Travel Nursing Agency Selection Tips
One of the most exciting prospects in AZ healthcare comes from the development of travel nurse agencies Scottsdale Arizona enjoys sunny weather almost every day of the year so naturaly lots of nurses want to move and work here during their careers.
You get to travel and see exciting new places, all while earning a paycheck and getting to help patients. However, just like any industry, there are companies that are better to work for and those that are least desirable. Knowing what to look for in a travel nursing agency can help you identify the truly worthwhile positions.
Expect a Broad Range of Opportunities
The more opportunities the agency has to offer, the better your chance of landing desirable positions. During the initial interview, ask about the number of contracts the agency typically handles and how long the average contract will last. On average, an agency with a good selection will have an average contract lasting 13 weeks, though the overall jobs may last anywhere from four to 26 weeks. Additionally, the assignments should place you with leading facilities across the country, so limited opportunities, or those that come from just a handful of clients, may indicate the agency doesn’t attract many new contracts.
Ask About Exclusive Contracts
While some facilities outsource jobs to multiple agencies like AB Staffing solutions, others post jobs exclusively with one agency. This can mean greater opportunities for the nurses working through those agencies and may even lead to permanent positions with some of the nation’s top healthcare facilities. Where it may seem extremely challenging to get your foot in the door with some of these institutions via conventional means, a travel nursing agency can offer a unique method for getting the experience and position you want.
Look at Their History
A quality employer will have years of experience and will still be attracting new clients. While this is still a fairly new opportunity, travel nursing agencies have been around long enough that individual agencies should have developed a strong presence and garnered a positive reputation. That’s not saying newer agencies don’t show potential, but you may want to commit to an agency with a proven track record. Established companies will show the most promise for growth and a broader range of job opportunities.
Get to Know the Staff
This is as important as the available opportunities. The staff at the agency should be friendly and outgoing. If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions, or if you’re made to feel unwelcome, this may indicate that their clients are treated similarly. There are plenty of agencies to choose from, so don’t feel you have to stick with this type of situation.
Ask About Joint Commission Certification
In October 2004, The Joint Commission was initiated as a means of providing an unbiased evaluation of travel nursing agency services. The Gold Seal of Approval, which they bestow on worthy agencies, has become the standard by which healthcare staffing firms are judged. To earn the certification, the agency must be found to provide competent and quality staffing needs to facilities in the healthcare community. The agency you work for should have earned this Gold Seal of Approval and should continuously qualify for recertification every few years.
Ask About Compensation
This is particularly important for traveling nurses, as compensation can vary from job to job. In addition to the pay, inquire about the standard benefits package. In addition to healthcare coverage, dental insurance, life insurance, you should also ask about relocation benefits. Some agencies may provide free or low-cost housing, cover travel expenses, and may pay fees for additional licensing requirements. It’s important to find out if there is a grace period, before you can access these benefits, or if they go into effect immediately upon hire.
Ask About Bonuses
There are many types of bonuses travel nursing agencies may offer to their employees. The more desirable companies will offer bonuses as a means to attract and retain top talent. Some common types of bonuses include:
- Sign-on bonuses
- Seasonal bonuses
- Assignment completion bonuses
- Overtime bonuses
- Shift differentials
Look for a Strong Support System
Your agency should offer support personal available to answer your questions, or address your concerns, on a regular schedule. Agency personnel should be able to help you with concerns about your assignment, housing questions, and licensing for the ability to work in a new state. The best agencies will offer a 24-hour support hotline, so your questions can be answered in a pinch. In many cases, your concerns will affect your ability to function in your job, so agencies often recognize the importance of providing support to their nurses.
Do a Quick Online Search
In today’s digital world, one of the best indicators of a quality business are the reviews customers and employees post online. By looking into reviews left by past employees, you can discover more about what to expect from the company. While you should expect any agency to get its fair share of negative reviews from disgruntled former employees, a larger number of negative reviews, or a few which cite similar complaints, should be taken more seriously.
Go with Your Gut
Even after you’ve followed the preceding suggestions, the best indicator may be your own gut instinct. If your intuition tells you this is a bad company to work for, continue looking. Conversely, if you feel a good rapport with the agency’s representatives and like what they have to offer, you may want to jump on the opportunity. Trusting your inner voice can often be the deciding factor.