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As a travel nurse, you may find yourself at a crossroads when your current contract is nearing its end. 

Should you extend your contract or move on to a new assignment? This decision requires careful consideration of the pros and cons involved. 

In this article, we will explore the factors that play a role in choosing whether or not to extend your travel nurse contract. By weighing the advantages and disadvantages, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your professional and personal goals.

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Can You Extend a Travel Nurse Contract?

The answer is yes! 

Nurses contemplate extending their travel nurse contracts for various reasons. 

Perhaps you have found a great work environment, enjoy working with your unit/team, or have fallen in love with your current housing situation. Practical reasons, such as job stability and peace of mind, can also influence your decision. Additionally, you may simply want a break from the process of moving to a new location. 

Whatever your reasons, extending your contract is a realistic possibility worth considering.

 

How Do You Extend a Travel Nurse Contract?

In many cases, the hospital or healthcare facility where you are currently working may directly contact you through your recruiter to discuss extending your contract. This extension could range from a few additional days or weeks to a period equivalent to your current contract. 

If you genuinely enjoy your current assignment and wish to extend your contract, don’t hesitate to communicate this to your recruiter. They can play a crucial role in facilitating the process and helping you seize this opportunity.

Whether the hospital is reaching out or you’re expressing your interest in extending your contract, Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to support you throughout the process. With our expertise and commitment to your satisfaction, you can confidently explore the option of contract extension or find exciting new assignments.

 

travel nurse contract extension pros and cons

 

When Should You Request an Extension for Your Travel Nurse Contract?

If you find yourself enjoying your current assignment and contemplating a contract extension, it’s time to have a conversation with your recruiter. 

Time is of the essence when it comes to contract extensions, as they require careful planning. 

Initiating discussions with both the unit nurse manager and your recruiter several weeks before your contract is scheduled to end will provide you with the opportunity to explore the feasibility of extending your assignment.

Don’t hesitate to communicate your intentions early on to pave the way for a potential extension and make the most of your current assignment.

 

3 Factors To Keep In Mind Before Asking for or Agreeing to an Extension

 

Your Current Travel Nurse Contract Pay Package

When evaluating a contract extension, it is essential to consider compensation-based factors, including:

  • Current contract
  • Annual salary
  • Healthcare coverage
  • 401(k)
  • Pension options, and
  • Any other benefits offered

One advantage of extending travel nurse contracts is that travel nursing companies often negotiate higher pay packages for these extensions. This is because it is more cost-effective for healthcare facilities to extend the contract of a current travel nurse than to go through the process of recruiting and onboarding a new nurse from scratch. 

By leveraging your experience and proven track record, you have a stronger position to negotiate improved compensation terms when extending your contract.

 

How Long You’ve Been at Your Current Assignment 

The Internal Revenue Service imposes a time limit on travel nurse contracts, preventing them from working at a single place for more than a year. 

The rationale behind this rule is that if a travel nurse remains in one location for a period exceeding the one-year mark, the IRS classifies the assignment as permanent rather than temporary. 

It is crucial to adhere to this rule to maintain the temporary nature of your assignments and preserve the associated benefits and flexibility offered by travel nursing.

 

travel nurse contract extension

 

The Terms of Your Contract

Review your contract to see if it outlines any details about contract extensions. 

Sometimes, contracts include an extension deadline and specific negotiation terms. Understanding these terms will help you make an informed decision.

The terms of your contract can also vary based on your specialization

For example, if you are a specialized nurse in a high-demand field such as critical care or labor and delivery, your contract may include specific provisions regarding extension options or priority for assignment preferences. 

It’s important to thoroughly review your contract and consult with your recruiter to understand any specialized terms or opportunities that may be available to you.

 

7 Potential Pros of a Travel Nurse Contract Extension 

 

#1: You Can Skip Applying for Your Next Position

When it comes to travel nursing, reapplying for your current position is typically not necessary. Instead, travel nursing companies often facilitate contract extensions by working directly with your current healthcare facility. 

By choosing to extend your contract, you gain the advantage of being prioritized in the queue for future travel nursing contracts. This means that you are placed at the front of the line, providing you with enhanced opportunities and increased flexibility in selecting your next assignment. 

This streamlined process allows you to seamlessly continue your travel nursing journey without the need for repetitive application procedures.

 

#2: You Know Your Unit and Healthcare Facility

By opting to extend your contract, you benefit from the continuity and familiarity offered by staying within the same healthcare facility. 

This continuity enables you to:

  • Maintain an even stronger grasp of the facility’s protocols.
  • Better understand the existing procedures.
  • Become proficient at the facility’s charting system.
  • Eliminate the need to adapt to new processes at a new hospital.

You won’t find yourself grappling with unfamiliar charting systems or trying to memorize the names of new physicians.

Additionally, extending your contract means you will continue working alongside your current coworkers, whom you already know and understand. This established rapport fosters a sense of camaraderie and teamwork, creating a seamless workflow and enhancing your overall experience within the healthcare facility.

 

extending a contract as a travel nurse

 

#3: No Need for Additional Credentials

Extending your contract offers the perk of sidestepping the arduous re-credentialing process that often comes with taking on a new assignment. 

The beauty of contract extension lies in the preservation of your valuable time and energy that would otherwise be expended on repetitive credentialing obligations. 

With this streamlined approach, you are able to direct your focus toward providing exceptional patient care and making the most of your experience within the healthcare facility.

 

#4: Skip the Hassle of Moving

By opting to extend your contract, you can bid farewell to the hassle of packing up your life and venturing into uncharted territory. 

If your current housing arrangement permits an extension, you can embrace the convenience of staying put and sidestep the logistical challenges that come with uprooting and relocating to a new location. 

This grants you the luxury of maintaining a sense of stability and continuity without the burdensome task of navigating a full-scale move.

 

#5: Opportunity To Negotiate a Better Schedule and Higher Pay

By extending your contract, you open up an opportunity to tailor your schedule to better align with your personal preferences. 

Whether you’re yearning for a transition from night shifts to day shifts or desiring to work several consecutive days, expressing your preferences to your recruiter can pave the way for a more accommodating schedule. 

Moreover, contract extensions offer a platform to engage in negotiations for a higher pay package or increased stipend amounts. This serves as a chance to advocate for compensation that reflects your valuable skills and dedication, ensuring a mutually beneficial agreement.

 

#6: You Name the Extension Timeline

Contract extensions provide enhanced flexibility when it comes to dates and duration. Unlike initial travel nursing contracts that often have a fixed number of weeks, extensions can be as brief as two weeks. 

If you find yourself facing difficulties in securing your next assignment and wish to avoid any gaps in your schedule, opting for a short extension can be a viable solution. 

To ensure a smooth transition and maximize your options, it’s imperative to engage in proactive communication with your recruiter well in advance. By discussing your preferences and intentions early on, you can effectively plan for a seamless continuation of your travel nursing journey.

 

#7: More Time To Explore or Enjoy Calling Your Assignment “Home”

Extending your contract opens up an extended period to immerse yourself in your new “home” and its myriad of attractions. 

With extra time on your hands, you can venture out and discover the hidden gems waiting to be explored. Perhaps there’s a captivating national park nearby, offering breathtaking landscapes and thrilling hiking trails to conquer. Or maybe there’s a historic museum or cultural site that has piqued your interest, waiting to be discovered. 

By opting for an extension, you grant yourself the opportunity to fully embrace and savor the experiences your current location has to offer, creating lasting memories and enriching your travel nursing journey.

 

2 Potential Cons of a Travel Nurse Contract Extension 

 

#1: The Timing Isn’t Ideal

It’s crucial to take into account the timing of your contract extension and how it aligns with your circumstances and commitments.

For instance, imagine you’re currently working as a travel nurse in the chilly climate of Boston during the winter months. Extending your contract beyond one year may not be the ideal choice, considering the harsh weather conditions and potential difficulties that come with moving during a harsh New England winter (if that’s when your contract would happen to expire).

It’s essential to evaluate your situation and assess whether it’s the right time to transition to a new location, taking into account factors such as:

  • Weather
  • Climate preferences
  • Long-term career goals
  • Regional culture
  • Personal connections and relationships
  • Cost of living, and
  • Additional employment opportunities in the area

 

#2: You Might Miss Out on Exciting Assignment Opportunities

Let’s say you’re a travel nurse considering extending your contract in your current location, but you’ve heard about exciting new travel nursing assignments available in other cities. 

In this situation, it’s crucial to carefully evaluate the pros and cons.

Imagine you’re currently working as a travel nurse in Los Angeles, California, and you receive an offer to extend your contract for several more months. 

While this might provide stability and familiarity, you’ve also heard about a highly sought-after assignment in New York City that aligns perfectly with your interests and career goals. By extending your contract in Los Angeles, you run the risk of potentially missing out on this exciting opportunity in New York.

Ultimately, by carefully evaluating the extension offer and considering other potential opportunities, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your aspirations and maximizes the benefits of your travel nursing experience.

 

pros and cons to extending travel nurse contract

 

Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help You Extend Your Travel Nursing Contract or Find Your Next Assignment 

When it comes to weighing travel nurse contract extension pros and cons, Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to support you. Our dedicated team prioritizes your needs and ensures that negotiations are handled efficiently and effectively. 

We understand the importance of finding the perfect match for your lifestyle and career aspirations. 

With Pronto, our innovative job search platform, you can browse available travel nurse positions and discover exciting opportunities. 

Whether you choose to extend your contract or embark on a new adventure, Trusted Nurse Staffing is your trusted partner in the travel nursing industry.

 

travel nurse contract extension pros and cons