5 Top Tips from a Travel Nurse Recruiter

Travel nurse recruiters are the single most important component of every travel nurse’s career. They are the travel nurse’s primary interface between Onward Healthcare, the job market, and the healthcare facility. Travel nurse recruiters not only place travel nurses in different working environments, including healthcare facilities, healthcare roles, and dream travel destinations, but they also are responsible for helping to complete the paperwork, finding the most qualified nurses, and being the voice and advocate for the agency and the nurse. Let’s look at a ‘day in the life’ of a travel nurse recruiter and the top tips for travel nurses in their new assignment!

A Day in the Life of a Travel Nurse Recruiter

We’ve all heard how busy travel nurse recruiters are, but did you also know they do much more than just recruit for top talent? Recruiters advise, educate, and mentor travel nurses before, during, and after they are on assignment. They are the matchmakers between travel nurses and healthcare facilities, and it’s their top priority to find qualified talent to place in different openings around the world. Each traveler has a special skill and ability, and the recruiter’s main goal is to place them where they can make the biggest, most positive impact.

Related: Virtual Interview Tips for Travel Nurses

As if that isn’t enough, travel nurse recruiters are mentors, inspiring, coaching, and motivating travel nurses throughout their careers. As soon as an application comes in to the recruiter, they reach out to the travel nurse, and the partnership starts immediately. Nobody knows this better than Onward Healthcare’s own Senior Travel Nurse Recruitment Manager, Brandi Gallegos.

Brandi has been with AMN Healthcare for over 11 years as a travel nurse recruiter, and she describes firsthand what happens after she receives an application from the nurse: “After I receive an application, I reach out to the nurse to find out what their goals are, for example, what they want to accomplish, where they want to travel to, where they want to work, etc. For me, it’s about maintaining a partnership, because it’s important for me to understand why the nurse is applying. Travelers want to be a travel nurse for different reasons, including visiting family, seeing the world, experiencing different seasons, and learning new skills. I want to make sure that I match them with a perfect destination, an ideal working environment (healthcare facility and unit/floor), and an amazing experience.”

Brandi wears multiple hats throughout the day, and each day is different. She advises and educates travelers on the markets that are the most demanding and popular. Brandi walks nurses through the assignment’s requirements, helps travel RNs complete checklists, sends files out to the facilities, schedules interviews, and helps review offers. She also facilities the documentation process for hospitals, assists travel nurses with their first day instructions for orientation, and organizes anything and everything related to licensing. Brandi is dedicated, organized, flexible, passionate, and has phenomenal time management skills--all qualities necessary to be a top travel nurse recruiter! Just ask the travelers she has placed, as they send her pictures of their children and grandchildren, and she even receives Christmas cards.

Related: The 10 Top Things a Travel Nurse Should Never Say

5 Top Tips and Advice for Travel Nurses

The best advice we get is typically from people who have ‘been there, done that’ or from experts in the field. Brandi Gallegos is not only an expert in the field, but she also has some of the greatest advice ever for travel nurses, based on her years of experience: “When travelers are just starting out in their careers, they must be flexible, open to change, and not demanding. There are times where they may need to work weekends and be a float. This is all part of the assignment and experience. Also, be honest. Tell me what you’re looking for, why you want to be a travel nurse, where you want to travel, and what makes you happy.”

Here are Brandi’s top 5 tips for travel nurses:

1.    Be flexible and open: You may need to work weekends and be a float. Be open to traveling to destinations--they may not be your first choice, but have a list of your top three places to visit.
2.    Be prepared: There are sample interview questions that will help you prepare for your interview. Make sure that you practice with the questions and talk them out.
3.    Be honest: Communicate openly and honestly with recruiters. Tell recruiters what you are looking for, where you want to travel, and where you want to work.
4.    Stay in touch: It’s important to stay in touch with your recruiter. Let them know how the assignment is going (good and bad) and plan ahead! You should always be thinking three months in advance, especially for the application process and licensing requirements. For example, if you are in California and want to take an assignment in New Jersey, there may be paperwork that needs to be completed, so don’t wait until the last minute!
5.    Ask a lot of questions: There really is no such thing as a ‘wrong’ question. The more questions you ask--the better. Before you apply for the contract, make a list of questions you have, including those you may not want to ask. For example, to make sure that a contract is a great fit for you, make a list of questions to ask the recruiter:
      a.    What is the salary?
      b.    What type of insurance will I have?
      c.    What are the benefits/reimbursements for travel nurses?
      d.    How many days of orientation will I get?
      e.    What is the policy for time off?
      f.    What are the perks? Think free housing, insurance, overtime bonus, scrub discounts, computer discounts, rental car discounts, and tons more!

Are you the travel nurse that will move onward and upward? Are you ready to hit the road and travel to different parts of the world? Join Onward Healthcare, and gain the skills to advance your career when you start your new travel nursing job today!



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