Ask a Travel Nurse: Can I work with more than one recruiter?

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Ask a Travel Nurse: Can I work with more than one recruiter?

Ask a Travel Nurse: Can I work with more than one recruiter?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question: 

In Travel Nursing, it seems like a great idea work with more than one recruiter — or is it? Can I work with one than one recruiter?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer: 

Many seasoned travelers use multiple recruiters (often even three or four). The best way to approach this is to simply be forthcoming with each. If you have recruiters who are also seasoned in the business, they will certainly understand this.

Many travelers will often negotiate contracts by using several recruiters. If a recruiter is not putting forth their best offer, then I may tell them exactly what was offered to me by another company and give them a chance to meet or beat the offer from the other company.

Working with multiple recruiters and agencies is also about the only way to know what the going pay rate may be for any given area of the country. For example, if you wanted to work in San Diego, call three companies and ask what assignments they have in the area. You may even find that multiple companies have the same exact assignment, but often with different pay rates.

Don’t fall into the trap of just taking the assignment with the best hourly wage. Evaluate each company on the total compensation package, including: pay rate, cost of insurance, housing stipend or travel accommodations, etc. You may also want to consider other benefits offered by an agency, such as licensure reimbursement, rewards programs, referral and loyalty bonuses, and more.

If you work with great recruiters, they should understand that they may not be able to offer the best compensation package on each assignment. They will also not get upset should you take an assignment with another company because they will know that they will still likely work with you in the future when they can offer you the perfect assignment options.

Hope this helps.

David

david@travelnursesbible.com

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About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed over thirty travel contracts, worked with several different travel agencies, and currently hold about a half dozen nursing licenses in different states. Last year I wrote a book entitled, Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), which can be found at TravelNursesBible.com. I am currently blogging on this site and writing a monthly column in Healthcare Traveler Magazine. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

4 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: Can I work with more than one recruiter?"

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  1. Dave says:

    Just remember one thing. All recruiters are like used car dealers… They will lie to get you somewhere you may not want to go, or will lie to you about an assignment, after ya get there, it’s not what was stated.

    Dave

  2. David says:

    Actually, I encourage people to remember many things. Only one of which is that you should not take advice from those who only offer negative comments, without substantiation or elaboration.

    After walking on several threads with no useful information or intelligent riposte, I’m sure we’d all be better off with an astute analysis, or better yet, and simple adieu.

    David

  3. Shay says:

    Dave,

    I’m glad I found your site! I am having a bit of an issue here . I have been a nurse for almost 2 years now on a med surg floor in a level 1 trauma teaching hospital. I am working on my acls and my med surg certification soon. I have signed up with four agencies but only one has been able to find me a desirable position . Being that this is my first travel assignment , I understand that I cannot be too picky. Well I interviewed with a hospital in New York , I’m from sc btw, and they offered. Once I read the fine print of the contract, I was completely turned off as I would be making 5-600 less than what I make now. Any advice? After all I am seeking to gain more experience , but certainly not while taking a pay cut. I’m stressing because I already gave my resignation and have no desires of extended or withdrawing. I have a second job at a rehab/long term care facility that has been wanting me to take a higher position but I just don’t know.

  4. David says:

    Shay, it really depends on your motive for traveling. Many people perceive travel nursing to be some “cash cow” where you get to travel to all these great locations and make tons of money while doing so. That is just not the case.

    You can earn a decent living while working as a travel nurse, but will likely not get rich while doing so. Travel is about the adventure, not the paycheck. Sure, we must all make enough money to make ends meet, but you cannot expect to travel to places like San Diego, Miami, or Hawaii while making top dollar.

    I’m betting that housing in the New York area is not cheap and that is likely reflected in your travel rate quote. Your travel company only has so much they can offer with the compensation package they are given from the hospital. That package needs to pay for your travel, your health insurance, license reimbursement, housing costs (including utilities and furniture rental) and finally, your pay for the hours you work. And that does not include any money that the company hopes to earn to pay the people that assist you along the way like your recruiter, the housing coordinators, clinical specialists, and anyone else that has a hand in making your assignment come together. after that, yes, they do hope to make a profit on your work. But sometimes the margins can be small depending on the location.

    These days, you can certainly make more money in a staff position and picking up OT or registry/agency work.

    Bottom line, a travel assignment has to meet your expectations, both in the experience aspect and the compensation aspect. If it does not, then maybe travel nursing may not be the best option for your current situation.

    I hope this helps in your decision.

    David

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