5 Important Questions About Being a Travel Nurse You Forgot to Ask — and Their Answers!
Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, March 21, 2019 Posted in Travel Nurse Tips
Becoming a travel nurse means facing a lot of unknowns. You’re going to have a million questions, and that’s okay. In order to do your job well, it’s important to not be afraid to ask questions and get the answers you need to build your confidence.
However, even if you’re ultra-prepared, there is bound to be a thing or two you haven’t thought of. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. Don’t worry, a good travel nursing agency will help you answer even those questions you didn’t think of!
If you’re just starting out, here are five questions you probably didn’t think to ask and the answers you need.
1. Am I insured as a travel nurse?
Many travel nursing staffing agencies will offer insurance benefits to their travel nurses once they sign on. Medical, dental, and life insurance policy options are typically provided. You’ll want to inquire about benefits with your recruiter to understand the options available to you. Make sure you ask about benefit coverage in between assignments; gaps in coverage may occur if you are not working an assignment for a certain length of time.
2. Do I need a new license for each new state?
Each state operates a little differently when it comes to nursing licenses. If you hold a primary nursing license in a state that is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), then your license will be valid in any other state that is part of the NLC. If you do not have a compact license, or you are traveling to a state outside of the NLC, you will have to apply for an RN license in the state that you want to practice nursing in.
3. Do I have to work in a hospital?
Not every travel nursing assignment will be for a major hospital. Many travel nurses enjoy assignments in academic medical centers, smaller medical facilities, outpatient facilities, and skilled nursing facilities.
4. Can I travel with family or pets?
Yes, you can often travel with your family and pets, if you wish. You’ll want to let your recruiter know about this plan ahead of time so you can find a housing solution that works for you; you may need to pay for some of your housing if family members come along. If you want to bring your pet, your recruiter can help you find pet-friendly housing options.
5. Can I travel with another nurse to the same assignment?
It’s totally possible to go on a travel nurse assignment with a friend or colleague ! The trick to this is working with your recruiter to find an assignment with two openings and place you together. You can also work it out so that your friend and you work in the same city or even share housing.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to understand before you dive into work as a travel nurse. Fortunately, working with a good staffing agency will mean taking the uncertainty out of the job. Most agencies will provide you with specific information regarding your assignment right away, so you know what you’re in for and can plan appropriately.
Always rely on your recruiter to answer any and all questions you might have, so you can be certain about your position and benefits going into each assignment.
About the Author
Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.