Travel nursing jobs are a great way to build career experience while getting paid to explore the United States. However, as with any other opportunity, they’re not all created equally! Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or about to embark on your first assignment as a traveler, here are the most important questions to ask a travel nurse recruiter.
The Most Important Questions to Ask a Travel Nurse Recruiter
The first step is learning the basic facts about the agency to get an idea of whether they can be trusted to provide high-quality travel jobs in desirable facilities, in the areas where you actually want to work. These questions will also show that you know the difference between a great opportunity and a run-of-the-mill job, which increases your chances of landing the former (instead of being stuck with the latter).
- What’s the history of this nursing agency?
- How long have you been a recruiter with this agency?
- How many office locations do you have? Do you have opportunities across the U.S.?
- What kinds of specialties are most in demand?
- In which cities and states are you currently hiring the most?
- What makes your agency the best choice for travel nurse jobs?
- Why do you, as a travel nurse recruiter, like working for this company or agency?
Can the agency provide opportunities that will improve your career? Some travel assignments involve filling in for the temporary absence of a permanent nurse, or to reach a larger labor pool during times of high utilization. But some exist because a facility can’t retain permanent staff. These questions can help you determine whether an agency’s jobs are fulfilling and rewarding, or a career dead end.
- What types of facilities do you provide opportunities for?
- Why are these facilities seeking travel nurses, instead of permanent staff?
- What are the most popular assignments for your travel nurses, and why?
- Do you have any testimonials from previous travelers?
It’s also important to learn about the quality and variety of positions that a travel nursing agency has to offer, as well as the expectations for the average assignment. Most agencies offer 13-week assignments with conditions similar to permanent employment, but it’s important to clarify that if you’re in doubt — or to get details on other types of jobs that may be available.
- What’s the typical length of assignment that you offer?
- Do your opportunities involve standard shifts, or should I expect to work irregular hours?
- What’s your floating policy?
- Do travel nursing jobs typically have any possibility of extension?
- Do you currently have any assignments that you’d recommend for me, given my specific specialty and level of experience?
It’s also important to address how you will be supported as a traveler, and what kind of relationship you can expect to have with the travel nurse recruiter should you accept an assignment.
- Will you be my recruiter during my entire assignment?
- Will I have constant access to you, or another recruiter, while I’m on the job?
- Do you offer travel transition assistance?
- Do you offer training before the assignment begins?
- Will you help me obtain any additional licensing or credentialing that this assignment may require? If so, how does that work, and what are the expectations?
- Is housing included in the assignment? If so, how close will it be to the facility?
- Do you cover my travel expenses — for instance, the cost of flying to the assignment, or reimbursement for a rental car?
While it’s important to include questions about compensation and benefits, it’s also a good idea to keep these questions in reserve until you’re wrapping up. This is crucial info to have, no doubt, but if you ask about it too early, you risk giving the idea that pay is your primary motivation, which may not help you make the best possible first impression with a travel nurse recruiter.
- How does the compensation compare to permanent employment?
- Are the hours guaranteed?
- What type of benefits do you offer travelers? Is medical insurance included?
- Is overtime pay included, if applicable?
- Do you offer completion bonuses?
- Do you offer referral bonuses?
- Do you offer direct deposit for payments?
- Do you offer reimbursement for continuing education (CE) classes?
Finally, finish by asking your recruiter about a few hypothetical travel scenarios. The quality of the responses to these questions may be the best indicator of how will the recruiter and the agency they represent can be trusted during a travel assignment.
- What happens if I get sick, have a family emergency, or am unable to finish my assignment for a similar reason?
- What’s your procedure for dealing with problems that may arise with housing or travel arrangements?
- Who should I contact if there are any issues (such as safety concerns) with the assignment?
- If this assignment leads to other opportunities, how will you work to support my overall goals and career success?
It’s obviously not reasonable to expect the chance to ask all of these questions during a conversation with a travel nurse recruiter. But by becoming familiar with this list, you’ll get a sense of what you should know before accepting a travel assignment — and you’ll improve your chances of landing the best possible career opportunity, too.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
At CareerStaff, we offer more than helpful info on landing great career opportunities — we also offer high-quality travel jobs in facilities nationwide! With great recruiters, coast-to-coast opportunities, and a dedication to supporting our travelers, it’s no wonder why we’re the preferred source of jobs for thousands in every corner of the U.S.A.
If you’re in the market for a new career opportunity, or interested in exploring different horizons, we welcome you to learn more about our best-in-class nursing jobs by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 972-812-3200. You can also join our roster of nursing professionals here, or browse our list of travel nursing jobs here.