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Friday, October 19, 2007

Travel Nurse Questions And Answers

Q: What are the requirements for becoming a traveling Nurse?
A: You must be a graduate of an accredited health care professional program in the United States or Canada. You also need to provide a valid license or certification and proof of the right to work in the United States.

Q: How much experience do I need to become a travel nurse? A: You need to have a minimum of 12 consecutive months of recent experience in your specialty.

Q: What qualities will help me become a successful traveler?
A: Flexibility, a positive outlook, excellent clinical skills and an eagerness to enjoy a new adventure. You need to be open to change and a quick learner. Good communication skills are also important in this exciting nursing field.

Q: Will traveling look good on my résumé?
A: Yes! Changing locations as a traveler demonstrates your dedication to your profession as well as flexibility in your clinical practice. The travel health care industry is appreciated and well-understood by nurse managers and hospital human resource professionals, so when you apply for a permanent position, your résumé will be strengthened by your list of travel assignments.

Choosing a travel nursing company

Q: What should I look for when choosing a travel nursing company?
A: Choosing a travel nursing company is one of the most important steps in becoming a travel nurse. Each company is different with regards to the benefits and services it provides, so it's important to do your homework. Ask each company what it offers in terms of available assignments, pay and benefits, including health insurance and 401(k), housing, loyalty programs and clinical support. Our travel partners can answer any questions you have about what company is best suited to your needs.

Q: Is it easy to change companies if I'm not happy?

A: If you are currently with a travel health care company but are not happy with their service or the assignments they offer, it is easy to find one that is better suited to you. With previous traveling experience, you won't have any trouble finding a company that will appreciate your skills and experience. Our travel partners are leaders in the industry, so check out what they have to offer.

Assignment Information

Q: Will I have flexibility in choosing my assignments?
A: You are in charge of your career. Just let your recruiter know what you want with regards to the location of your assignment, the facility, the clinical setting and any other details that are important to you. Your recruiter will work to make sure your requests are met.

Q: Can I work as a traveler in my own hometown?
A: Absolutely! Our travel partners have plenty of local "travel" opportunities, many of which could be right where you live. When you work as a travel nurse in your hometown, you can still enjoy all the benefits of travel nursing, without packing your bags and driving to a new destination. It's a great way to balance your home life with a flexible and rewarding career.

Q: What type of hospitals can I work at?
A: You can choose to work in many different types of hospital settings, ranging from prestigious teaching institutions to small, rural facilities. They all use travel nurses. If you have only worked at a small hospital and wish to continue at a similar facility, your travel nurse company will find an assignment that matches your preferences.

Q: How will I learn about the hospital at which I will be working?
A: Each hospital has its own way of orienting and integrating travelers, depending on the size of the facility, how many travelers they use and how they orient their permanent staff. Your recruiter will be able to provide you with many of these orientation details when you discuss potential assignments. This is also a great question to bring up during your interviews with the potential assignment hospitals.

Q: Where are the assignments located?
A: When you travel with the best travel staffing companies, you'll have access to assignments across all 50 states and in all types of health care facilities.

Q: How long will it take before I can start my first assignment?
A: Much of it depends on you and when you want to start. After your application has been accepted and processed, many companies immediately present you as a possible candidate to hospitals, unless you ask them not to. Some travelers have started an assignment one week after submitting their initial application. Others have waited a few months until they felt ready to leave their permanent position and begin their travel lifestyle. It's entirely up to you.

Traveling as a Nurse

Q: Do I need a new license for each state I travel to?
A: Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding licensure. The best travel nursing companies have specialists who will work with you to ensure that you obtain the required license for your assignment state well before your start date.

Q: Do I have to sign a long-term contract? A: No. The contractual relationship between you and your travel nursing company is strictly on an assignment-by-assignment basis.

Q: What is a full-time schedule for a travel nurse? A: Forty hours per week is considered full time for travelers working eight- or 10-hour shifts. Travelers who work 12-hour shifts are considered full time at 36 hours per week.

Q: How do I keep up with my mail? A: Travelers can deal with their mail in a several different ways. One solution is to forward your mail with the postal service each time you move. Other travelers maintain a permanent address at a friend's or family member's house and have their mail forwarded to them on a weekly basis. Other travelers prefer to rent a private post office box, and the proprietor forwards all mail on a predefined basis.

Q: What happens to my banking while I'm on the road?
A: This is entirely up to you. One popular benefit offered by many travel nursing companies is the direct deposit service. This allows your pay check to be automatically deposited into your bank account, and enables you to stay with your hometown bank while you're out of town.

Pay and Benefits

Q: What will my pay rate be?
A:Pay rates vary depending on the facility, location and your specialty. The pay rates for RNs are generally up to $40 per hour, while pay rates for LPNs, surgical technologists and respiratory therapists are usually up to $28 per hour. In addition, many hospitals offer generous completion and sign-on bonuses of up to $6,000.

Q: Are continuing education hours offered?
A: The best travel health care companies, including our partners, offer courses to their travel nurses at no charge, and discounted continuing education contact hours to travelers who are not currently on assignment.

Q: What about a 401(k) program?
A: 401(k) programs vary by company, so check for details. Many offer excellent programs and a few provide immediate eligibility and partial company matching. Our travel partners offer a generous 401(k) program with employee matching.

Q: Will I receive medical and dental insurance?
A: Most travel companies offer full health care coverage. Our travel partners offer travelers a choice of health plans—one with coverage starting the first day on assignment! Be sure to ask for details before you accept an assignment with any travel nursing company. It could help you make the decision about which company to travel with.

Q: How do I earn a bonus? A: Many travel nursing companies offer bonuses, paid at the end of your assignment. Some companies also offer sign-on bonuses, referral bonuses and tenure bonuses in the form of incentive programs. Ask the company for complete details as bonuses and incentive programs vary within the industry.

Q: How is my travel reimbursement determined?

A: Travel reimbursement is usually paid at the rate of 30 cents per mile. Best of all, it's tax free. This is generally paid to the traveler directly by the travel nursing company.


Q: What type of accommodations can I expect?
A: Travelers typically share a comfortable two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment or condominium, close to their workplace. Apartments/condos are always fully furnished and the travel company sets up and pays for utilities. You also have the option of receiving a monthly rent stipend (called a housing subsidy) and handling your own arrangements. Each travel company's housing will differ, so be sure to check with a recruiter. For instance, our travel partners offer travelers free, private, quality housing, so be sure to find out what each company offers.

Q: If I don't use the company's housing, will I receive a housing allowance?
A: Yes. Most travel companies will provide you with a monthly housing subsidy if you arrange and pay for your own housing.

Traveling with others

Q: Can I travel with family or friends to my assignments?
A: Yes! Traveling as a health care professional is a fantastic way to explore the country with your family or best friends. Let your recruiter know whom you will be traveling with to ensure that you are provided with housing that suits your travel lifestyle.

Q: Is it possible for me to take an assignment together with a friend? A: Yes! Many travelers select their assignments together and either work at the same hospital or at different hospitals in the same city. Some travelers share apartments while others arrange to have their own private apartments in the same complex.LEARN MORE ABOUT TRAVEL NURSING AND SEARCH OUR JOB BOARD

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