YOUR FUTURE AWAITS: 5 KEY QUESTIONS WHEN CHOOSING A STAFFING FIRM
When it comes to choosing the staffing firm that will manage your travel nursing career, it’s important to shop around and find the company that's the best fit for you. As much as we'd always want to be your go-to, choosing the right agency is like finding your life partner, not all relationships are a perfect fit. And in order for this to all work, it needs to be a win-win. We get that.
After all, everyone has different criteria. And your working future will depend on how well you do your homework.
“Start with a clear understanding of why you want to travel,” advises RN Sherrill Dunning in industry journal Nursing 2019. “Write down what you want, whether it's the chance for an assignment to a place you've always wanted to visit … or the convenience of housing with a health club attached. Then list the things you need, such as a top-notch retirement plan.”
Here are some key questions for potential staffing firms:
- What are your housing options? Determine whether the firm prearranges housing or leaves that task to you. If provided, is the housing budget-level or better? What amenities, such as furnishings and utilities, are included? Will you have roommates?
- Which locations are available? Don’t assume a multilocation firm works everywhere; it may be limited to areas of high demand.
- Which shifts will you be working? Must you be flexible? Will you be paid if your employer cancels your shifts? Ensure your contract aligns with your goals and limitations.
- How do salaries align with the area's cost of living? Better pay may be necessary if you’re assigned to an expensive area like San Francisco, New York or Washington, D.C. Ask whether minimum hours are guaranteed, whether you’ll be paid extra for off-shifts, weekends and holidays and whether taxes and Social Security will be automatically deducted.
- What benefits are offered, and which are free? Will retirement, vacation time and rental car fees be included? Will healthcare coverage work with local providers?