Frequently Asked Questions

General information
Q: What is a Healthcare Agency?
A: A healthcare agency contracts with hospitals for the temporary placement of healthcare workers.  Agencies are crucial to the healthcare industry as there are not enough nurses or healthcare professionals to fill hospital needs.
Q: Why should I work for an Agency over a hospital?
A: As a nurse or allied professional working for an agency you are top priority to your agency.  You are the core of their business and they will work very hard to make sure your expectations are exceeded.
Q: What about benefits?
A: No need to worry, unlike the traditional 'temp' work, healthcare staffing agencies as a general rule provide benefits that exceed what you would receive working for a hospital! Not to mention top wages and more control over your nursing career.
Q: How does it look on my resume?
A: Fantastic.  After contract nursing under your belt, you can expect your resume to jump to the top of the pile with future employers.  In this industry, Nurses and other healthcare professionals who work contracts are shown to be flexible, able to adapt quickly and not afraid of change.
Q: How do I select an agency?
A: Decide what it is you want out of your nursing career; identify your short term and long term goals for your career as well as any personal goals you would like to achieve.  Determine what benefits are important to you.  Once you know what you are looking for, start researching agencies and sign on with a Healthcare Staffing Agency that listens to your needs and helps you make it happen!
Travel Nursing
Q: What is travel nursing?
A: Travel nursing is the option to take your career to the next level. Travel nurses are given assignments from hospitals big and small, located all over the country. These assignments allow nurses to work for a number of weeks in a new environment; they enjoy a different setting and earn work experience as well as high pay.

Hospitals seek to fill temporary job positions for various reasons. It is the duty of travel agencies to present prospective candidates and make sure the nurses are well-received once an assignment has been given.

Q: How much do travel nurses make?
A: Travel nurses enjoy a higher than average pay rate, one of the many benefits of travel nursing. Payment ultimately depends on the actual hospital, what sort of position you hold, what skills you have, etc.

Since your agency pays you, the agency you choose also affects how much money you make. Some agencies offer a variety of bonuses – referral bonuses, completion bonuses, etc.

Q: On average, how long are travel nursing assignments?
A: Typically, a single travel nursing assignment lasts 13 weeks. Shorter and longer terms are not unheard of - you could be working as little as 8 weeks, and in some cases as many as 26. On that note, it is possible to extend your assignment in a single area for any reason, be it you are simply needed for a longer time or you find you quite enjoy your new situation. However, both you and your short-term employer need to be in agreement before such action can be taken.
Q: Where will I be going? Can I choose?
A: Travel nursing covers a wide variety of hospitals. Not only are the locations different, but the types of hospitals and their communities will differ as well. You can talk with your travel nurse agency to make sure you get the exact fit you are looking for. What sort of experience are you hoping to gain? What goals would you like to meet? It is your travel nurse agency's job to listen to your qualifications as well as your personal preferences to find the right assignment for you.

If you want to be a little more specific and choose what state you would like to work in, this is also possible – that is, depending on how many travel nurse assignments are available at the time.

Q: Can I take my friends and family with me? What about my pet?
A: Yes, your family can come with you on your travel assignments. In fact, it is even possible for you and your friends to sign up for an assignment together. You could wind up working in the same hospital or city, giving you the opportunity to share your experiences with people you already know.

If you want to take your pet along with you, it is best to let your travel nurse recruiter know up front so there won't be any issues when you arrive at your new destination.

Q: Will I need a new license for every travel nursing assignment?
A: Technically, each state has different rules as far as licenses are concerned. You cannot simply travel to a new state and begin working without looking into this. There are a number of solutions depending on the situation, and your travel nursing agency is responsible for helping prepare you with what you need to know as well as getting you qualified before you begin your assignment.  Take a look at the resource section of our site for valuable information on licensing.
Q: What do I do about housing?
A: Simple answer, tell your travel nurse recruiter in advance any specific requirements or amenities you must have and let them go to work.  Every travel nurse company works differently, but you should expect that housing is and related expenses are handled in advance. Furnishings should be supplied, and your agency should pay for the utilities as well.
Q: What if I don't need housing?
A: You do not necessarily have to take the housing accommodations your travel nurse agency suggests. Checking the region on your own for something more suitable to your personal tastes is perfectly acceptable or perhaps you've made arrangements to stay with a friend.  If you do arrange for something else, you will be given a monthly housing allowance.
Q: What about benefits?
A: Your travel nurse agency is in charge of your healthcare benefits, which include medical and often dental coverage. Other benefits like retirement plans can be included, of course, will vary by agency. It is very important that you do your own research and make comparisons beforehand.
Q: How will travel nursing look on my resume?
A: In a word, outstanding. Travel nursing shows potential employers that you are not only an aspiring, ready individual, but that you have experienced a wide variety of work environment settings. You are exactly the type of admirable talent they are looking for, and the longer your list of assignments, the better.
Q: How do I qualify?
A: First of all, you need to be a graduate of a professional health care program offered in the United States. You will need a valid practice license as well as proof that you are allowed to work in the United States.
Q: How long do I have to wait after signing up?
A: Unless you tell them otherwise, agencies will typically send your qualifications to prospective hospitals immediately. You can get exciting new travel nursing assignments within a week at this rate. If you need some time to get situated before trying out your new lifestyle, you can ask for your information to be withheld for a space. Just be sure to let your agency know when you are ready to begin traveling!
Q: Is it possible to leave my travel agency for another one?
A: Of course it is. If you decide you want to leave your current agency for any reason, finding a newer, better one is easy. This is especially true if you've already got experience with travel nursing under your belt.