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

woman sipping coffee by laptop

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 a while, 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

male nurse in PACU

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 27 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

hotel room

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

Woman with credit card

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 

Extra Hours Pay/Bonuses

nurse going into the shift

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

nurse checking 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 stricter 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

nurse driving to work

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

nurse onboarding

Once 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

PRN Healthcare Recruiters

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!

Nurse First Culture

PRN Healthcare Recruiters

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. 

Flexibility in Work and Schedule

Mom with baby

Travel nursing puts you in the driver’s seat! As a travel nurse you can choose contracts based off of length, location, hours, and shift type. This gives you the ability to choose what is the most important factor for you and expand on that! You’ll want to find an agency that allows this type of flexibility. For example, some nurses like to work 48-hour weeks and make more money so they can afford to take long breaks in between contracts. You can also negotiate specific time off before signing a contract. If having time off is important to you, communicate that with your recruiter.

A great recruiter and company will be happy to find you this flexibility, even if that means you are off contract for a few months out of the year. Whatever your reason for wanting more flexibility, travel nursing is a great way to get that in your personal and professional life.

Professional Growth and Development

Nursing school

The secret to being a phenomenal healthcare professional is being a lifelong learner, on the floor and in the classroom. Practices, drugs, and recommendations change frequently. Staying up-to-date with these medical advancements and changes are important. Agencies often give reimbursements for additional certifications or education. If continuing education is something that is important to you, be sure to ask your recruiter about what their agency has to offer.

Adventure and Exploration

man snorkeling

There’s no question that adventure is a benefit of travel nursing. As a travel nurse the world is truly your oyster. Want to go climb some mountains? Amazing, see what contracts are available in Colorado. Been dying to try an authentic lobster roll? Delicious, inquire about travel contracts in Maine. Travel nursing allows you to experience different cultures, explore National Parks, and try new foods. When choosing a travel agency, you’ll want to see if they have opportunities in areas you are interested in. Keep in mind though some people have the most fun in locations they wouldn’t of thought they would. Keep your mind open to new experiences!

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!