By December 21, 2011 7 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How can I know I am choosing the right travel nursing company?


new traveling nurseAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

Hello David, I am looking into travel nursing soon, like in march 2012. I have 2 years oncology/hospice and 3 years med-surg. I have talked to two places, one being Aya healthcare and the other Cross Country. My friend works for Cross Country and has given the okay. This morning I contacted Aya to see if they would pay for my travel to assignments. I liked what I heard and they really broke down some of my questions/concerns so I started the beginning processes.

I guess my question is: Do you know anything regarding these two agencies? Should I go with either? I am really nervous and want to make the best decision. I have a family and really can’t afford to have some agency screw me my first time out. Plus, travel nursing is something I am really interested in and do not want to have bad thoughts right off the bat. Please, if you can help me, give me any kind of insite to making the best decision or provide me with a better agency/agencies to go with I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

You are really charging me with a difficult task here (helping you have a good first experience), even more so because I’m not sure that I would recommend either of your first choices.

I do want you to understand that your company choice is entirely up to you. The only thing I have to go on are the things that I know and the things I have learned in my travels and talks with other nurses (and maybe a bit of common sense throw in). But once I put all that together, I don’t think I can recommend your choices at present. The more I think about this, the more I would prefer discussing this with you personally. If you would, could you email me at and I’ll share my reasons with you.

For the readers, the reason I am doing this is because any time you mention specific companies, there can always be the potential for charges of libel should a company not like the comments written about them (no matter how true they might be). For this reson, I want to discuss Briget’s choices with her directly. If anyone has general questions about which type of company they should choose (larger vs. smaller, private or corporate owned, etc), I will be happy to answer those in this forum. If you would like my opinion on a specific company, please feel free to contact me at Thanks


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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 close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

7 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: How can I know I am choosing the right travel nursing company?"

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  1. Lacresha says:

    Yes..Please be careful about the company you select. Some companies will make you pay for everything and even have the nerve to reduce your hourly, read your contract. I had one contract say “does not matter what your recruiter told you”..It’s a business so be careful. I can say the company I am with now FASTAFF is fabulous, I have been treated like a valued employee, my travel to and from a location is paid for and my hourly is the most competitive (The Best) Remember without a good nurse there would be no travel companies. Bridget sounds talented so she deserves to be informed of the companies out for profit and those truly looking for good nurses~

  2. Cris says:

    Is Fastaff still in business? Their website isnt working…

  3. Lacresha, RN says:’s back up..I had difficulty over the weekend, you can also correspond with recruiters via Facebook

  4. Jeffrey Shepherd says:

    I am beginning the process of becoming a travel nurse here and am, understandably, cautious. I have been speaking with American Mobile. Any comments or advice? I would not want to leave my job and end up being screwed over and always having a bad opinion of traveling. Thanks!

  5. David says:

    Hey Jeff. As I wrote above, I prefer not to go into individual companies in this forum, but if you email me at, I’ll be happy to refer you to some of the recruiters I use at the companies I trust. I have helped get a lot of first-time travelers out on the road with these recruiters and they continue to do great jobs helping nurses get their start. Also, tell me a bit about your specialty and in what part or the country you are interested.

  6. anna helminen says:

    I have 7 years experience in a Nursing Home. Three of these years have been with Alzheimer Patients. Is there a position for me in Travel Nursing?
    Thank you for your response..

  7. David says:

    Hey Anna. Most travel assignments are hospital based positions, but that does not mean that there are not companies out there with positions in extended care facilities. The only way to know is to call the travel companies and ask if they would be able to place you.

    I have a group of recruiters that I work with at the companies I use and trust. If you’d like to email me at, I’d be happy to give you the names of some people you can contact.


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