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By March 20, 2017 9 Comments

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: 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 underst and 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 underst and 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.


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.

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

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  1. Dave


    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.


  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.


  3. Shay



    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.


  5. Shekinah


    Hi, I’m a mom of three kids and my husband just recently passed the Board and still looking for a job. A lot of Travel agencies have contacted me, me And my family just migrated here in the US,4 months ago , I have no US nursing experience but I have a nursing experience in my country. Is it advisable for me to go in a Travel assignment, even if I need to leave my kids, basically I just want to do the travel work because I want for my family to have savings and to start with our new life here. Please I need someone’s advice… Thank you in advance.

  6. Shekinah, please accept my sincerest apology for not responding to your post. I only became aware of it when the post following yours triggered an email.

    Due to the amount of time that has passed, I can only assume that your situation is not the same as it was. Should you ever need any assistance with travel nursing, please write me directly at


  7. These are good advises by David for Travel Nurses. It is also wise to evaluate pros and con of each consignment before accepting. Giving a thorough reading of the contract is also essential prior to signing. It is also necessary to research about the quality of the hiring agencies because if there is any dispute with the employer, you can always fall back to your recruiting agency for sorting out the problems. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Carrie


    Hi, I’m currently working with two different travel recruiters through different companies. I was wondering if I take a job through one company, does the other company know I did that? I know you said they shouldn’t care, but I’m just curious. The two offers are at different places.

  9. David says:

    Hey Carrie. There should not be an easy way to know this information. That is not to say that it could never be obtained, but if systems are working the way they should, this information should not be disclosed.

    Hospitals do not routinely publish this information anywhere and should not be disclosing this to anyone who would call in to inquire. Again, that is not to say that a recruiter couldn’t call the hospital directly to inquire and perhaps enlist the confidence of a friend or HR associate with whom they have worked in the past.

    However, if I ever had a recruiter give me any static about working a contract through another company, then I would have one less recruiter that was earning my travel business.

    The best, seasoned recruiters know that this happens and it should never be an issue.


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