If you have been a nurse for some time, you may start receiving emails and/or voicemails from recruiters wanting to gain your business. The amount of calls and emails can be overwhelming and if you are considering travel it’s hard to decided which recruitment company to work with. I wanted to provide some tips from my own experiences while travel nursing that can help you decide on how to proceed with your future in the career. Here are my tips for working with multiple travel nursing companies.
*Please note: Company and agency are used interchangeably throughout this blog.
Should you work with multiple travel recruiter companies?
My answer is yes! There are benefits to working with multiple travel companies; however, I always provide full disclosure to all the travel nursing companies that I am working with. This not only creates cohesion with your recruiters, but will form an understanding as well. Travel nurse recruiters work hard and diligently to find you placement for a travel contract and not providing full disclosure can lead to denial of future contract placement with a company. You never want to soil your name in the Travel Nursing community. Always be upfront about your decisions to work with multiple travel companies.
How many travel nursing companies should I work with?
Personally, I think it is best to have two to three companies that you work with exclusively when you travel. However, there may be an occurrence when you want to work with a hospital that exclusively works with one travel company that may not be your top two or three. This would be the time to accept a travel contract outside of your multiple travel companies, unless:
- There is a disagreement with your recruiter regarding travel placement and there are no other recruiters available to accommodate your needs or
- You are dissatisfied with your current travel company and have informed them you will be seeking new representation.
What are the benefits of working with multiple travel recruiter companies?
Different companies offer different compensation, benefits, and placement. No one company is like the others. Some companies offer life insurance, disability, and health benefits at competitive prices. Some companies have exclusive contracts with the top hospitals nurses are seeking. Some companies offer the best prices for travel nursing housing. It is best to compare the companies and weigh the benefits.
Will getting submitted to the same position by multiple companies be problematic?
No. Of course, travel nursing agencies will want you to believe this can be problematic and believe you shouldn’t work with other agencies. It is in the agency’s best interest to limit the number of companies you work with. My favorite excuse is: “Hospitals look down upon candidates who are submitted by different agencies.” Candidates are submitted by different agencies all the time and it has never been an issue. Landing an assignment is highly competitive and it becomes highly competitive for the agencies. Travel nurse recruiters only get paid if the nurse is working. Once a candidate profile is received with location preferences and compensation requirements, candidates are often submitted to matching facilities regardless of the candidate being notified first. In the end, you will not be penalized for working with multiple companies for the same position.
Is there a difference in pay packages from agency to agency?
Yes! There is a major difference between pay packages from agency to agency. Having worked with a top travel nurse recruitment agency and a smaller agency in the past, the packages were always different.
For an ER nurse dayshift position in Florida, the following agencies offered the following prices:
Hourly Rate: $20/hour rate (taxable)
Weekly Subsidy (housing): $438.46 (nontaxable)
Weekly Meals pay: $357 (nontaxable)
Weekly Net Pay: $1,378.66
Hourly Rate: $18/hour rate (taxable)
Weekly Subsidy (housing): $350 (nontaxable)
Weekly Meals pay: $300 (nontaxable)
Weekly Net Pay: $1,175.00
That’s a $200 difference per week between the two companies. $800 dollars a month! Why is there such a big difference when companies are compensated the same? Multiple companies can submit you to the same position, it is your decision on who you decide to use once a travel contract is obtained.
In addition, having multiple agency pay packages will give you leverage to negotiate pay packages with other companies you may want to work with.
I am thinking about starting Travel Nursing? How do I know which company is best for me?
It can be very difficult to find a travel nurse agency who will help guide you through the process of becoming and transitioning into travel nursing. You really need to use your best judgment on the agencies and the overall relationship with your recruiter. If your recruiter is not returning your phones or emails promptly, it is time to find another recruiter or different company. In contrast, if the recruiter is calling or texting you too much to the point it become borderline harassment (I know from experience), it may be time to find another company. If you find the happy medium, it is important to discuss their expectations of you as a nurse and what you should expect from them as a company.
I hope you found this post informative and beneficial to your decision to begin or continue to travel nurse. It can be one of the scariest and exciting moments in your life. Your journey to begin travel nursing is amazing! Enjoy it and live it.