To anyone who has spent weeks and even months combing the classified section of their local newspapers looking for jobs, or the person working out of a temp agency who can only find employment that lasts for a couple of days or a few weeks it seems incomprehensible that a travel nurse is able to finish working on one assignment, pack their bags, and move seamlessly onto a new assignment in a different state. A good travel nurse doesn’t have to return to their home town if they time their assignments right. It might sound incomprehensible but that is what happens.
If you stop to consider the situation travel nurses aren’t really employed by the hospitals and medical facilities where they are working. Travel nurses are technically employed by the nursing agency. The agency gives each travel nurse a travel allowance. They find and in some cases fund the travel nurse’s housing. They make sure that the travel nurse is legally able to work in each state. Most importantly the travel nurse’s agency is the place where the paychecks come from.
The nurse’s agency is where the travel nurse gets their latest work assignment. Each agency has their own policy for matching travel nurses with work assignments. Some agency’s match new assignments with nurses who qualify for the position and are available to take it. Other agency’s post a job board on their agencies website. When it is time for a travel nurse to find a new assignment they simply have to go to the agency’s job board and search available jobs until they find one that sounds suitable for them, they then contact the agency, requesting the assignment.
Once a travel nurse makes a request for an assignment the agency double checks that travel nurse is qualified for the position. Once the agency determines that the travel nurse is qualified for the position they make sure that the nurse is also legally allowed to practice medicine in the state where the assignment is located. If the travel nurse needs to have paperwork filed in order to obtain a license in the state, the agency starts working to make sure it happens as expediently as possible
Once the travel nurse has been approved for the assignment, the agency starts looking for available housing. While the agency is looking for a place for the nurse to live the nurse needs to think about their travel arrangements. Most travel nurses drive to each assignment but some prefer to fly, especially if their new assignment is located in a large city where public transportation is provided and it is difficult to keep a car.
It is imperative the travel nurse’s agency make sure that their nurses have plenty of assignments and that the travel nurses they employ are happy with their assignments. The agency’s only make money if the travel nurses they hire are taking lots and lots of assignments. The smoother each assignment goes the more likely the travel nurse is to take on more assignments.