Contract Tips for Travel Nurses and Therapists

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So you’re ready to embark on your first travel assignment and are excited to get to work! You’ve found a great company and recruiter that you feel comfortable working with and now it’s just a matter of picking a location and jetting off…. right?

I wish I could say it was just that easy and I guess if we were living in a perfect world, it would be. However, there are several things you should take into consideration before you should take that leap. We’ve put together some travel tips to help nurses and therapists that have made the decision that travel is what they want to pursue in the hopes that it alleviates any unexpected issues from the start.

1. Read your contract thoroughly before signing.

This is not to say that you’re signing your life away, but at the very least, you should understand the terms of your contract in all aspects including but not limited to policies/procedures, pay structure, and cancellation notice. Policies/Procedures are pretty self-explanatory but at least make sure you understand them as they can vary by company. If there’s anything you’re uncomfortable with or unsure of, ask your recruiter for clarification before signing. Make sure that your recruiter is also breaking down what your pay structure is so that you know your taxable rate of pay as well as your individual tax-free stipends. Finally, make sure you understand what kind of cancellation notice you’re agreeing to which typically ranges anywhere between 2 weeks to a full 30 days, however, make sure it is written in your contract.

2. The reality of cancellation – Are you prepared?

Outside of poor performance, wrong-doing, or another reason for cause, contracts can be cancelled early for reasons on the facility side as well. You may be covering a leave of absence and the individual is coming back early, the facility has hired a permanent employee to replace you, or the census within the facility has dropped to a point where you are no longer needed. If you’re with a dedicated recruiter, they will do all they can to secure you a new contract and provide a seamless transition. However, that is not always realistic if you’re not at least somewhat flexible with location. If you do experience a break in your contract – are you prepared financially? Make sure you have enough money set aside to carry you if something should happen – whether this is a month’s expenses or more.

3. How to avoid contract cancellation altogether.

Although no one can promise that your contract won’t be cancelled, there are steps you can take to avoid it as much as possible. No one wants to book a nurse or therapist into a job only to have them cancelled a few weeks in – it’s not good for you and it’s not good for the recruiter either. How set are you on only working in a well known city? Would you consider working 45 minutes away? The reality is everyone wants to work in a desirable location and with that comes the much higher chance of cancellation because it’s much easier to fill positions with permanent employees in great locations – in other words, you’re more easily replaced. Take the time to consider a slight commute from your desired area in order to increase your longevity in the area you want to be in. Another bonus of working in a less “in-demand” area? Higher pay!

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As your recruiter, we want you to feel secure before heading out on a contract assignment – particularly for the first time. Being prepared for travel is so very important and with these tips in hand, you can feel a bit more comfortable knowing what you should be considering before signing that contract.

Looking for a travel assignment or even something more permanent? Send me a message and I can see what we have available that meets what you’re looking for. Even if you just want some more information, I’d be happy to help!

(386) 264-6864 (Direct Line)  or  ashley@travelmedusa.com

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