I came across an article called A Simple Guide to Start Your Travel Nursing Agency on Twitter the other day and thought of its implications for travel nurses out there, especially those just getting started in the travel nursing lifestyle.
Articles like this that try to make something as complex as starting a travel nursing company sound as easy as 1,2,3 are really just a joke and are someone trying to get a link to their web site, but what they can also do is lead to an abundance of fly-by-night travel nursing companies that are not prepared to provide the service properly to both nurses and hospitals. In the end this only ends up hurting the reputation of the travel nursing industry as a whole.
The article itself at least covers some important items like insurance and proper licensing, but the number of things it omits are amazing, like being Joint Commission Certified, housing, taxes, being financially sound, and on and on. The mindset that starting a travel nursing company is easy coupled with how easy it is to set up a website is why there are so many travel nursing companies out there.
Really though this article just made me think about how important it is that as a travel nurse you take the time to investigate the travel nursing companies you work with and send your information to. Here are some tips to get you started.
- If they are a publicly traded company go their corporate website and check out their annual reports to make sure they are going to be able to pay you
- If they are a private company look for signs of growth like Inc 500 awards or fastest growing awards
- See how many employees they have, not that a travel nursing company has to be huge, but it should be big enough to handle things like billing the hospital, doing background checks and providing you with support while you are on assignment
- Ask your recruiter about the companies financial stability and record what the say somewhere so you have it should a situation ever arise where you need it
- Find out how long the travel nursing company been around
- Check on their liability insurance information
- Ask how they handle taxes, check with your accountant to make sure it is on the up and up
- Remember if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is
- Ask them how long it typically takes them to get paid by their hospitals
- Find out if they ever have payroll issues
- Tell them to give you the phone numbers of current travel nurses working with them and past ones
- See how many travel nurses they have working with them on average every month – 50 and up and I would think you should have no issues
Do you have any other questions you ask to determine the stability of a travel nursing company?