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Nurse First News Blog

How to Select a Travel Nursing Company

Posted August 22, 2022

Selecting a travel nursing company can feel daunting and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! There are many travel nursing companies to choose from. Here are a few key things to look for when choosing the best travel nurse company for you!

Things to keep in mind when choosing a travel nurse agency

Company Reputation

Girl giving thumbs up and is smiling

This is a big one. Listen and read what others are saying about travel nursing companies. Check out social media pages, read Google reviews, and ask fellow nurses for advice. Based on your own research and advice from others, you’ll narrow down the list of travel nursing agencies! Look for agencies that have been established for awhile, put their nurses first, and are known for being friendly yet competitive! Also, look for travel nursing agencies that provide great benefits to their employees as well as making them want to sign for another contract with them.

Variety of Jobs

Guy searching on his computer for jobs

Check out the specific job board of the travel nursing company you’re looking at. This gives you a glance at the job openings in your desired area. Travel nursing companies usually work with a variety of hospital systems throughout the country. As a company that has been in business for over 25 years, we have solid relationships with many of them. This is a great benefit to you! Our Account Managers have built close relationships with our clients. So, if you don’t initially see a perfect job match on our job board, give us a call and we’ll hunt one down for you. Not sure where you want to travel to yet? Check out our blog on the best states for nurses to work and live – we’re sure you’ll find the perfect spot!

Housing Options

House in the sunset

Landing a travel nursing contract is step one. Step two is finding a place to call home! Pro Tip: When shopping around for a travel nursing company make sure that a dedicated Housing Coordinator is on staff. This person does all the leg work in researching and securing your housing for your travel nursing assignment. Moving is one of the top stressors in someone’s life – but not when you have a Housing Coordinator on your side! Our housing guru takes your needs, wants, and budget requirements and finds you a home. We’ll make sure your home away from home is nothing short of amazing. 

Pay and Benefits

Girl smiling and happy with money in her hands

One of the many perks of being a travel nurse is the pay! On average, travel nurses earn approximately 20% more than permanent nurse employees. As a travel nurse, there are many factors that contribute to what your pay package looks like. This includes years of experience, location, facility, housing, and benefits that you choose to receive. Along with great pay packages, PRN Healthcare offers a variety of benefits to ensure our nurses are taken care of every step of the way. These benefits include:

Health insurance
Life insurance
Dental insurance
Vision insurance
401K plan
Contract renewal bonus
Referral bonus
Continuing education 
PRN Plus Program

Extra Hours Pay/Bonuses

alarm clock with hand on it

As a travel nurse you are always looking for the best opportunities to earn extra hours and money on your next shift. That’s why it is important to know if the travel nursing company you are looking at offers extra hours or bonuses. Besides working long hard shifts, you want to be appreciated by your travel nursing company. That is why you should find out if your travel nursing agency gives sign-on or referral bonuses to their employees, because that’s even better and more money!

Missed or Canceled Shift Policy

girl in shock when looking at her phone

As a travel nurse it is important to keep in mind what your company’s policy is when you have to miss or cancel a shift due to other circumstances. Some travel nursing companies may be more lenient if you have to miss or cancel a shift, while others may be more strict and not allow it. You want to make sure to clarify with the travel nursing company right away to find out what the correct protocol is when situations like that might happen while on contract with them.

Availability of Stipends

Life expenses with coins

When looking into travel nursing companies it’s essential to keep in mind the availability of stipends that you have during the given time period that you are on contract. Many travel nurses use their stipends to cover expenses such as housing, food, travel, etc. As a travel nurse you want to make sure that you have access to your stipends for a long enough period that you are able to use them on some of these expenses listed above. Also, you want to make sure your stipends are available to use on some of these expenses since every travel nursing company is different on their stipend usage.

Ease of Onboarding

A girl talking to another girl while holding a pencil and having a computer by them

Once getting hired, you want the onboarding experience to be as simple and painless as possible. Every travel nurse staffing agency is different when it comes to their onboarding experience. For example, some agencies want their recruiters to have training for a few weeks, while others may want their recruiters to train for months until being on their own. It’s also important that the travel nurse staffing agency is clear and upfront with their polices and expectations in terms of housing, stipends, pay, etc.

Recruiter Vibe

Finding the perfect recruiter is key when selecting a travel nurse company. The goal is to work with someone who is trustworthy, honest, determined, and empathetic. A fun personality doesn’t hurt either. No one wants to work with someone who sounds like the back of a Raisen Brand cereal box. According to Bluepipes, travel nurses said that finding a recruiter is one of the most important factors in selecting a travel nurse company. So, how do you go about finding your match made in heaven?!

The task may feel impossible, but it’s quite easy. Join job boards that are nursing-specific. For example, Travel Nurse Source allows nurses to search for jobs and recruiters. On this platform, you can read recruiter reviews, scan bios, and access recruiter contact information. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you might hit it off so well with your recruiter that you’ll be invited to their wedding! Not that we have experience with that or anything… 😉

Nurse First Culture

Pete with travel nurse photo

Find a travel nursing company that invests in YOU and not solely your career. This is a real game-changer. You should be heard, celebrated, understood, and supported throughout your travel nursing career. This is something that our company values focus on each day. Upfront and open conversations are key to any successful relationship. Remember, it must go both ways! PRN Healthcare is here for you both personally and professionally. Our Nurse First culture means we don’t shy away from difficult but important conversations. We never want to mislead or point you in the wrong direction. It’s our obligation and duty to you as a travel nurse to give you the best information available. When you work with us, you become a part of our tight-knit family. 

Questions to ask yourself before starting to work with an agency

It is important as a travel nurse to be sure that you really want to work with that particular agency. To understand that you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do you trust the Recruiter?
  • Can you reach your agency contacts quickly and easily?
  • Does your agency have a track record of providing first-rate housing?
  • Does your agency understand how important it is to be able to travel with family members and pets?

Finding the best travel nursing company is key to unlock an incredible travel nursing experience. When you’re doing your research on travel nursing companies, be sure they check off the key components listed above. You deserve a company with a solid reputation, rock star recruiters, a housing coordinator on staff, Nurse First culture, a variety of job options, and an excellent pay package with benefits. Now go on and begin your search for the best travel nursing company for you!

Employee Applicant Statement

I certify that the information provided by me in this application is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that if I am employed, any false statements or omissions can lead to immediate dismissal, and I agree that Nurses PRN shall not be held liable in any respect if my employment is terminated for that reason. Nurses PRN is hereby authorized to verify the information I have supplied and to conduct any investigation of my personal history records. I authorize the companies, schools, and persons named in this application to give any information requested regarding my employment, character, and qualifications, and release and hold harmless Nurses PRN and the companies, schools, and persons from any liability. I understand and agree that if hired, my employment is at-will, for no definite period and may be terminated at any time without prior notice and without cause. I further understand that any offer of employment may be conditioned upon the results of a physical examination, including tests for the use of controlled substances in accordance with applicable laws.

If hired, I agree to abide by all rules and regulations of Nurses PRN, which I understand are subject to change by Nurses PRN at any time for any reason without prior notice.

Nurses PRN is an equal opportunity employer. Nurses PRN considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally-protected status. Those applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application and/or the interview process should notify Nurses PRN and request such accommodations.

Should an investigation or legal proceeding adversely affect my professional license/certification or ability to perform the functions of the job, I understand that I am obligated to immediately report said occurrence to Nurses PRN’s Chief Nursing Officer at 888-830-8811. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

I represent and warrant that I have read and fully understand the foregoing.

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