Travel nurse recruiters are the glue that holds a travel nurse’s career together. They are often the liaison between you, the travel nurse agency, the healthcare facility, and the nursing industry. Travel nurse recruiters not only place nurses in healthcare roles in their dream destinations; they also help complete all of the necessary requirements for the assignment, including paperwork and licensing. They advocate for you between the travel nurse agency and navigate all of the nuances of obtaining a travel assignment. A strong relationship between the travel nurse and recruiter can make the difference between a stressful or successful travel assignment.
So what can you do to ensure things go smoothly with your travel nurse recruiter?
Communicating effectively with your nursing recruiter is the key to landing your desired assignment. Be sure to tell your recruiter exactly what you are looking for in your next destination. Tell them where you want to travel, what kind of unit you want to work on, which shift you prefer, and what your housing needs are so that your recruiter can negotiate on your behalf and find the right assignment for you. Don’t be shy! Ask any questions that you may have about salary and how it is broken down, health insurance, travel reimbursements, housing and food stipends, overtime pay, or orientation. Your recruiter won’t know that you don’t understand travel nurse packages unless you tell them, and they don’t want you to be unhappy about your assignment. Communication is the most important aspect in a travel nurse and recruiter relationship.
An important part of a travel nurse recruiter’s job is to organize the documents necessary to begin your travel assignment. However, make sure you are organized and have all of your documents readily available to give to your recruiter so that they can facilitate the hiring process. Necessary documents may include licenses, certifications, credentials, personal identification, and medical records. Being prepared will make it easier for both of you and save time.
Consider listing your top 3-5 destinations and giving them to your recruiter so that if one doesn’t work out, they can offer other options for you to choose from. You may have to work weekends or float to other units during your assignment. If this is a hard no for you, discuss this with your recruiter ahead of time so that there are no surprises when you arrive at your assignment.
Let your nurse recruiter know what you are looking for from the agency and how much you want them to be involved in each assignment. Tell them which way is the best way to communicate with you, whether it is by text, email, or a phone call so that they know your preferences. Let your recruiter know how often you want them to alert you about any new assignment prospects. Your recruiter won’t know how to read your mind, and it is key that you help them to understand where you are coming from to get the most out of your partnership.
Keep in Touch
Touch base with your recruiter while you are on your current assignment, let them know how things are going and if there is anything they can do on your behalf. Keep in mind that you should be thinking at least 2-3 months ahead. It is a good idea to start thinking about your next assignment when you start your first one. Your recruiter can get started on any paperwork required and help you obtain any licensing you may need for your next assignment. Speak with your recruiter about things you liked and disliked about your current assignment so that they can help you negotiate for your next one.
Our travel nurse recruiters at HCTN understand what life can be like as a travel nurse and value our relationships with travel nurses. We are always here to listen to your concerns and provide support.
Lauren Rivera BSN, RNC-NIC is a certified neonatal intensive care nurse. She serves as a nurse expert for a mother/baby telehealth company, and develops content for various nursing sites and fellow healthcare providers.