Travel clinicians may feel overwhelmed with questions about their travel assignments. While some level of uncertainty is normal with any new job, there are a few key questions that new and seasoned travel nurses alike should have answered before accepting a travel nursing assignment. Joelle Chandler, manager of recruitment with American Mobile Healthcare, suggests several questions to ask during the interview with the nurse manager and some to address with your travel nurse recruiter.
1. What are your expectations for travel nurses?
2. What is your floating policy?
All travelers are expected to float between units to some extent. But the idea of floating can make some clinicians nervous. Asking up front about floating expectations can alleviate that concern. Travel clinicians can expect to be floated only to units where they have experience. For instance, an ICU nurse may be asked to staff a step-down unit.
3. How do you do your scheduling?
While you may not get to pick specific shifts, you can certainly get an idea if you can cluster your shifts together or if the assignment will be primarily day or night shifts. Also, as the holidays approach, it will be important to ask about holiday scheduling. Just like staff nurses, travelers are expected to work some, but not all, holidays.
4. What kind of orientation is offered to travelers?
5. How many travelers are on the unit?
This may be an especially important question for first-time clinicians. Travelers often form their own communities, so it is nice to know whether or not there is a group waiting for you. While staff clinicians are usually welcoming, many are already busy with family and friends. Other travelers are more likely to be available to socialize after work or to go on adventures during days off.
6. Do you ever extend contracts for your travelers?
You will want to know if there is a possibility of staying on if you find your experience especially enjoyable. Thirteen weeks can pass quickly, and it is helpful to know from the outset if an extension is even an option from the hospital’s perspective.
7. How many hours will I work, and will my hours be guaranteed?
8. How far away is my housing and what does it include?
9. What will be required on my first day?
10. What resources are available if I encounter an issue on the job?
While recruiters and housing specialists can help answer some general questions on your travel assignment, many top travel nurse agencies, like us, also offer clinical liaisons who are available around the clock if a clinical or work-related issue needs resolving. Be sure and ask your recruiter for details!
APPLY for travel nursing jobs today to get started on your travel adventure!