As a travel nurse, travel LPN, or travel CNA, you have lots of options for assignments. The hard part is finding those assignments on your own, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. This is where travel nurse staffing agencies come in. By working with an agency, you save time and headaches and have more energy to devote to your travel nursing career.
Here are the top ways that working for an agency can help you achieve your travel nursing goals.
Your next assignment is provided.
Travel nursing assignments can vary from eight to twenty-six weeks (and sometimes longer), but the average is thirteen weeks. Of course, the whole point of travel nursing is to travel. This means that once your current assignment ends, you may find yourself scrambling to find another. By working with an agency, your next assignment is provided for you. No need to spend hours searching the internet, making calls, or checking with your connections in the industry to find an assignment before your current one ends.
You can also work with your agency to take time off between assignments to sightsee, vacation, or head back home from some rest and relaxation.
Health insurance and other benefits
Most quality travel nursing agencies provide health insurance for their employees. Generally, coverage is for full-time staff, but some do offer insurance for those who work fewer than forty hours per week. A good agency will also provide:
- Dental and vision insurance
- Employee assistance programs, which offer counseling, financial and legal help, resources, and behavioral health services.
- 401K with employer matching
- 24/7 access to a Nurse to support you in caring for your clients
- Paid time off
- Short-term disability
- Continuing education, including Pro-ACT (Professional Assault Crisis Training), MOAB (Management of Aggressive Behavior), and PAC-training (Positive Approach To Care)
Most agencies provide on-the-job support in case staff members have questions or need immediate assistance. A quality agency will provide this support 24/7, so you are never left to fend for yourself and can always get the help you need – day or night!
From special seasonal bonuses to sign-on bonuses, completion bonuses, overtime bonuses, and shift differentials, bonuses abound in travel nursing. Another perk that may also benefit your social life is referral bonuses. If you have a friend and fellow travel nurse (or two or three) who signs on with the agency you work for, you’ll receive a bonus.
If you’re new to travel nursing, or even if you’re a veteran in the field, the industry expertise an agency has will benefit you tremendously.
Travel nursing is a competitive field, and you should look for an agency that knows the ropes. Travel nursing staffing agencies that have been in business for a longer period of time are usually great options. A well-established travel nursing agency will have connections, industry knowledge, and expertise that newer agencies can’t match.
Another important factor to consider is the longevity of an agency’s recruitment and nursing staff. Experienced staff members are able to use their expertise and knowledge to place you in your ideal job, provide quality training, and supply excellent service and support.
Variety and volume
Travel nursing agencies generally partner with a variety of hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and other health care facilities. This means that you can enjoy variety in assignments, both geographically and among specialized nursing fields.
In addition to the variety that comes with travel itself, if you’re tired of working in the same specialty, working with a travel nursing agency can provide you with the opportunity to try something new. Think of it as a chance to try before you buy. If you love the many benefits of travel nursing, you can stick with it for years to come. If not, you’ll have a better idea of which facilities, specialties, and geographical areas you most enjoy.
Some larger travel nursing agencies have exclusive staffing contracts at prestigious hospitals and medical centers. If you are hired by one of these agencies, you’ll be able to get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience in your travel nursing career.
Another factor to keep in mind is that agencies that have managed service agreements (an agreement where the supplier will provide a service including managing staff, equipment, and materials) with healthcare systems are able to provide first choice to their travel nurses for more desirable travel nursing assignments.
As with any job, it’s important to weigh the good and the not-so-good. You may find that you’re perfectly content to search and accept assignments on your own. The value of working with an agency, though, lies in the support, benefits, and security they provide. If you’re a travel nurse, travel LPN, or travel CNA, or considering one of these careers, contacting a quality agency is an excellent first step!