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If you are interested in becoming a travel nurse, you are in the right place. A career as a travel nurse can be especially rewarding and exciting. Be it you are just beginning your travel nurse journey or well into your career adventure there are many things that you need to know.

Starting a new career or pivoting into a new one, comes with a variety of knowledge factors to keep up with. There are numerous matters to consider, such as recruiting companies, agency selection, and getting placed for assignments. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about travel nursing agencies.

As you dive into what you need to know about travel nursing agencies, you will possibly have someone already available to assist you or will be seeking assistance: your recruiter. This person might help before or after you choose your agency.

In either case, as you look for assignment placements, it is important to keep an open line of communication with your recruiter. The recruiter is there to help you land those assignments. They will ask you questions relevant to job assignments and travel locations, among other things.

Always keep in mind that working with a specific recruiter is your choice and you can decline the assistance of a recruiter or request a different recruiter at any time.

Make Sure You Do Your Research

It is important to do your due diligence and research travel nursing agencies before selecting one for employment. You want to vet the agencies and discover their legitimacy. Overall, you want to go with the agency that has your best interest in mind. The first thing you can do is search for the best travel nursing agencies ranked. Utilize the resources you have at hand: your network and the internet.

Be Familiar with Industry Standards

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Becoming familiar with industry standards and utilizing them in your search is instrumental to finding a suitable travel nursing agency. Compliance with industry standards speaks to the established qualifications, standards, comprehensive evaluation, and verification of the agency.

As travel nursing agencies are vetted, check to see if the agency has been credentialed by the Joint Commission.

Verify the Agency’s Reputation

The reputation of your employer is important. As you search through different agencies to determine which one is the best fit for you, make sure the agency has a positive reputation. This will not only be beneficial to your work experience but also be advantageous to those placing assignments with the agency. You have better chances to gain an assignment.

Read the Reviews

While there is a plethora of information you can access about your travel nursing agencies of interest, reviews can be particularly insightful. They can especially provide key information from current and past employees regarding their professional experience.

Still, it is important to remember not to place too much weight on reviews. Just like a movie can receive a Rotten Tomatoes score below 50% and be a great movie, the same can be said of travel nursing agencies.

Inquire About Timelines for Assignments

Getting connected with a travel nursing agency is for the purpose of gaining travel nursing assignments, so remember to inquire about the amount and types of jobs available. There is no point in contracting with an agency that cannot offer assignments. Nurses should keep an eye out for open jobs, job locations, and specialties.

Working as a travel nurse, you have the benefit of working nationally and internationally. Many have the opportunity to travel internationally, but international assignments are more complex. The majority of international assignments are placed by agencies within the home country.

Each country is unique in its requirements and may call for you to have extra credentials; so, before taking on any international assignments you may need to take an extra test or two, enroll in a new program or gain new certifications.

In addition to any further certifications and programs, you also need to have general international requirements covered. This includes having an updated passport, and a visa, a work permit, and sponsorship related to the country you will be working in. Do not take for granted that processes will be the same for each country as some require more extensive documentation and processes than others. For example, U.S. nurses will have an easier time entering countries that already have a relationship with their home country. Note, international assignments also tend to have a longer duration.

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When it comes to choosing a travel agency, do not slack on comparing offers from different agencies. For those with a number of years of experience as a nurse, you are likely to receive numerous responses, to the point that it can be overwhelming; however, that means you have options.

Be sure to review the benefits offered. Some may appear especially great at first only to have more liabilities and detriments later on. Know everything, and, most importantly, ensure that your medical insurance coverage needs are met.

Before you go into your new position, assess your goals for your new role. Are you looking for job security? Do you want to increase your savings and simply earn a high salary? Are you looking to explore? Asking yourself these questions will help you compare agencies and determine the best fit.

Being a travel nurse is exciting and a great way to usher in new chapters of your life. There are many benefits that come along with this career and can be enhanced by working with the right travel nursing agency. It is important to go with the travel nursing agency that suits you best.

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So, as you vet your travel nursing agencies, be sure to do your research. Get to know the company you may be working with in the future. Familiarize yourself with industry standards so you can find the agencies that have credentials and are operating at a certified professional standard.

Read the reviews and learn about the agencies’ reputations. Vital information can yet be discovered. Finally, always ask about assignments. You do not want a complicated schedule. Be aware of how contract lengths are determined.