Important Factors in Choosing a Travel Hospital
Sometimes travel nurses get so hung up on finding the perfect destination for a travel assignment that they overlook another very important consideration, the actual hospital or facility for the assignment. While the destination overall is what draws people to an assignment, you also want to make sure that you are working in a facility that is welcoming and fits you personally. Here are a few important factors to consider when choosing a travel hospital.
Do they employ many travelers? One of the questions you should ask your recruiter when discussing a travel assignment is whether or not the hospital has a large number of travelers employed. Knowing this information will give you an indication about how welcoming the facility is for travel nurses. If they have a large travel pool of employees, then you can be sure that they have the processes in place to get travel nurses on board quickly and that the hospital-based staff is used to having travel nurses around. That is not to say that a facility that doesn’t employ many travelers should be ruled out, it just means that you may want to get more information about the facility before agreeing to the assignment. Your recruiter can put you in touch with people at the facility or another traveler who has worked there.
Does the facility extend a lot of contracts or are most travelers one and done? Knowing whether or not a facility has a lot of nurses who want to extend their contract tells you a lot about whether or not people enjoy working there. If travelers are not willing to extend, then you may have a red flag to look into about workplace culture or management style.
What kind of culture exists in the facility? Related to the previous point about extending contracts, it is always a good idea to do a little background research about a hospital before agreeing to a travel assignment. Use your recruiter to find other travelers who already work there or have worked there recently and ask about their experiences there. You can also look at social media to see what kind of comments or reviews are being posted about a facility. Just a little bit of homework can go a long way in determining how comfortable you are going to be for the next 13 weeks.
What are the state licensing requirements? While the process of getting your licensing credentials for states are getting more streamlined overall, until we have a national 50 state compact or something similar, licensing is still a consideration. Often times, newer travel nurses will choose to take their first assignment at a facility in their home state, just to get their feet wet in the world of travel nursing. This is an easy method of avoiding the licensing issue and gaining valuable experience. If you are considering assignments in other states, then licensing is going to be a consideration. Your recruiter is available to help you with the process, but it is important to note that different states have different timelines for pushing through temporary licenses and permanent licenses.
As in most major life decisions, asking questions and taking the time to do a little research can help you be successful in finding the travel assignments at facilities that are right for you. No one wants to spend 13 weeks in a different city, only to be disappointed in the work environment. Hopefully, we have given you a few things to consider before finalizing your next assignment. Good luck and safe travels!
What things do you consider when choosing a travel hospital? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below, or tell us on our Facebook page.