What should I consider when comparing travel nursing agencies?
When it comes to travel nursing, there are many opportunities out there. Scrolling through available assignments and comparing travel nurse agencies can become quite overwhelming. To make the process easier, there are a few items to consider.
Are they Joint Commission Certified?
First look at whether the travel nurse agency is Joint Commission certified. Having this certification shows that the agency abides by the standards and requirements set by the Joint Commission. This translates to a higher standard of service and greater access to assignments.
Do they have support teams?
Also, look at their support teams. Do they have twenty four seven access to recruiters or a housing department? These are invaluable resources, especially during the weekends or during odd hours. You never know when something might come up. When looking at agencies, research other travel nurses’ feedback. Most are happy to share the experiences they had about a good agency and recruiter.
Do they offer direct jobs?
Next, research if the agency offers direct jobs. Direct jobs are when a travel nursing agency has a direct or exclusive relationship with a healthcare system. This means the agency will know about travel positions before they are ever posted on job boards. Or it means the agency may be the only company to post travel positions for the healthcare facility. Because of the trusting relationship, many hospitals will generate auto-offers for travel nurses that apply. If not, either way, you have a higher chance of landing an assignment with a direct job. It’s almost a guarantee of quickly getting an assignment.
How fast can they submit me to a job?
Health Carousel has a new feature for their travel nurses, called First In Line. To get First in Line, you set your assignment preferences, such as specialty, location, pay rates, and start dates. Once you’ve set these, you’re auto-submitted to any jobs that match your specifications. So if a job posts overnight, you’re one of the first applicants. It gets your application viewed by the hiring manager first, thus reducing your competition. Chances are you’ll get an interview almost immediately.
Do they offer a full circle of support?
Finally, when browsing through travel assignments, the hourly rate is not the only thing you should be focusing on. You need to look at your compensation package as a whole, including tax-free stipends, reimbursements for travel or parking, benefits, and bonuses. You may find that a higher hourly rate does not translate to more money overall.
Also, look at what benefits the agency has to offer. Besides the standard health insurance and retirement savings, see if they offer other services. Some important services to consider are mental health and travel nursing tips. A good travel nursing company should be offering you a full circle of support, to help you achieve your goals and physical and mental well-being.