Questions to Ask – Travel Nurse Agency Inquiries you Shouldn’t Skip (And Answers that Should Make you Run)

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Hitting the road as a travel nurse sounds so exciting and fulfilling. 

What could be more exciting than traveling the country and getting paid to do the job you love? 

But how do you decide which travel nurse agency is right for you?

Before you load up for your new adventure, there are a few things you’ll want to know.

This guide discusses travel nursing and walks you through the top questions to ask your travel nurse recruiter.

Table of Contents

 

questions to ask travel nurse agency

What Is Nurse Staffing?

Nurse staffing ensures that an appropriate number of nurses are available to serve in all areas of healthcare. 

It monitors the allocation of nursing staff, ensuring adequate staffing for each shift, unit, and department.

Nurse staffing is essential to the nursing profession, as well as the healthcare system overall.

How Do Nurse Staffing Agencies Work?

Nurse staffing agencies specialize in the placement of nursing professionals. 

They post ads on job boards to recruit travel nurses. 

Travel nurse recruiters then match nurses to qualifying jobs

Should I Use a Staffing Agency to Find a Job?

A nurse staffing agency, such as Trusted Nurse Staffing, may be right for you if:

  • You want to add variety to your career
  • You want to make fast money
  • You love to travel
  • You want top pay
  • You want to get your foot in the door with an employer

Top 7 Travel Nursing Questions You SHOULD Ask Your Travel Nurse Recruiter

You’ve decided travel nursing sounds right up your ally, but how do you get started?

After selecting a travel nurse agency, one of the first things you’ll want to do is put together a list of questions for your travel nurse recruiter.

Travel Nurse Question #1: What Are the Benefits Offered?

Travel nurse agency benefits can vary greatly between companies. 

Here are some pertinent questions to ask

  • Are my hours guaranteed?
  • What about overtime pay?
  • I have friends who may be interested in travel nursing. Is there a referral bonus
  • Can I have my pay directly deposited into my bank account?
  • What about continuing education? Is that something your agency is willing to support me in and is there reimbursement? 
  • Is there a bonus for completing a nursing assignment?
  • Will I be reimbursed for mileage?
  • What about my licensing fees? Does your agency help with those?

Do They Offer Insurance?

Be sure to quiz your travel nurse recruiter about insurance, as well.

  • Do they offer medical, dental, life, and malpractice insurance? 
  • If so, at what point does coverage begin
  • If you have a family, do they qualify for coverage?
  • What if you happen to have a pre-existing condition?
  • Will you have a choice in your hospital provider?
  • Is the insurance transferable between states?

 

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Travel Nurse Question #2: What Types of Facilities Does This Agency Staff?

As you’re well aware, nursing is a vast profession

  • Emergency Room
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Medical surgery
  • Neonatal ICU
  • Psychiatric 
  • Telemetry 
  • Labor and delivery
  • Cardiovascular operating room
  • Long-term acute care 

Be sure to check with the agency to see what types of facilities they staff.

 

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Travel Nurse Question #3: What States Are This Agency Prominent In?

There are a couple of reasons why you’ll want to ask your travel nurse recruiter which states their agency operates in: 

  • Travel nurse pay can differ greatly from state to state.
  • State licensing requirements can vary.

Do Travel Nurses Get to Pick Where They Go?

When you think of travel nursing, you probably have some specific locations in mind. 

Do travel nurses get to pick where they go?

They sure do!

Not only do you get to select your state, but you also choose the health care facility and the type of nursing position.

Travel Nurse Question #4: What Are the Contract Conditions?

Contract conditions are something that can make or break any job, so give special time and attention to the following travel nurse interview questions:

  • Can you get out of the contract if you feel unsafe or if you feel your license is in jeopardy? Consider these examples: 
    • You’re only licensed for the ER, but they have you floating to the ICU. 
    • The patient to nurse ratio is over the top.
    • The cleanliness standards of the hospital are far from what they should be and you feel patient health is being compromised.
    • You’ve become savvy to loose or sketchy policies.
  • What is the agency’s stance when it comes to situations of racism or gender bias? 
  • Will you work in shifts
  • Will you be required to float between departments? 
  • Are you provided with a stipend for meals
  • How often will you be paid?
  • Will you have guaranteed hours?

How Is Time Off Negotiated?

Time off is typically settled on by you and your travel nurse recruiter before taking the assignment. 

Most agencies don’t offer pay or reimbursement for housing during time off between assignments, but you’ll want to clarify with the agency, just to be sure.

What Is the Contract Length?

Standard travel nurse contracts are typically 13 weeks but can range anywhere from four weeks to a year.

Two factors to consider when negotiating contract length: 

  1. What happens if you’re unable to fulfill your contract due to something such as a family emergency?
  2. Would you incur penalties for needing to get out of your contract?

 

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Travel Nurse Question #5: What Is the Onboarding Process Like?

Most travel nurses will agree that the onboarding process can seem more than a little overwhelming.

You’ll need to keep track of, or take care of:

  • Compliance documents 
  • Licensing
  • Housing
  • Plus a multitude of other little details 

On your list of travel nurse interview questions, you’ll want to be sure to include a couple that have to do with the onboarding process:

  • What is the hiring process like
  • Will there be a time of orientation? And if so, will there be daytime and nighttime shift options? 
  • How long is orientation? (They can vary anywhere from a day to a few weeks.)
  • At what point do you find out your housing assignment?
  • Will you have the opportunity to shadow one of the nurses on staff before taking over patient care on your own? 

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, our goal is to make your onboarding process smooth and headache-free.

Travel Nurse Question #6: How Is the Support System if a Nurse Has a Need or Issue?

Ongoing support is a crucial component of your travel nursing assignments.

Ask your travel nurse recruiter if you’ll be able to count on them for support throughout your time working with the company. 

Are they able to help you with all aspects of your job?

Will you be able to contact them anytime you have a need or a question?

 

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Travel Nurse Question #7: What Makes this Agency Different from Other Staffing Agencies?

This can be one of the most revealing travel nurse interview questions. 

Ask your travel nurse recruiter what makes their agency stand out from all others. 

  • Compensation? 
  • Base rate salary? 
  • Can you pick up overtime shifts? 
  • Reimbursements?

A top company will be anxious to share with you just what makes them stand out from the competition.

Travel Nurse Agency Answers that Should Be Red Flags (Run the other Way)

We talked about important questions to ask your travel nurse recruiter when choosing a travel nurse agency, but what about deal breakers?

What are the biggest indications that a company is not going to be a good fit for you?

Here are a few things to take note of:

  • Biweekly pay, as opposed to being paid weekly.
  • Not being willing to pay for your credentialing and/or reimburse you for certifications.
  • Not offering insurance, or offering insurance that doesn’t kick in right away.  
  • Rushing you through your introductory phone call or not taking time to answer your questions.
  • Anything that causes you to feel as though there’s a lack of communication between yourself and the recruiter.

What Makes Trusted Nurse Staffing Different?

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we go out of our way to let our nurses know they’re appreciated and to help them be successful.

Here are just a few reasons to choose Trusted Nurse Staffing:

  • Each new nurse receives a special welcome box, complete with cool swag. 
  • Since we’re a smaller company, we’re always here to answer the phone and are standing by to address any questions or concerns that may arise.
  • You’ll have access to your recruiter 24/7. Do you have a question about housing or pay? No problem, your recruiter will always be there for you.
  • Each of our nurses receives full, prepaid health insurance.  This means the cost of insurance comes out of our pocket, not yours.
  • You’ll get a fully loaded HRA card.
  • We offer dental and vision plans with options for both low and high deductibles
  • With an entire department devoted solely to quality assurance, we’re always ready to go to bat for our nurses.
  • We listen to our nurses and don’t always take the hospital’s side. We want you to know that you’re seen, heard, and valued. 

And Trusted Nurse Staffing even has a loyalty program.  As your employment continues with us, you’ll accumulate points, redeemable for awesome prizes, for each consecutive assignment you successfully complete. 

What are you waiting for? 

Would you like to pad your resume and branch out as a travel nurse? 

Create your free profile with Trusted Nurse Staffing LLC today and jump into a lifestyle of adventure doing the job you love!

 

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