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By April 11, 2019 4 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: What can I do if my actual contract differs from the offer?

Ask a Travel Nurse: What can I do if my actual contract differs from the offer?

Ask a Travel Nurse: What can I do if my actual contract differs from the offer?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hey David,

WOW, what a great website. I wish I had known about this years ago.

I’ve been a Travel Nurse for over six years and recently ran into an issue for which you may be able to offer some advice.

I have been working with a staffing company in California to find a position in Arizona. We negotiated a deal via text message. While pressing them to provide a contract in a timely manner, they really drug their feet. The rep had every excuse in the book, but did provide me with an offer letter from the hospital.

Consequently, I gave my two weeks’ notice at my current employer and made all travel and living arrangements in Arizona. Today I get the emailed contract, and it is nothing like they had offered. What can I do if my actual contract differs from the offer?

I called the rep and all he said was that things change! I’m at a loss as to what to do. I negotiated in good faith that the details from our text conversation would transfer to the actual contract. Am I a victim of a bait & switch ploy or do I have some leverage? I do have a contact at the hospital and considered calling them or else trying to go the supervisor of the rep that was working with me.

Your thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

I cannot ultimately tell you what to do and am not an attorney, so I cannot offer legal contract advice, but if it were me, with what you have conveyed, I would not take the assignment with this company.

It appears as if the hospital has a contract with the travel company; however, it seems to me that the travel company has not established a binding contract with you. Again, I do not know ALL the details and conversation you have had with the company, but from what you mentioned, it does not appear there is a binding contract in place.

I would also not trust a company that did this to me and would fear other complications if I did give in and take the contract. Further, from my travels, I would trust that in Arizona during the winter (especially Phoenix), I could find another contract in the area relatively quickly.

This is one reason I advocate working with multiple travel companies. If one does come through for me, I have four or five other names I can call and have even had one company find me a contract that started a week after having another abruptly canceled.

I also always advise people to have a contract in writing before making travel plans. You simply insist on it. Tell the company, you have 48 hours to send me a contract with all the things we discussed, or I start looking at another company. It’s unlikely that one company has the market cornered in any given market and I often search with multiple companies when seeking a new contract.

I do hope you are able to secure a new assignment with a more honest company.


(Reader note: I did email Allie on this personally and offer to set her up with the recruiters I use and trust in the hopes that they could find her a quick assignment in AZ.  — David)


Posted in: Ask a Travel Nurse

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.

4 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: What can I do if my actual contract differs from the offer?"

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  1. Judy says:

    An honest Recruiter/company will send a Contract for you to sign electronically via e mail. You should know the Exact weekly pay, benefits, travel reimbursements, etc.. Or Don’t Sign!!

  2. zacky naeem says:

    Hi, I have a question one of the company called MedNet offering to start career of a travel nurse is it okay do you have any idea about that

  3. David says:

    That company is for home health, not travel nursing.


  4. lisa


    Every traveler should need this information. Often we suffer in diseases so this is the best guidance blog for all. Very nice post, thanks for more information. The information that you discuss in the article is really helpful for me.Travel to Vietnam

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