It’s important to work with a staffing agency you trust when you’re considering travel nursing jobs — and a positive relationship with your recruiter is crucial.
If you haven’t worked with an agency before, you may not know what to look for and how to develop a partnership with someone you just met. Here are some things to expect from your travel nurse recruiter:
When you have questions about an assignment or any concerns with your housing or travel contract, your recruiter should be your first point of contact. He or she should respond to your phone calls and emails quickly and be available after business hours for emergencies as well.
“I really like working with my recruiter, Ora. She’s been amazing and has been there for me every step of the way,” travel nurse Becky Ouellette says. “Ora is always there to answer my phone calls. If she can’t get to me during the day, she calls me on her way home. I feel like she’s become a friend as well as a recruiter.”
Your recruiter should be willing to listen when you experience problems or when you’re not sure who to turn to. A recruiter who’s good at listening and anticipating your needs can make your nursing assignment a positive one.
“My recruiter, Alaina, let me emotionally unload on her [following a tragedy],” Mary Pitman, a PACU travel nurse, says. “She assured me I was doing great work and that I was a good nurse. But Alaina didn’t let it end there. She sent the biggest fruit arrangement I had ever seen, balloons and a thank-you card. She was simply the best recruiter because she cared about me when I was broken.”
Sure, you have to fill out an application and get your CV up to date. But once you’ve applied for a travel nursing job, your recruiter should go to bat for you and help you land the perfect position. Look for someone who’s willing to promote your skills to a facility and help you line up jobs even when you’re currently on assignment.
“My mom told me I was throwing away my career when I told her I was quitting to be a travel nurse,” Jake Shearer, an ICU travel nurse, recalls. “But my recruiter, Rachel, has already got six people trying to get me to work for them. I told my mom, ‘I already have more job offers here than I did at home.’ It’s awesome to know I’ll land on my feet and that I made the right choice.”
You won’t be able to form a great relationship with your recruiter if he or she isn’t approachable and willing to learn more about you. The best recruiters are friendly and want to get to know your likes and dislikes and preferred work schedule.
“After talking to my recruiter, Diedra, for about 45 minutes, I knew in my heart that I found the right company,” ER travel nurse Naomi Weaver says. “She was amazing and helped me with all the paperwork and getting started. You can really tell that she cares about her nurses.”
Unfortunately, travel nurses occasionally run into stumbling blocks on their assignments, including issues with payroll, travel, licensing or housing. A recruiter who can help his or her nurses out of frustrating situations is invaluable.
“On my very first assignment, I had a problem with my vehicle. The transmission went out a week before I was supposed to leave,” Mary Stewart, an ICU travel nurse, remembers. “My recruiter, Brooke, made arrangements for me to get a van to get home. I didn’t feel like I was alone. With RNnetwork, I feel like I’m part of the family.”
Learn more by reading How to Use Your Recruiter to Find the Best Travel Nursing Job — and if you have a great recruiter, tell us in the comments below!