I believe that the number one mistake that new travel nurses make when starting is stressing out about finding a good company. I’ve spoken with many nurses who are just waiting to take the leap into travel nursing, but they keep holding themselves back because they haven’t found the “perfect company”. The truth is – the perfect company doesn’t exist. There are pros and cons to every single company. And the even harsher truth? No matter how great your company maybe… a travel nurse recruiter can make or break your experience.
Here’s Why You Should Pick a Travel Nurse Recruiter Over a Company:
A travel nurse recruiter works with you at times that you’re at your most vulnerable. They know your desires. Where you want to live, where you don’t want to live. Your recruiter knows what makes you upset, they see you at your highest point when you land great jobs and at your lowest point when you don’t land your dream job. Whether or not you like it, your recruiter knows intimate things about you – and they should! They should know your likes, your dislikes, what kind of climate you like if you prefer to be in a busy city or secluded in nature. Your travel nurse recruiter should know you pretty darn well, and that is why picking a recruiter you like is MUCH more important than picking a company you like.
A company does NOT know these things about you, nor do they care. When it comes down to it… the company cares about the bottom dollar. They care how many nurses they are working with and they care about getting paid. They don’t speak to you regularly, they don’t know your likes and dislikes. That is all your recruiter – not your company.
Not to mention, your travel nurse recruiter can often go above and beyond company policy to get you what you want. I’ve worked with my recruiter for over a year now and she is continually sticking out her neck for me when I ask for more money, or when I don’t think that something is fair. I don’t always get my way, but she’s always going above and beyond to make sure that she’s asking the questions that I want her to ask and fixing quirky things in my contracts that bother me.
How Do You Find a Good, Trustworthy, Travel Nurse Recruiter?
The way to find a good travel nurse recruiter is by being referred from another travel nurse. To be clear – every time you are referred to a recruiter, that travel nurse earns a small bonus (if you sign a contract). I hear some nurses say, “You shouldn’t take referrals because people are only referring you for the money”. In my case, that is not the truth. I have worked with travel nurse recruiters before that I don’t like and I am completely honest about it. I would never refer a travel nurse recruiter to someone that I didn’t know, love, and trust. And I think that most travel nurses I know would say the same thing. So before you go Googling for companies, reach out to a travel nurse! Ask them if they have anyone in mind for you. Don’t just reach out to the company because then you will be placed with any random Joe Schmo. And a bad recruiter can not only ruin a great company but can ruin your experience as a travel nurse.
I’ve had travel nurse recruiters reach out to me from some of the most well-respected companies out there. Unfortunately, they weren’t great recruiters and now the company is entirely ruined for me. Even if I were to be matched with a new recruiter, the old one has left a sour taste in my mouth so I ditch the company entirely.
Now, if you’re a nurse who is looking to get into travel nursing I challenge you to this: Instead of Googling “travel nurse companies”, reach out to a travel nurse that you know (or don’t know). Ask them who they work with (recruiter – not company) and if they like them. In fact, you should ask multiple travel nurses and reach out to every recruiter that you are referred to. Then you can get a better feel for who you want to work with and go from there.
If you are in the market for a new recruiter, please reach out to me on Instagram. I love my travel nurse recruiter and would be happy to pass her information along.
For more information on travel nurse recruiters and companies, read these articles: