As western societies begin to age and their health begins to decline, a byproduct is the need for many more healthcare professionals, particularly nurses. But in many countries today there is a shortage of qualified RNs to meet the needs of the population. As a result there is a great need for nurses to travel from one city or country to another where there is a shortage.
As time goes on, these jobs become more in demand, creating with it a growing list of travel nursing agencies who supply nurses to hospitals and other medical facilities and for home care.
For a travel nurse, choosing the right agency can be really difficult because the decisions can literally affect their career. Travel nursing agencies differ in quality and for a nurse to make the best decision, several factors must be considered. Here is a list of those factors.
Pay of course is a primary criteria for selecting a nursing agency. Pay will vary from agency to agency and salaries will be based upon various factors including work experience, type of position available, location of job, and cost of living in the location of the job. There will also be pay variances based on the amount of work you will be responsible for and some jobs with lots of responsibility will offer large salaries in exchange for the additional challenges.
The pay you seek should include factoring in whether you actually like the assignment or not. If you choose to take a job for lots of money and really hate the work, it will show and potentially affect your job performance leading to bad reviews by supervisors which will then get you less work in the future. So balance pay with your love for the work.
There are two components to your compensation as a travel nurse, salary and benefits. Some agencies offer a great salary, one that is very enticing and worth of consideration. Others may not offer as high a salary but will offer benefits that will compensate for the lower pay. Benefits can include additional pay for working a certain amount of hours, free or upgraded housing, or bonuses for accepting work in certain countries or cities. The goal of each of these is to provide financial or comfort incentives that demonstrate how much a client is appreciated. If benefits like these are important to you, they may sway you toward a company that has a lower salary base.
Available Work Locations
Some agencies have an ability to get you work in many different locations, while others can only provide you work in a limited amount places. If your goal is to be able to work in a myriad of places, make sure that the agency can in fact accommodate this desire. You may have on the other hand, a specific place in mind, where you want to work all the time. Before you sign with the agency, you should make sure that the agency can in fact provide you work there.
The most reputable agencies have great client services and aim to keep nurses happy. Make sure the agency you pick is responsive to your questions and needs.