Ask a Healthcare Recruiter: Nine Questions About Nursing Jobs

CareerStaff's recruiters, Sharmeda and Gabrael, wearing professional attire behind a green gradient background and answering questions about travel nursing

Did you know: June 6th marks National Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day 2023? When exploring your next assignment, a healthcare recruiter is a special helper and resource who knows a lot about healthcare careers and how to reach your goals. This includes answering many of your top questions about nursing and healthcare jobs!

If you are a nurse, therapist, or other healthcare professional, a healthcare recruiter can be a great friend to have. Here to help clinicians find their dream job opportunities and reach their full potential, it’s no wonder why so many rave about recruiters every day.

So, in honor of Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day, our world-class recruiters sat down to answer your top healthcare, travel, and nursing job questions!

Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day: Meet Sharmeda and Gabrael

National Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day is important because it recognizes the hard work and dedication of those dedicated to your success. Representing some of the best in the business, introducing CareerStaff’s all-star recruiters Gabrael and Sharmeda of our Dallas Travel Team!

Careerstaff recruiter Gabriel Smallwood posed with black professional suit to answer questions about nursing

Gabrael S.

Senior Recruiter

I’m Gabrael Smallwood, Senior Recruiter in the Dallas Travel Nursing Division. January 2024 will make 5 years with the company. I enjoy being a recruiter for many reasons, but the main reason is the relationships I get to form with different nurses across the country.

Each bond is different but each nurse is also like a best friend. My nurses know they can call or text me and talk about anything.

Careerstaff recruiter Sharmeda Johnson smiling and waring a black dress to answer questions about nursing

Sharmeda J.

Senior Recruiter

I’m a Plano, Texas native, and I Graduated from Southern Nazarene University with a MS in Business Management (while playing on the Women’s Basketball team!).

Because I enjoy helping others, I chose a career path that would allow me to pursue my passion in different ways. I currently work as a Sr. Travel Nurse Recruiter out of our Dallas, TX office. I help skilled nurses find contracts so they can take care of their families, plan for retirement, and pursue their desire to help others, too. 

Answering Your Top 9 Questions About Nursing Jobs

After finding a healthcare recruiter, you can gain a better understanding of what to expect from your future careers and make informed decisions about your professional goals.

CareerStaff recruiters Sharmeda and Gabrael answered your most-asked questions about travel nursing and jobs in healthcare!

Question 1: How long does it take to complete credentials? For example, finger prints, state licenses, temp licenses.

Sharmeda: I usually advise nurses the credentialing process can take anywhere from 2-2 ½ weeks to complete, depending on the state requirements. This includes states that require fingerprints, as well as extensive background checks.

Question 2: Should you become a travel nurse right out of nursing school? How much experience do I usually need?

Sharmeda: Becoming a travel nurse isn’t really recommended when coming straight out of nursing school. Many travel assignments can be very difficult, even for some of the most experienced nurses. For that reason, and many others, it’s recommended that nurses have at least one year of experience before hopping on the road.

Question 3: Is it a good idea to switch to staff or PRN from travel nursing right now?

Gabrael: I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a good idea to switch from travel nursing to staff or PRN. It’s all based on your situation. For three years, the rates were super high and great for travel nurses. Although it’s starting to even out, rates are still higher than what they were pre-covid. Today, there are still many great perks with travel nursing!

Question 4: What are the benefits that come with contract nursing jobs?

Gabrael: In addition to direct deposit, insurance, and great retirement benefits, others include loyalty bonuses, shift bonuses, tax-free stipends, and added flexibility. For some nurses, this also comes with exploring different parts of the country!

>  Read more about benefits for nursing and healthcare jobs with CareerStaff!

Question 5: What do I do if something comes up and I cannot finish my assignment? 

Sharmeda: If you have an emergency come up & you’re unable to fulfill your contract, first and foremost contact your recruiter immediately & let them know why & when your last day would be. As a professional courtesy, we always request that you put in a 2-week notice, if possible. Once you’ve contacted your recruiter we advise you to contact the facility as well, so they’re aware immediately as well.

Question 6: Who do I contact if there are issues during assignments? What resources do I have?

Gabrael: As a nurse, your #1 Resource is the recruiter. I give my nurses access to me 24/7. I tell them to call/text me whenever there is an issue. Clinical Services is also there and is great in bridging the gap between facilities and nurses.

Question 7: Advice for a first time travel nurse competing with other applicants?

Sharmeda:  Being a first time traveler isn’t always necessarily a bad thing when being considered for a travel contract, although it’s highly favored. Most facilities also look for nurses that have experience in the particular setting they’re being submitted to as well.

Question 8: Do you have suggestions on how to move around with pets between states?

Sharmeda: Traveling around with pets can be difficult since not all hotels are pet friendly, and many landlords don’t allow them. If you need, make accommodations for your pet while you’re gone on assignment.

> Pro Tip:  Interested in travel nursing? You can also check out these tips for traveling with pets!

Question 9: What are some of the perks of travel nursing?

Gabrael: My top perks I tell new travel nurses all the time: 1. Freedom – You aren’t tied down to working at the same facility. You also have the ability to work an 8-13 week contract, go on vacation, and get right back into a contract. 2. The tax free stipends – anything tax free means more money in your pocket!

National Healthcare Recruiter Recognition Day: Supporting Your Career All-Year Long

Looking to take the next step, or have questions about your healthcare or nursing career? With different roles and opportunities, it can be hard to know where to start. However, healthcare recruiters like Gabrael and Sharmeda are well-versed in guiding you in your career journey. 

careerstaff travel licensed practical nurse Dana, smiling and waring sunglasses at the beach

CareerStaff has great recruiters, communication, and lots of opportunities all over the United States.

– Dana, Travel LPN

From travel to local and per diem, see what opportunities are in store for your career! Explore healthcare and nursing jobs nationwide, or quick apply to get started and connect with your personal healthcare recruiter.

Connect with a Recruiter