog and the full circle of support page. The full circle of support offers education on using their resources to further their careers and maximize their benefits.
Are you interested in pursuing a travel healthcare career? HCTN, a top-rated travel nursing agency, has a robust job board with plenty of top travel nursing opportunities to choose from. With our new On Demand app, you can easily search, compare, and apply for nationwide travel assignments. You can even upload your licenses and documents!
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let's review some frequently asked questions of travel nurses.
How do I compare travel nursing companies?
As we mentioned before, take into consideration what is important to you for your future assignment. Keeping in mind that your priorities can change with each different travel nursing placement. For example, maybe the location you are traveling to is one you've really wanted to mark off your bucket list, so you are willing to accept a lower average base pay.
Which travel nursing agency pays the most?
There is no one or many travel nurse agency that pays the most or has a higher base rate than others. When comparing travel assignments, you need to weigh factors, such as average base pay, overtime and guaranteed hours, and meal and housing stipends. Remember, just because a travel nurse agency offers a lower base rate, you can make up for this with higher stipends or travel reimbursements.
Why are travel nurses getting cancelled?
This is a myth, and top travel nursing companies are not routinely canceling travel nursing assignments. If the census is low or demand has changed for a particular healthcare facility, then they will cancel as a last resort. Typically, your recruiter and healthcare facility will work to resolve this issue before it arises. But, it is important to ask before signing your travel nursing contract to see if there is a cancellation clause and the details.