Take the Time to Read Your Contract!
People tend to sign contracts without much thought. When was the last time you read the “terms of service agreement” when downloading an app? While it might be okay to skim some contracts and agreements, others demand your full and complete attention — including your travel nursing contract. This is one document you need to read thoroughly and understand with total clarity. After all, it will dictate the next eight to thirteen weeks of your life.
Reading the contract is step No. 1
Whether this is your first assignment or your 50th, it’s important to thoroughly read your contract. Doing so gives you a full view of the details regarding your travel nursing assignment.
There is a lot of information in your contract you don’t want to miss, such as information about payment, placement, job responsibilities, schedule, and more. Of course, every assignment is a little different, so you’ll want to get the specific details for every job you take.
Don’t miss these important details
Reading through your contract not only helps you understand what is in store for you over the next 13 weeks. It also helps you navigate any potential challenges and answer a lot of questions you may have.
With these details, you’re better able to discuss challenges with your recruiter, negotiate, and know your rights when it comes to solving problems.
One key aspect of your contract is your pay package. Your contract has a detailed breakdown about your hourly wage and any stipends you’re entitled to for the duration of the assignment. Going over this section with a fine-toothed comb ensures that you’re paid appropriately for your work.
The contract also includes information about reimbursements from your agency. Things such as reimbursed parking, lodging, or fees, as well as housing and travel reimbursements are laid out in detail for you to examine and compare.
Important details about the duration of your assignment should answer most of your questions, such as “What facility am I working in?” or “Where will I live?” The contract dictates the facility and the location you’re assigned to. If you are using agency-provided housing, your contract also includes these details.
Most importantly, your contract includes clauses regarding accountability, for both you and the hospital. These clauses ensure that all parties abide by the contract specifications. They include information about what happens if a contract is breached or cancelled, including penalties, fees, and terms.
Stay vigilant during contract review
As you’re reviewing your contract, remember that it isn’t enough to simply read it through. You also need to understand it.
For this reason, jot down questions to ask your recruiter as you review the contract. As your point of contact throughout the hiring process, your recruiter can answer any questions and help you through challenging periods on assignment.
Also take time to double-check the most important aspects of your contract: guaranteed hours, wages, and reimbursements, to ensure you’re able to maintain your standard of living. Note the minimum hour requirement and whether there is a penalty for missing shifts, as well as whether or not you’re subject to a non-compete agreement.
All these items may come up during or after your assignment, and it’s up to you to understand them so you’re setting proper expectations. With thorough contract review and help from your recruiter, you’ll be totally prepared to begin your assignment.