7 Questions To Ask a Travel Nurse Recruiter

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
November 28, 2022
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Do you think about becoming a travel nurse, but feel that it is merely a dream? You are not alone and likely a little lost on where to begin. Many nurses have heard of travel nursing, but feel uneasy about the idea of working for an agency and coordinating with a travel nurse recruiter. 

Travel nursing agencies place travel nurses in a hospital or clinic setting with temporary contracts. Recruiters are the people that manage your information and match you with suitable travel nurse job opportunities. Building a relationship with a recruiter is a key part of your success. As they say, “teamwork makes the dream work.”

Here are some ways to find a travel nurse agency and recruiter, establish that working relationship, and gain more confidence in making your dream a reality.

7 Questions You Should Ask Your Travel Nurse Recruiter

After finding an agency that fits your travel assignment needs, the next step is to get in touch with a recruiter and learn what sets that agency apart from all of the others. 

A travel nurse recruiter can provide you with the necessary foundational resources to take the next step toward your travel nursing career. Asking questions gives you a chance to get to know the agency and your recruiter while allowing them to simultaneously get to know you. 

What are your travel assignment needs? Do you need insurance and benefits? Ask about what plans or packages they offer. Are you looking to stay in the state you live in or will you need housing provided in a different area? They will be able to coordinate that for you.

The key to maintaining an awesome working relationship with each other is open and honest communication. Communicating your needs and goals will help your recruiter provide the best possible jobs for you with every contract.

Follow along for 7 important questions you should ask your travel nurse recruiter before your next travel assignment.

What Are the Benefits Offered?

Whether it’s your first assignment or your 10th assignment, make sure you are well-informed about benefits and compensation. Be sure to ask your recruiter which benefits are offered, such as medical, dental, and vision insurance options as well as 401K retirement plan contributions. 

Common questions to ask agency staff about benefits and compensation include:

  • When will my health benefits begin and end?
  • Does the health insurance offered have high deductibles?
  • What is the compensation for this assignment?
  • Are the hours guaranteed?
  • Will there be overtime pay available?
  • Do you offer travel compensation?
  • Do you offer reimbursement for continuing education (CE)?
  • Do you offer direct deposit?
  • Do you offer completion bonuses?

Most agencies offer similar benefits and compensation packages, but they are not all created equally. Make sure to do your research to make sure the assignment and agency are the best fit for you. 

Which States Is This Agency Prominent In?

If you have your heart set on working in certain locations and your agency doesn’t seem to be prominent in that area, you may struggle to find an assignment that you want. Travel nurse pay varies from state to state, so if you are looking to make the most money and are not set on location, you want to make sure the agency is prominent in high-paying states. 

In addition to location, you will want to know what type of facilities the agency staffs, especially if you are looking to work on a specific unit like NICU, ER, or  ICU. 

Talking to a recruiter ahead of time to see what states the agency has its biggest presence in will help you decide if the agency is right for you.

What Are the Contract Conditions?

Contract conditions can make or break your happiness with an assignment. 

Make sure to ask your recruiter these important questions:

  • What are the agency and facilities’ floating policies?
  • Will I remain on the same unit throughout the entire assignment?
  • Can I get out of the contract if I feel my license is in jeopardy if I feel patient care is being compromised or if the hospital has unsafe practices?
  • How is time off negotiated?
  • What is the length of the contract?
  • Are there penalties for not completing a contract?

Discussing important conditions of your contract ahead of time will ensure that you are protected and that there are no surprises. 

What Is the Onboarding Process Like?

Having a conversation with your recruiter about the onboarding process will give you insight into what training and support is available to you. Be sure to ask if training is available before the assignment begins and how many days of training you will receive. Ask if you will have the opportunity to shadow a nurse on the unit. Most travel nurses do not get an extensive orientation, but anything is better than nothing. 

You will also want to find out if your recruiter will help you obtain licensure or credentialing for your next assignment as well as cover any licensing fees. Having a recruiter take care of all of the details for you will make the onboarding process much smoother for you. 

What kind of assistance and resources are available if I face an issue on the job?

You will want to know how you will be supported as a traveler and what resources are available to you should any issues arise.

You may want to ask questions like:

  • Will I stay with the same recruiter throughout my entire assignment?
  • Will a recruiter be available 24/7? 

Hypothetical questions to ask may include:

  • What happens if I get sick or have a family emergency?
  • What happens if I am unable to complete my assignment?
  • What is your procedure for dealing with issues that may arise with travel or housing arrangements?
  • Who should I contact if there are any concerns with my assignment?
  • Will the agency support me if I have issues with permanent staff?

Discussing all of the “what ifs” will give you an idea of what kind of assistance will be provided to you should any complications occur. 

How far away is my housing and what does it include?

No matter how many times you relocate for a new assignment, adjusting to new housing can be challenging. Ask your recruiter how close your housing will be to the facility and what is included in the housing stipend. Will the entire rent be covered? Will utilities be included?

What Makes This Agency Different from Other Staffing Agencies?

It may take a few trials for you to find an agency and recruiter that meets your needs and expectations. Take the time to ask what makes the current agency you are speaking to different from other staffing agencies. Ask them what type of facilities they provide opportunities for and what are the most popular assignments they have. Doing so will help you learn about the quality and variety of positions the agency has to offer. 

In addition to inquiring about benefits packages, reimbursements, and stipends, you may want to see testimonials from previous travelers who have worked for the agency. 

Using all their gathered information, your recruiter will be able to compile a list of jobs for you to choose from. And yes, you will be able to pick the job that you feel best suits you. 

After selecting a contract that you are interested in, your recruiter will submit you for the job. Once submitted, the manager from the facility will contact you for an interview. During the interview, you can learn more information about the specific unit to ensure that the job is a good fit. If you decide to take the contract, you will simply tell your recruiter that you accept and they will take care of the rest. 

Open communication between you and your recruiter will ensure satisfaction and career success. 

Author Bio

Lauren Rivera is a nationally certified neonatal intensive care nurse with over 15 years of experience. She serves as a nurse expert offering support and educational classes for women from preconception through childhood. Lauren is also a freelance writer with works published on several nursing sites. She develops and curates content for various healthcare companies, and writes continuing education modules for other healthcare professionals. 


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand

Get Started Now


Land your dream job faster when you travel with us. Get started with top local and national travel nurse jobs in On Demand

Find the Travel Job that’s Right for You

Interested in how the pay stacks up in other states not on this list? Our trusty Super Nurse sidekicks are standing by to answer any questions you have. Click below to get information on opportunities in other states!

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