What to Look For in Your Travel Nursing Company
By Melissa Wirkus, associate editor
It’s no secret that times are changing in the travel nursing industry. Although travel nurses are lucky enough to be in a profession that is largely unaffected by the economy, nursing is not completely immune.
Travelers know they may have to be a little more flexible when finding their next assignment, and many have come to realize the utter importance of selecting a stable and secure travel nursing company. In today’s economy, it is more important than ever to select a company that you know will be around in the long run.
Not only will your travel nursing company help you find employment, they also handle your housing, insurance, benefits and so much more. The relationship you develop with the agency, and subsequently, your recruiter, is a large factor in determining the success of your travel nursing experience.
Each company is different with regards to the benefits and services it provides, so it is very important to do your homework and find a travel company that provides the highest levels of service and support.
Stability and Security
In the past 20 or so years, the travel nursing industry has exploded. Countless agencies have popped up over the years, giving travelers plenty of options to choose from. While there are still many players in the market, travelers need to be more cautious than ever when choosing their next agency.
The most important tip for travelers is to do your research. When speaking with different travel nursing agencies, make sure you ask all of the right questions. Is the company financially secure? Are there a variety of positions available and ready to be filled? Do I get one-on-one support from a recruiter? You can never be too careful when selecting an agency and the more questions you ask the better.
Help with Benefits
One of the key questions you need to ask is whether a travel company provides health insurance. At leading travel nurse staffing company American Mobile Healthcare, all travel nurses receive free health benefits from day one of an assignment. That means you are covered from the moment you begin an assignment .When shopping around, be sure to find out how soon you will be covered by the company’s health insurance and if there is a deductible.
It is also helpful to find out if the travel nursing company has dedicated benefits representatives who can help you with any questions you may have regarding enrollment and eligibility of any of your benefits.
Clinical and Customer Support
When looking for a travel company, you should make sure the company has an infrastructure that is staffed with knowledgeable clinical liaisons and a customer support team. At NursesRx, not only do they provide their travelers with access to clinical liaisons who are trained, experienced nursing professionals and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for help with any clinical issue or question, but they also have a customer support department that can help travelers with a wide range of issues.
“The customer support team understands that every competitor provides service to their customers but not every competitor provides ‘World Class’ service. We have been on a mission to deliver best-in-class service on each and every interaction with our health care professionals,” said Craig Giangregorio, director of customer support for NursesRx.
“Specifically, we have expanded our service delivery by adding the personalized service of a payroll expert. In addition, we provide our travel nurses with information that they will need at the beginning of their assignment to help ensure accurate and timely pay to them. The net result of those efforts and others has resulted in a steady increase in the overall customer satisfaction rating for our service.”
Superior Housing Support
Receiving excellent support in the housing department is a vital part of a successful travel nursing assignment. At American Mobile Healthcare, their housing specialists take traveler accommodations seriously. Whether you would like to move into a company provided housing unit, or accept the housing stipend and find your own accommodations, the housing specialists are trained to help you with every aspect of your accommodations, including utility setup, furniture needs and any special housing requests.
Your potential travel company should strive to find you quality accommodations that are within a short commute of your workplace and be able to answer any questions you may have regarding pets, move-in dates and utilities.
Recruiters that Work for You
As a travel nurse, the closest, most direct link that you will have with your staffing company is the relationship with your recruiter. Not only will your recruiter be with you every step of the way in finding that perfect assignment, but it is also important that they act as an advocate for you and always keep your best interests in mind. Kari Richardson, recruitment manager for nurse staffing agency Medical Express, said that a good recruiter should start out by listening to a traveler’s needs and then always follow through on their expectations.
“We help our travel nurses with every other step in the process and make their travel experience as seamless as possible from start to finish,” Richardson explained. “We have employees who truly care about the nurse’s situation and making sure they have the best travel experience possible. Our follow up, ability to problem solve and negotiate are our greatest strengths at Medical Express.”
- David Sindel, contributor, contributed to this article
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