Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
WOW, what a great website. I wish I had known about this years ago.
I’ve been a Travel Nurse for over six years and recently ran into an issue for which you may be able to offer some advice.
I have been working with a staffing company in California to find a position in Arizona. We negotiated a deal via text message. While pressing them to provide a contract in a timely manner, they really drug their feet. The rep had every excuse in the book, but did provide me with an offer letter from the hospital.
Consequently, I gave my two weeks’ notice at my current employer and made all travel and living arrangements in Arizona. Today I get the emailed contract, and it is nothing like they had offered. What can I do if my actual contract differs from the offer?
I called the rep and all he said was that things change! I’m at a loss as to what to do. I negotiated in good faith that the details from our text conversation would transfer to the actual contract. Am I a victim of a bait & switch ploy or do I have some leverage? I do have a contact at the hospital and considered calling them or else trying to go the supervisor of the rep that was working with me.
Your thoughts? Thanks in advance!
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
I cannot ultimately tell you what to do and am not an attorney, so I cannot offer legal contract advice, but if it were me, with what you have conveyed, I would not take the assignment with this company.
It appears as if the hospital has a contract with the travel company; however, it seems to me that the travel company has not established a binding contract with you. Again, I do not know ALL the details and conversation you have had with the company, but from what you mentioned, it does not appear there is a binding contract in place.
I would also not trust a company that did this to me and would fear other complications if I did give in and take the contract. Further, from my travels, I would trust that in Arizona during the winter (especially Phoenix), I could find another contract in the area relatively quickly.
This is one reason I advocate working with multiple travel companies. If one does come through for me, I have four or five other names I can call and have even had one company find me a contract that started a week after having another abruptly canceled.
I also always advise people to have a contract in writing before making travel plans. You simply insist on it. Tell the company, you have 48 hours to send me a contract with all the things we discussed, or I start looking at another company. It’s unlikely that one company has the market cornered in any given market and I often search with multiple companies when seeking a new contract.
I do hope you are able to secure a new assignment with a more honest company.
(Reader note: I did email Allie on this personally and offer to set her up with the recruiters I use and trust in the hopes that they could find her a quick assignment in AZ. — David)