Knowing When to Walk Away from Your Dream Travel Nurse Assignment

Knowing When to Walk Away From Your Dream Travel Nurse Assignment
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So you interviewed for your dream job at your dream hospital.  You were so excited about interviewing at THEE hospital that you totally ignored your gut feeling.  You know, the one that says “Hmm… this seems off”.  You forgot to ask all of the questions that matter – “How often do travelers float?”  “How many times do travelers typically get canceled?”  “How many weekends are travelers required to work?”  And instead you just repeated to yourself “But it’s my dream travel nurse assignment”.

Fast forward a few days and you received notice that you landed the job!  Your contract has been drawn up and it’s sitting in your email.  But the nagging feeling is still there.  And you don’t have the guts to open that email and sign that contract. Something just feels… off.  But what?


This May Not be Your Dream Travel Nurse Assignment IF…


You Find Yourself Negotiating Your NON-Negotiables

Before I take an assignment I write down all of my non-negotiables.  I write down what days I need off.  How many weekends I’m willing to work.  Whether or not I’m willing to float or work the night shift.  And every time I interview I look back on my non-negotiables to ensure that the assignment sounds like it’s something I would actually enjoy.


Read more:  How to Negotiate Your Travel Nurse Contract – What’s Worth Negotiating and What isn’t


It Seems too Good to be True

Has something ever seemed so good that you ended up being disappointed?  This can be the case with assignments too.  Typically if it seems like the person interviewing me is blowing steam up my a**, they probably are.  I’ve been on one too many assignments where the interview went great!  And I was told everything I wanted to hear.  Only to get to the hospital and realize they were just desperate for a traveler.  For that reason, I put everything that was agreed on in the contract so I know that my assignment isn’t too good to be true.


You Feel Pressured

I can’t tell you how many times a recruiter has pressured me into something that hasn’t felt right.  Unfortunately, the reality is that while a lot of recruiters are awesome… a lot aren’t.  And a lot of recruiters just want to make money and they don’t care how.  They ignore you when you say “I really need X amount of days off” and convince you that no hospital will ever agree to that.  Or they call you with “the best job offer” only to get your hopes up and then crushed when you find out it’s a night shift position and you requested days.

What I’m saying is… this may not be your dream assignment if you feel pressured to sign a contract.  If your recruiter tries to convince you that “The job will go fast we’ll negotiate your pay later” (yes that happened to me, don’t fall for it as I did).  Or if they pressure you in any other way.


Reality Check… Your Dream Travel Nurse Assignment Won’t Leave You With a Nagging Feeling

When it comes down to it, it’s important to remember that your dream assignment won’t actually leave you with that nagging feeling.  Just because this is your dream hospital or dream destination, doesn’t mean that it’s your dream assignment.  And guess what.  If it’s not your dream assignment, then there is much better out there.


If you find yourself in this position… know that you aren’t alone.  Since I began travel nursing my goal has always been to get to San Francisco.  When I got word that a hospital in the area was hiring, I was on my recruiter to submit me like white on rice.  I was so excited when I got the phone call that I didn’t realize the job seemed… well… crappy.

When I called my recruiter to tell her something felt off, she convinced me that I was being too picky.  She told me that it was a great assignment and she would send me the contract and I’d need to sign it right away.  Well, when that email came with my offer I avoided my inbox like the plague.  Luckily I followed my gut.  I ended up turning down the job, my recruiter stopped speaking to me, but guess what?  I ended up landing an even better job than I could have dreamed of in Seattle.  And since then I’ve been lucky enough to work with different recruiters who actually care what I want.  (Pst… it is never okay for a recruiter to pressure you into something you don’t want.  For more on finding the right recruiter for you, read this post).

In travel nursing, there are too many great contracts out there to settle for less than you deserve.  And there are too many great recruiters who will allow you to follow your gut and not pressure you into something you don’t want.  Don’t feel bad for going after what you want and saying no to what you don’t want.  After all, that hospital wouldn’t bat an eye if they needed to cancel your contract.


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If you’re thinking of making the jump into the world of travel nursing, these articles might be helpful


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Kylee is a NICU nurse passionate about making travel affordable and accessible to nurses. Inspiring nurses to travel both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee has been a NICU nurse for 9 years and a travel nurse for 7 years. Since starting her career in travel nursing, she’s worked in six different states, 10 different hospitals, volunteered as a nurse in North Macedonia, worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, and has traveled to 45+ countries. Her favorite travel nurse assignment was in Seattle and her favorite destination is Georgia (the country). Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – a vacation geared towards nurses who aim to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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