Extending A Travel Nurse Contract in 2022
You’re halfway through your current travel nurse contract and are loving it. The pace, co-workers, and caseload keep you satisfied. The location is invigorating! You are sad you have to leave in a few weeks without truly getting to experience everything. Maybe you are even receiving crisis pay and want to keep the money rolling in. Does this sound like you? If so, extending a travel nurse contract might be a great option.
When nurses have a positive experience in a certain position they may opt to extend their travel contract. Some of our nurses at PRN Healthcare have been extending a travel nurse contract for the last two years in the same facility. Especially with the pandemic in full swing, hospitals are in need of help everywhere. Staying in one location is convenient for your facility and you.
Why Should I Extend my Travel Nurse Contract?
There are many considerations when thinking about extending a travel nurse contract. Some reasons are for your own professional resume, while others revolve around you genuinely liking the facility and people! Whatever it is, we are here to help make the extension as seamless as possible.
It Makes You Desirable
When PRN Healthcare is working with new travelers, we always recommend extending a travel nurse contract. Being extended as a new travel nurse shows future facilities that you were so exceptional they wanted you to stay longer. This speaks volumes to facilities. It also helps build your travel nurse resume!
You Enjoy Your Role
Many nurses extend based on the rate alone and then burn themselves out. The number one thing to consider should always be your satisfaction in the role. If you enjoy going to work that is half the battle. Before extending you want to ensure you could do another 13 weeks physically and mentally. Are the pace and patient ratio where it needs to be for you? If not, you might want to look into other contracts.
You Feel at Home in The Facility
If you find you have great connections with other staff members and mesh into the flow of the facility, this could be a great reason to extend your contract. One benefit of travel nursing is avoiding hospital politics.
Pro Tip: Steer clear from the drama! When our nurses get sucked into the politics they often can’t count down the weeks until the contract is over quick enough.
You Want More Time in The Location
Our corporate office is in Wisconsin. We get wanting to escape the winters for a warmer location for a few months. We also understand wanting to stay in a location because of new friends or the fundamental feeling of belonging. If your heart tells you to stick around, then do it! You are the captain of your own ship.
Lastly, extending a travel nurse contract is convenient. You don’t have to worry about being submitted to other facilities or having to uproot and move. You also help solve a staffing shortage problem for your facility by staying. With the pandemic, facilities more than likely would love to extend your contract and save themselves the panic of finding your replacement.
When Should I Ask to Extend my Travel Nurse Contract?
If you want to extend your nursing contract the sooner you talk to your recruiter and manager, the better! Communication is key in the travel nursing world. If you do want to stay, communicate that to your manager so they know to get the ball rolling. It is not uncommon for managers to replace you with another traveler because they didn’t think you wanted to stay.
What if I don’t Want to Extend My Travel Nurse Contract?
Ready to move on or there is no need to renew? Get the ball rolling halfway through your current contract to ensure you are locked in with another great position when your current travel nurse contract ends.
Once you know you want to go somewhere else, connect with your recruiter right away. To start the process on the agency side, provide your recruiter with the email address and phone number of your manager so they can get a feedback form completed from your current assignment. Again, this is to let future facilities know that you did an awesome job and that you are welcome back. Positive feedback is HUGE.
Check Your Calendar
The beauty with travel nursing is you make your schedule! Sometimes our nurses take breaks between contracts to see family or just to unwind. If you have a vacation or wedding planned be sure to let your recruiter know your expectations for time off.
Location, Location, Location!
Where do you want to go?! The sky is truly the limit in travel nursing. If you are wanting to travel to a state that you don’t have licensure for, start the process to get licensed. Licensure times can vary greatly (especially with the onset of COVID-19) and you don’t want your dream assignment held up waiting for a license. Plus, we will reimburse you!
Pro Tip: Keep an open mind on location. Sometimes a place you’ve never been interested in provides the best experience! Curious where you should go? Check out the best locations to work in as a travel nurse.
Why a Facility Won’t Extend a Travel Nurse Contract?
It’s not unusual for a facility to not extend your contract, even when you want to stay. Here are some of the most common reasons why a travel nurse doesn’t get extended.
No Needs or Changed Needs
Travel nurses are brought to a facility to help fill needs that aren’t being met. Sometimes these needs get met during your contract. For example, they find a permanent staff nurse to fill the position and no longer need your help.
The facility might also reassess needs and discover gaps in other areas. They might offer you a new position to keep you on staff. On the other hand, if you are not interested in the duties of that new position it might be time to move on.
Not a Great Fit
This doesn’t mean nurses who don’t get extended are bad nurses! Repeat that sentence again. Sometimes the nurse’s personality just doesn’t fit the culture in the facility. That is okay! Even though it is not ideal, it is a great learning moment to understand the types of environments you would thrive in instead. Remember when leaving to not burn any bridges. Even though you are not asked back, you can still leave gracefully. Healthcare is a small world and you don’t want to be marked as a “Do Not Return” on an entire healthcare system.
Looking for Less Time Off and Lower Pay
Although facilities are in desperate need of nurses and healthcare workers right now, they still can be choosey in some cases. Since more staff nurses have started traveling in 2022, you have more competition for attractive contracts. Nurses can absolutely negotiate still when extending. Just know that asking for an excessive pay increase or lots of time off can deter the facility from extending.
On the other side of the coin, sometimes the pay drops between contracts or the time off vary, this can be a concern for the current nurse on contract. If the new rates and time off do not suit you, it is time to move on!
Whether you are extending a travel nurse contract, thinking about extending, or moving on after your current contract, remember to always get feedback from your manager, communicate fully with your recruiter, and enjoy the process! Your recruiters are here to make sure you have the most successful travel nursing experience you can. Let PRN Healthcare work for you and make that happen. We are here 24/7!