Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
Hi David! I’m getting ready to start my very first Travel Nursing assignment in a couple of weeks. I just got my contract today and I was wondering if you would mind taking a look at it and seeing if everything looks OK? I can email it to you if you like.
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
I would be happy to look over any contract you would like to send to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, but will only do so with the understanding that I am NOT a legal professional and would only be giving you my opinion from the eyes of a traveling healthcare professional.
Obviously, for any definitive answers, I would ALWAYS tell you that if you have any concerns, consult a legal professional. However, I’ve signed a contract or two (or actually closer to over thirty), and can tell you the areas that give me pause when signing up for an assignment.
Just about every contract I have ever seen will ask for a certain amount of trust between you and the travel company. However, some are certainly better than others in protecting the nurse should something happen on your assignment that warrants you having to leave.
I’d also like to mention that I will not answer any questions regarding rates or if the contract seems “fair” or “worth it”. That is completely a question for you to determine. What may seem “fair” to one individually may completely miss the mark for someone else.
I also cannot know the going rates for each area of the country and in every specialty. I always tell nurses to ask themselves if the rate they are offered will allow them to meet all their financial obligations with a little “play money” left over. If so, then you need to decide if the area is worth the rate offered. Would you take $20/hr to work in Fargo for the winter? (sorry Fargo) But in contrast, would you accept $20/hr to spend the winter laying on the sandy beaches of Hawaii on your days off? It’s all about perspective; is the contract worth it to YOU?
Additionally, do not play the game of trying to figure out if there are any other travelers in the unit making more than you. It’s a game that you will always seem to lose and you will likely never know the FULL scope of their contract. Maybe they are making two dollars more an hour than you, but maybe your health benefits are much better than the ones for which they are paying two or three times more.
So if you, or anyone reading, would like to forward me your travel contract, I would be happy to look over the details and give you an opinion based solely on my experience as a travel nurse.
Hope this helps.