Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities often face staffing shortages for several reasons, which can be highly inconvenient to both the organization and patients. Travel nurses play a crucial role in those situations by filling in the shortage and working at those locations where they are required. However, unlike permanent employees, they work in temporary nursing positions in short-term roles. Agencies that make this process possible are called travel nurse agencies. They provide clinics and hospitals with registered nurses while taking care of recruiting, travel reimbursements, and other related procedures. If you are keen on being a travel nurse or are one, you must use these professional services because they have a lot of advantages. However, before selecting an agency, the following are some questions and information you may need to know to avoid any inconvenience or other issues later on.
Why should you work for a travel nurse agency?
Working with a professional travel nurse agency has plenty of benefits, the most obvious of which is the availability of jobs in various locations.
You don’t have to search for jobs.
You can avoid searching for job openings in an organization or keeping yourself updated with them. The staffing agency will inform you of job openings at several locations. Since they have been recommending jobs for a long time, they will recommend only suitable jobs.
Receive your salary on time
Since these agencies have a weekly or bi-weekly payment process, you will always receive your salary on time.
They will take care of various necessary documents and issues.
They will also take care of your contract, perhaps the most crucial document for a traveling nurse. The agency will provide you with an insurance plan, but its terms may vary from one job to another. If you face any issues with the hospital for reasons like time off or work conditions, you can contact their customer service to discuss the problems at hand.
Why is the nursing contract so vital?
Before you decide to work for a staffing agency, you must go through the contract carefully because it lays down the terms and conditions and obligations between you and the agency. Besides defining your role as a temporary employee, this document also serves as a tax document. If you find any of the items mentioned in the document problematic, you must immediately bring it to their attention. You might also consider asking them about the events that follow if the hospital or healthcare facility cancels your contract during the onboarding process. Pay attention to some points, including cancellation policies, travel expenses, sick pay, housing policy, and health insurance.
Questions to ask the travel nurse agency
It’s essential to ask the nurse agency these questions before working for them on a particular assignment.
Do they provide an insurance plan?
Most staffing agencies provide traveling nurses with insurance, and it is much more convenient than finding your health coverage. If you need to file claims at some point and your insurer refuses to cooperate, you can contact your agency representatives immediately. You must also ask them when the coverage comes into effect and if you have the option of changing your insurance plan between assignments. Some agencies have an insurance lapse policy if their nurses take time off between projects, while others have a limited time of four weeks, so this is something you should know beforehand.
What happens if the hospital releases you early?
Sometimes, the hospital or clinic might not require your services for some reason and might decide to let you go before your assignment period. It would help if you asked your travel advocate about the policies regarding an early release. A fair and just agency will pay you a full salary if the hospital releases you early, even though you have completed your work hours.
Would you receive a travel reimbursement?
Some travel nurse agencies determine your eligibility for a travel reimbursement depending on your remaining taxable income after you have received your salary package. A trustworthy recruiting company will provide you with travel reimbursement if your wages exceed more than 20 USD$ per hour.
What things will you need while joining?
You might consider asking your travel nurse agency what items you will need during the joining process to help you prepare well in advance. They will provide a list of the essential items one to two days after you have signed the HCP agreement. They might ask you to upload documents like fitness tests, physical examination records, and immunizations.
Will you be provided accommodation?
Some agencies offer accommodation to their nurses, while others don’t. Even if yours doesn’t, it will help you significantly if they could provide you with guidelines and resources to find your accommodation.
These are some questions you ought to ask travel nurse agencies and details you must know before working for them as a traveling nurse. It is an exciting job that allows you to visit different locations while performing your professional duties simultaneously, and an agency makes the entire process straightforward.