Andrew Wettengel / Monday, March 9, 2020 / Categories: Work World


Travel nurses often work with recruiters to find placements in new areas. Many are curious about how recruiters can help them find a great new placement, so we talked to Kayla Cash, a one-of-a-kind recruiting team lead who has been with OneStaff Medical for more than five years, been named "recruiter of the year" by healthcare traveler-ran groups and has the positive energy to boot. All to discuss how she advises travel nurses during the selection process.

Q: What are the first questions you ask potential travel nurses when you are helping them select their first (or new) assignment?

What are your goals, or what’s your WHY for travel nursing?

Q: What does the process look like when you are helping a nurse find a new assignment?

Easy peasy! You tell me what you’re looking for, and I make it happen! 

Q: How do you handle situations in which none of the requested locations or positions have openings?

I’d first off reach out to every hospitals’ contact person I have in the requested area to see if we can get an in on an opening that’s not posted yet. But if that doesn’t work, depending on the situation, being that each is a bit different based on budget, availability, etc., if they need to work ASAP, we’re always going to have a backup plan A, B, and C.

I understand preference on a certain location or position, but at the end of the day, if they need to get to work and that particular location isn’t taking travelers, I won’t leave them hanging in the wind. 

Q: How do you encourage travel nurses to be more open minded about potential new assignments?

This is a big reason as to why I want to know their WHY or their goals, so I can help to ensure I’m leading them in the direction that they’re wanting to go. But again, this is situational. For example, they’re wanting a certain hospital because of the experience they’d get there. I’ll know similar options we can try.

If it’s the pay that’s drawing them in but it’s in somewhere like San Francisco, it’s not going to be the best bang for their buck. Finding somewhere paying $300 or less per week in an area with a much cheaper cost of living is going to be a better bet, if take-home pay is what they’re after. 

Q: Are nurses generally more concerned about location or type of position?

Depends on the person for this one. I’d say I’ve had an equal amount of each. 

Q: How can you help find an opening that satisfies most of the requests a travel nurse has for a new assignment?

By listening to what they really want. Finding out which factors are the most important to them is key. I usually try to get a list of needs and wants. We’ll always work out the needs but make sure at least some of the wants are snuck in there.

Q: What three pieces of advice do you have for travel nurses looking for a new assignment?

  1. Map out your goals for traveling–interview recruiters and agencies based off of those goals and make sure they can and are willing to help get you there.
  2. If you’re working with multiple agencies, keep track of who is sending your application where. Some agencies have access to the same jobs, and you want to insure you’re not “double submitting” your application to the same hospital or it could get your application kicked out altogether.
  3. Make the most of it! Anything you go into with a closed mind makes things a bit more difficult. If you go in with an open mind and positive attitude, you can conquer the world!

Q: What are some of the most requested/most wanted positions?

Most requested from the get-go are usually destination areas like San Diego, anywhere in Florida, Myrtle Beach, etc., until they realize that the hospitals think that they “pay in sunshine.” I’ve had interviewing managers tell travelers I’ve worked with that on the phone verbatim!

Q: What are some of the most surprising complications you face as a recruiter for travel nurses?

Lack of communication in some cases. Communication is KEY to insuring that the contract, recruiter, company, etc. is what’s expected and the traveler is aware of what they’re signing up for. This is equally as important while going through the compliance process as well as when on assignment to insure all goes as close to seamlessly as possible. When the communication is lacking there’s so many important pieces of information that could be getting missed. I very highly recommend keeping open lines of communication with your recruiter to insure nothing is missed.

Q: Why would you recommend or encourage travel nurses to work with a recruiter?

I encourage nurses to work with the RIGHT recruiter. Again, interview recruiters until you feel like you’ve got a good one. I’ve been told that it’s similar to dating. You go through some duds until you find one that’s going to be there to support, encourage, advise, and make sure your goals are met and HAVE YOUR BACK. 

Q: How did you get started in this field?

I started at the front desk of OneStaff Medical as an Administrative Assistant and worked my way up. I learned a lot of what recruitment entailed in that role and was really interested in taking the leap to join some of my peers. When I was presented the opportunity, I jumped on it and haven’t looked back since!  

Q: What is your favorite part of being a recruiter?

Getting to meet so many awesome people, not only over the phone but in person at Travelers Conferences or even to go visit them on assignment!

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t at work?

Just about anything outdoors! In Nebraska, we only get about six months of the year that’s worth stepping outside, so I soak that up as much as I can! That and I have three dogs that love to be outdoors as much as I do.

Are you a travel nurse looking for the right recruiter? ­­­­­­­­­­­Kayla and OneStaff Medical would love to work with you! Contact us today at 877-783-1483.

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