By February 15, 2011 1 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: What agencies are well known in the travel world?


confused travel nurseAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

Hi David! I am so glad I found this website, I was beginning to panic! Ha, lol! I am wondering if you might me able to share what agencies are well known in the travel world; there are so many!! So far my favorites are Aureus, RN Network, Advantage RN, Medical Solutions and Cross Country Travel Corp. If you could give some feedback I would appreciate your opinion!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

I could share with you the agencies that are well known in the industry, but I’m not entirely sure that is the question that you are, or should be, asking.

You see, just because an agency is “well-known” does not necessarily make it an agency with which you should travel. I have written many times before that there is no best travel agency for which to work; there is only the agency that is best for you. What this means is that if you are a pretty independent traveler, who rarely has needs mid-assignment, and may feel quiet comfortable going weeks or months without speaking to your recruiter, you might opt for a large travel company that has many assignment choices (but one where you might get “lost in the crowd” so to speak).

However, if you are just starting out, you might like having a recruiter that checks in with you on a weekly basis to make sure things are going well and to see if they can do anything for you. For this type of service, you might need a smaller agency, that might have less assignment offerings, but also better customer service. This is not to say that the size of the agency will always dictate the service you receive, but typically, the larger the agency, the more you just feel like a number than a name.

You also must consider what each company offers and what is important to you. Do you need a company that pays the highest possible wage? Or a company that has the best healthcare coverage? Or a company that also has a local agency where you can pick up all the extra shifts you want? No one company is going to be the best fit for every traveler.

With that said, I would say that RN Network and Medical Solutions are solid “well-rounded” choices (good benefits, fair pay rate, good customer service) and Cross Country and the probably the biggest, American Mobile, are large companies that might have more assignment listings than the others, but you might need to fall into the aforementioned “independent traveler” category to be happy with these companies. I have certainly heard of the others you mentioned, but have not had personal experience with those companies, nor have I heard anything good or bad about them (a good place to search for this type of info is in travel nursing forums like Ultimate Nurse or the forum for travelers on Delphi).

Bottom line, pick a few that you like, read up, talk to recruiters, talk to other travelers, and then sign up with them. Don’t limit yourself to one company though. Sign up with at least two or three. That opens you up to more assignment listings and also may allow you to compare apples to apples on some assignments (I had two companies with the EXACT same assignment listing ….same hospital, same unit…. but with very different contract terms). If you have several companies vying for your travel business (and don’t be afraid to make it known that you are also talking to other companies), it’s helps ensure they are putting their best package on the table.

I hope this helps and if you would like any more info, feel free to write.

David Morrison
Author: Travel Nurse’s Bible

First time bonus!

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.

1 Comment on "Ask a Travel Nurse: What agencies are well known in the travel world?"

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  1. Jackie says:

    Nice article. Thanks for the info. I am seriously considering traveling. I’m a RN and I work in the OR….mostly just ASC’s and I don’t scrub. I just got moved from FT to PRN due to cut backs at the ASC I work for in Peoria. I live in Goodyear, AZ and work in Phoenix PRN.
    I’m glad to know there are smaller companies out there for those of us just starting out. I’m not opposed to learning to scrub…I was once working toward my RNFA Cert. until the surgeon I worked with moved…bummer, huh?
    Any other advice you want to share would be great.
    Thanks again for the article.

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