Travel nurses do not find employment working at various hospitals by themselves. They find employment when they have their application accepted at a travel nursing agency. Travel nursing agencies are agencies that match available travel nursing employment up with available travel nurses. Because their financial fate hinges on the nursing travel agency, it is important that travel nurses find a good agency.
The first thing travel nurses have to consider is that it is the travel nursing agency, not the hospital, that pays their salary. The hospital cuts a check to the agency, who then uses that money to pay the travel nurse. Before applying at the travel nursing agency the nurse should ask how often they will be receiving checks from the agency, do they get paid weekly, monthly, bi-weekly, or do they only get paid when the job has been completed. It is important to know how often you can plan on receiving a check so that you will be able to plan a budget. Talk to other nurses who are employed through the agency, find out how happy they are with the agency’s payment plan.
Try to find out how often travel nurses employed through the agency are working. Are they able to find employment twelve months a year if they want it, or do they find that they have long periods of idleness in between jobs. If the travel nurses who are working through the travel nursing agency have long periods between jobs find out if that is due to personal choice or a lack of available travel nursing positions.
When you are considering a potential travel nursing agency find out what their policy is for travel expenses. Some travel nurse agency’s pay the travel expenses of their nurses, other agencies deduct the cost of traveling out of the travel nurse’s salary. Some agencies even have a policy that requires the travel nurse to pay their own travel expenses. Other agencies provide a traveling allowance, they provide a certain amount of money for the nurse to travel to their new job, if the nurse’s ravel expenses exceeds that amount the nurse is responsible for the additional cost. Travel nurses typically drive to their new jobs but on some occasions they choose to fly. The way that the travel nurse agency handles the nurse’s travel expenses will make a big difference in how the travel nurse budgets.
Talk to the travel nurses who are already employed by the agency about the living arrangements. Most travel nursing agencies find housing for their nurses. Talk to the other travel nurses about how accessible the hospitals are to the housing. Find out if the housing is typically well furnished. Ask if the housing facility’s are kept clean or if the agency just looks for the cheapest possible place.
Other things that you might want to consider asking before you select a travel nurse agency is how long nurses typically remain with the agency. You will want to find out how long the agency has been in business. You will also want to know if your pay rate and hours are guaranteed. Ask the agency what types of benefits they offer their travel nurses.