A quality staffing agency provides nurses with competitive pay rates, housing stipends, and other benefits. Working in diverse healthcare facilities exposes travel and agency nurses to new skills, advanced technologies, and patient populations. It can make them more valuable to employers.
Access to a Wide Range of Opportunities
When you work with the best travel nurse agency, you have access to jobs in different locations and specialties. It can be great if you aren’t set on the kind of career you want to pursue long-term or if you are still trying to figure out where you want to live. For example, a hospital in a hurricane zone might be looking for nurses to help with the crisis. It might not be a typical destination for travel nurses, but it’s an opportunity that could be very rewarding and potentially lucrative.
Agencies partner with various hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities nationwide. Many travel nurses enjoy the variety of assignments offered by their agencies. They may even be able to sign up for rapid response posting, which means they can be ready to start working very quickly at hospitals that need help. They also usually get access to a dedicated recruiter who serves as their advocate, cheerleader, and support system throughout their assignments. It’s essential to research agencies thoroughly, but many have positive user reviews and can offer benefits like 401Ks, housing stipends, education reimbursement, and completion bonuses.
No Need to Search for a New Job
When travel nurses collaborate with a reliable organization, they can be confident that they will secure an assignment before the expiration of their current contract. It eliminates the stress of rushing to find a new job and saves nurses time, as they don’t have to search the internet or reach out to their contacts in the industry. Nurses also do not have to get wrapped up in hospital issues or politics when they work with an agency. It means they can stay focused on their nursing job and advance their careers.
Additionally, working with an agency allows nurses to explore new facilities and specialized fields if they decide to make travel nursing a permanent career choice. By pursuing multiple assignments, nurses can learn more about what they enjoy and their strengths and weaknesses. This way, they can avoid burnout and determine if traveling nursing is for them. Moreover, they may even discover that they enjoy a specific department or area of the medical field that they had never considered before.
One of the most exciting aspects of travel nursing is the variety of assignments that can be available. Agencies often connect with healthcare institutions nationwide and internationally, allowing nurses to explore different locations and settings. In addition, many agencies offer sign-on and completion bonuses. These can be a great way to increase your pay. Depending on the agency, housing can be offered as part of your assignment package. Typically, agency housing options are furnished and centrally located in your facility. These homes are an excellent option for travel nurses who prefer to eliminate the hassle of finding housing on their own and those who want to make sure they’re near a hospital in case of an emergency. Other travel nurses choose to take a stipend and find their lodging. It allows them to stay within their budget and gives them the flexibility to choose an apartment or vacation rental that meets their needs. It also means they can work with a local real estate agent to get the best deal on a temporary home.
Choosing an agency that provides personalized service is one of the most critical decisions a travel nurse can make. A great agency is your sounding board, advocate, and partner throughout your assignment. It is a relationship that impacts your finances, lifestyle, and state of mind—it’s not something to take lightly.
Most travel nursing agencies offer highly competitive pay, housing fees (or a stipend to cover housing costs), health insurance, and 401K contributions during your assignment. Some may also offer bonus packages, referrals, education reimbursement, and more.
Working in various locations, from top research hospitals to rural community clinics, helps nurses expand their skills and gain invaluable experiences. Working with different patient populations, teams, and managers also enables you to learn new strategies and techniques that you would not have been able to experience by staying in the same position for an entire career. Every new assignment is a chance to explore a new city and all it offers in your off hours. Often, these opportunities lead to friendships that last beyond your contract.
Having the flexibility to try out travel nursing assignments in various locations, specialty fields, and hospital systems is one of the most attractive aspects of working with a travel agency. Even if you think you know where you want your career to go, travel nurses can explore different areas of the country until they find a place that genuinely calls to them. Hospitals often need travel nurses to fill temporary staffing gaps and surges, especially during crises like pandemics or natural disasters. Travel nurses also enter hospitals experiencing a high turnover of staff nurses, creating what TIME magazine calls a “vicious cycle.” The proper travel nurse agencies can offer perks to attract travelers, like low census pay, paid overtime, tuition reimbursement, sick pay, and housing stipends. These extras can distinguish between staying at a job you don’t enjoy or moving on to a new assignment before it gets old.