Travel nursing is one of the most reputed professions involving much traveling. Apart from the exceptional earning opportunities, the profession allows flexible working hours and the freedom to choose your assignments. Many travel nurses can choose which assignments they can fulfill with their skills and qualifications.
Being a travel nurse (TN) is not as easy as it sounds. Most travel nurse assignments require you to travel to the job site and provide your nursing services per the contract terms. Whether you are an ace travel nurse or recently started your career, a little help can guide you in the right direction. Therefore, here are three valuable tips that every travel nurse must know.
Do not travel to the site until the contract is Signed:
One of the major mistakes rookie nurses make is they start traveling to the contract site as soon as they are assigned the work. But it’s important to understand that you must treat your TN contract like any other business contract. You need to know the terms, durations, and payment rates before you embark on your journey.
Various circumstances can change the terms of the contract or even cancel the assignment altogether. Before heading out to the contract site, ensure you have the agency’s written details about the assignment and contract.
Carefully complete the application process for the agency.
Once you get the necessary training and experience for being a TN, your next ideal move would be to register with a nursing agency. But before you sign any contract, hold your horses. You need to understand that contract terms can affect your current working status and you might be exclusively working for a specific contract. Before signing a contract, make sure you agree to all the terms and conditions.
Before filing an application for travel nurse assignments, always look at the specific responsibilities and whether any particular assignment requires you to go beyond your expected duties. Some medical cases might need extra hours than your regular working hours. If that’s the case, ensure that the contract payments reflect those extra hours. Knowing what you are getting into will help you determine the course of the contract and avoid any disputes and conflicts.
Discuss the overtime and holiday wages
Being a health professional, you might need to provide your services in emergency medical situations that would require you to work during festivals and holidays. If you agree to work during the holiday season, you must discuss the wages before signing the contract.
Most 13-week TN contracts involve working 40 hours a week. Most agencies offer only time and a half for overtime and the holiday season. But you need to negotiate your pay rate for a holiday, which should be more than time and half. After all, you will spend the holiday season away from your family and friends working on your contract. If you think your overtime wages do not reflect your hard work, you must negotiate the payment rates and get everything in writing.
Being a travel nurse can open up new avenues of opportunities that can catapult your career in the nursing field. Always be conscious of the terms in the contract, and make sure you don’t sign anything before you read and understand the term yourself.