How to Choose the Right Travel Nurse Agency

nurse taking blood pressure during a travel assignment after finding the right travel nurse agency for him

It’s time. You’ve been working for at least a couple of years since nursing school and you’re ready to take this show on the road and become a traveling nurse. The next step is finding the right travel nurse agency for you. The agency you work with has a huge effect on your experience as a traveling nurse. Which agency you choose affects everything from the assignments available to the benefits you receive. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential to find an agency that fits you and your needs. Let’s talk about some things to look for in a travel nursing agency.

Look for a Travel Nurse Agency with Awesome Recruiters

Of course, the travel nurse agency as a whole is important, but your recruiter will be your primary contact. A recruiter can make or break your experience as a traveling nurse. So, look for travel nurse companies that have phenomenal recruiters to help you in your career adventure.

Each agency trains their recruiters differently, which can absolutely have an impact on your experience. After all, recruiters are like your lifeline as a traveling nurse. Recruiters help you find assignments, guide you through each step in the process, and also offer support while you’re on assignment. They are your go-to person. The right travel nursing recruiter is important for making the most of your career as a traveling nurse. You want a recruiter who is always available when you need them. It’s also important for recruiters to listen to you and care about your needs and wants. You don’t want someone who pressures you to take assignments that don’t fit or that disappears while you’re on assignment.

Transparency is a Must for Travel Nurse Staffing Agencies

Transparency is another important thing to look for in a staffing firm. You want to work with travel nurse companies that are open and honest at every step of the way. It’s important for you to know all the details of an assignment before you sign the contract. You also need to know particulars about your pay, housing options, and the process. It’s not a good sign if a travel nurse agency hides important details from you. As a traveling nurse, you need a team that works with you to help you achieve your goals! Therefore, as you look at different agencies, think about how transparent they are.

nurse taking blood pressure during a travel assignment after finding the right travel nurse agency for him
Your travel nurse agency helps you find the right assignments for your goals.

Research the Reputation of Each Travel Nurse Agency

Reputation is important when choosing a travel nurse agency. The agency’s reputation might affect which facilities work with them. That means it can limit opportunities for traveling nurses. Reputation also gives you insight into what to expect from the agency as a traveling nurse.

Checking online reviews is a great way to get a sense of the agency’s reputation. These reviews can help you gauge how people feel about the agency. They can also often offer first-hand information from nurses who have worked with the agency before. In general, people are much more likely to leave a bad review after a negative experience than they are to leave a good review after a positive experience. So, if an agency has good online ratings, that typically means they have a good reputation in the industry.

Check Out the Number and Quality of Jobs

Each traveling nurse is different, so it’s important the agency has plenty of assignments to draw from. It’s like going to a clothing store that only sells two sizes. Many people simply wouldn’t be able to shop at a store that did that. Well, similarly, you want to work with an agency that has a good volume of jobs to find something that suits you. It’s also important that the agency has good quality jobs that may be a match for you. If an agency doesn’t have a lot of assignments available, or very few that fit your needs, then you might have a hard time finding jobs that work well for you. Even if the agency seems great, it’s key to have plenty of assignments to choose from.

Look at Pay Package Structures and Benefits

Compensation changes from assignment to assignment. So, you’ll need to talk to your recruiter about pay for each job as a traveling nurse. However, in most cases the structure will be the same. Generally, this involves a salary rate for the assignment as well as other benefits. You want to make sure the structure fits your needs. For instance, at AHS NurseStat we offer competitive compensation as well as important benefits. Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance for just $15 a week, a 401K savings program with matching, and also professional liability and malpractice coverage. You also have a choice between free housing or a housing stipend for your assignment and you may also receive licensure and credentials reimbursement. So, take time to really evaluate pay packages and compensation structures before choosing an agency.

Confirm Geography for Your Travel Nurse Agency

Did you know some travel nurse companies are actually regional? That means as long as you work for that travel nurse agency, your assignments will be limited to certain areas. A national nurse staffing firm may be a better fit for you if you want to travel across the country. For example, if you want to spend your winters somewhere warm like California, but spend your summers on the East Coast, it’s often easier to do so with a national agency. Otherwise, you may end up needing to switch from regional agency to regional agency to achieve your goals. Remember, taking assignments with different agencies is much like switching employers. It may work better for you to choose an agency that already works in all the destinations you wish to visit as a traveling nurse.

Is Your Travel Nurse Agency Joint Commission Certified?

This is an often-forgotten part of vetting potential travel nurse companies, but it also helps to check whether the agency is certified through the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission independently evaluates healthcare staffing agencies to determine whether they can effectively fill staffing needs with professionals who provide quality care for patients. Agencies must be reassessed and recertified every few years. So, look for the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission as another level of research on each nurse staffing agency you look at.

Know Your Goals and Whether the Travel Nurse Agency can Meet Them

Everyone has a list of must-haves and deal breakers for jobs. Travel nurses are no different. Even though being a travel nurse requires a lot of flexibility and adaptability, you likely have several goals you want to accomplish. You need to find a travel nurse agency that is ready and willing to help you achieve those goals.

For instance, let’s say you have a goal of visiting a certain state you’ve always wanted to explore, but night shifts are a deal breaker. You want to work with an agency that listens to your needs and matches you with appropriate assignments. It’s easier to figure out which agency can fit your needs if you already have a list of goals and deal breakers already prepared while you search for the right fit.

Find Your Perfect Job with AHS NurseStat

Our team at AHS NurseStat is here to help you advance your career. We specialize in staffing for traveling nurses and are here to help you find assignments tailored to your needs. Our recruiters work closely with you to understand your needs and goals so we can make sure each assignment is a good fit for you. We are here to help you find a travel nursing job and make your dreams come true. Browse our job board today or reach out to one of our recruiters to get started!