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By March 6, 2013 2 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: What should I do about my unresponsive recruiter?


Travel Nurse RecruiterAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

Since I have signed my contract, I’ve tried multiple times to contact my recruiter, with no success. I’ve tried calling emailing and texting personal cell. She did this last time I signed for nearly a week, with no response up to 2 days before my start date. She said her kids dropped her phone in the tub and couldn’t retrieve contacts…but now that she’s done it again, I’m kinda pissed. I don’t know where ill be housed, what is furnished, when my flight leaves, where I go, who I’m suppose to meet etc…my start date is two weeks from today. Is this typical or do I have reason to be upset? Thanks.


Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Just because you are receiving bad service does not mean you have to put up with it. Do you have to choose your battles in life? Yes, very much so. However, this person on the other end of the line needs to underst and that what you are doing is no small matter. Being a nurse period is a huge responsibility as you are the healthcare ringleader dealing with patients, their families, other nurses, doctors, pharmacy, lab techs, radiology, and on and on and on. What we do is NOT easy and having to move away from your home and blend into a new environment (possibly every 13 weeks) to do it, is a HUGE undertaking. Do I have you any more fired up??

Bottom line, this person is not being professional in my mind. They are not representing the company well and if you get fed up enough to leave because of them, don’t you think the company would want to reassign you to keep you as an employee? I can underst and that things do happen in life that make it difficult to keep commitments. But if you have children and are irresponsible enough to let them play with your phone near water….well, I’m sorry to say that I would not want you to be the person responsible for arranging my travel assignment. Maybe that seems a little harsh, but I believe most people would recognize this as an excuse. Why would anyone only have their traveler contacts on their phone? Wouldn’t you think the travel company would have a directory of travelers, who their recruiter was, and a recent phone number?

Ask to be reassigned to another recruiter. If the company gives you any slack, tell them you are on file with four other companies who you will be happy to travel with on your next assignment. Also, if a travel company does not care enough to keep you happy as an employee ( and we are not talking unreasonable requests here), then what does it say about the company itself.

Call in and speak to a recruitment manager. Explain the situation and do take a moment to reflect on whether you would be willing to work with this recruiter if they were to change their ways. If not, tell them that you would feel more comfortable working with another recruiter. This part is totally up to you. Do you feel this is unprofessional? Do you feel this recruiter is representing their company well? Would you give them a second chance? Or are they already on their fifth “second chance”?

In case any of my regular readers note a little less “jovial” tone in this response, yes, I’m in the middle of a tough week where I am just tired of putting up with people who don’t do their job. However, if we just allow this sort of customer service, who is to blame, the person not doing their job or the person not holding them accountable?

I don’t normally reach out to you, the readers, for a direct comment on a post. However, I am actually contemplating a new venture in working with travel recruiters to enable them to better serve those of us who make a living on the road. I would love to hear about any of your personal experiences, good or bad, that you have had with a travel nurse recruiter. If you are compelled enough to relay your experience, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. You can email me directly at

Thanks for reading.


About the Author:

My name is Jeannie Holmes. I specialize in social media, blogging and graphic design. I love writing for Travel Nursing, there's always new things to explore and learn. It's my mission to get down to the facts of travel nursing and let everyone know what a rewarding career it truly is. I’m also the Social Media and Brand Cultivator at Medical Solutions, one of the leading traveling nurse companies. I have never been a nurse and am not a recruiter. Thanks for reading.

2 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: What should I do about my unresponsive recruiter?"

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  1. Alisa Jeffries


    I think that is a great idea! I just accepted my first assignment, so I don’t have a lot of experiences to share yet.

  2. Alisa Jeffries


    When I first started looking for an agency and a recruiter, it was a bit of a catastrophe. I did a lot of research about travel nursing, read reviews of the different agencies, and contacted 4-5 companies…at first. Filling out seemingly endless applications and skills checklists was time consuming, so when I came upon, I thought it sounded like a great idea to fill out one application and one checklist and have them sent to a bunch of companies at once. The days after I completed my RNvip profile I was inundated with 20+ phone calls daily, each with follow-up emails and texts immediately after the call. I had to delete voicemails twice a day because they kept filling up my inbox.

    After speaking to several of the recruiters over the phone, I was losing track of who I had spoken to about what. It was overwhelming and time consuming. After the first two or three recruiters asking a ton of questions that basically had me trying to recite my resume from memory, I began to think their questions sounded odd, not to mention redundant. With one recruiter it started to feel like they were questioning the veracity of my resume. I was considering ending the interview prematurely when I realized this feeling was based on my assumption that they had read my application and resume. When I asked the recruiter if she had seen my resume, she admitted she had not, but she immediately found it and looked at it. She was pleasantly surprised to discover it answered almost all of her questions.

    Since I am often at work and unable to answer calls or busy with activities that render it impossible for me to take notes when recruiters call, I needed a way to create a record for each company that I could refer back to when needed. I proceeded to email all the companies with my resume attached and requested to communicate via email due to my work schedule. I included my first bank of questions, my preferences, and mentioned that most of their initial questions would be answered by my resume.

    I am a visual person and needed a better way to see how the companies stacked up side by side, so I created my Travel Nurse Workbook on Excel with a spreadsheet to compare the companies and keep the details organized and then started to call each company back and interview them one by one for any additional details and specific clarifications not covered in emails.

    I was impressed specifically with PHP when they sent me an email in return with an attached document called “PHP Travel Description” that in turn was very helpful in answering most of my questions. I am a very busy woman, so the efficiency was very much appreciated.

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