Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I’ve done a couple Travel Nursing assignments, and have loved the traveling and experiences! My question concerns getting the best pay and benefits from a Travel Nurse agency. My very first Travel Nurse assignment was about seven years ago in California, and I remember making so much more money than now.
My question is, how do I choose a Travel Nurse agency to work with? What criteria do you look for in a Travel Nursing company to sign up with them?
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
I never know how to answer the question you have asked because how I evaluate a Travel Nurse company or what criteria I look for, may not be the same as yours. It may sound cliché, but you have to choose the company that is right for YOU.
First, figure out your priorities. Are you looking for a company that pays the highest hourly rate? Do you want a company that offers above average housing? Do you need a company that offers a great healthcare plan? Everyone wants great pay, great housing, and great benefits — not to mention great service. But if ONE company offered all of that….then there would only be one travel company and that would be the one with which everyone would travel.
Once you know your priorities, research the factors that you can. For example, you cannot compare pay rate until you are looking at a specific assignment. However, if you need great healthcare benefits and one company’s policy is less money out of pocket and costs less than another’s, then you have a clear-cut winner.
I always encourage Travel Nurses to be on file with several companies and to do any type of rate comparison, this is a must. I also encourage nurses to find a specific recruiter with whom to work, rather than concentrating on a specific company. I cannot over-state the importance of having a great recruiter. It’s so important!
As you have already noted, the pay is less than it was pre-2009 (when the economy had a big impact on the industry). But I have written many times that I don’t feel that travel today is for those looking for a big paycheck. Sure, there are still opportunities to earn a good living while being a travel nurse, but currently, it has to be more about the travel, or I don’t feel people will be happy with the experience.
If you need any direction in choosing a company, I always offer to refer nurses to the people I use and trust with my travels. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to get you hooked up with some great people in the travel industry.
Hope this helps.