Congratulations! You got your first contract and are ready to start your travel nursing career. A new adventure is heading your way, but there’s lots to do and plan before you go. Here are some things you can expect once you accept your first contract.
Credentialing and paperwork: You will be contacted by a credentialer who will walk you through the process to make sure you are compliant in time to start orientation. You can expect to complete lots of paperwork, online testing, and a drug screen. You will also need to make sure all of your immunizations are current and get any that are required before you start.
Housing: In most cases, you will have an option to take agency-provided housing or a tax-free housing stipend. If you are taking agency housing, you will be contacted by your housing coordinator to make arrangements. If you are taking the tax-free stipend, there are lots of great websites and resources that you can use to find housing options. Talk to your recruiter for suggestions.
Orientation: Make sure you know if there is anything specific you will need to bring, but have copies of your license and certifications with you. Some facilities have additional testing during orientation. In most cases you can expect both a computer and floor orientation to take place. Talk to your recruiter so you know what to expect. If you are ever unsure of where to go on your first day, it’s best to show up at human resources at 8 a.m. in business casual clothes and have scrubs with you just in case.
Timesheets and paychecks: Every facility has a different timekeeping system. If your facility uses a computer system, keep your own manual timesheet in case there are ever any discrepancies. Most facilities pay weekly, but make sure you confirm this with your recruiter so you can plan your budget accordingly. Travel monies are typically paid out once you have started your assignment, and a travel form is always needed.
Extensions: Once your assignment is underway, it’s almost time to start thinking about your next one! Talk to your recruiter regularly to let them know if you are thinking about signing on for another contract or interested in looking at other options. You should be planning your next steps six to eight weeks prior to your end date.
These tips can help you prepare for your travel assignment. Got more questions? Contact a recruiter at 855-289-9766.