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By February 5, 2015 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: When should I sign my next Travel Nursing contract?

Travel Nurse with clock

Good Timing: When should I sign my next Travel Nursing contract?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

Hello, I’m a fairly new Travel Nurse and have a lot of questions. Mainly right now I’m wondering: When should I sign my next Travel Nursing contract? My contract date is coming to a close and I’ve been offered a few jobs that are just OK. If I hold out longer, say like two weeks from my contract end date, will I regret it or will more immediate need or higher paying jobs pop up?

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Let me take a look into my crystal ball, or at least, my Magic 8 ball to try to find that answer 😉

Sorry to joke, but I have no idea what contracts you may be offered in the future. Neither does anyone else. That’s part of what makes Travel Nursing so unpredictable.

You can only weigh your present options and  priorities and do what is best for you. In 20 years, I have only taken one assignment because I needed to in order to pay the bills. Otherwise, I had an idea where I wanted to go, and then three or four other options should my first not pan out.

I usually start looking (if I know I am not going to extend), about a month out from my end date. If I can’t find anything, then I have asked my current facility if they would extend me a few weeks or a month, rather than an entire contract (which of course depends on their ongoing needs and willingness to do a shorter extension).

I have also enlisted the help of one or two companies when first looking, but then, if it’s crunch time, I have contacted as many as five recruiters at different companies, told them where I wanted to go, and then said, “Whomever gets me something first, wins.”

If you do not find anything, then the option to go home, visit family and friends, and work local registry or agency is always a possibility.

While I can’t predict the future, hopefully I’ve given you a few options to consider 🙂



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.

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