Travel Nurse Contracts: Crisis vs. Rapid Response

Travel Nurse Contracts: Crisis vs. Rapid Response

As a travel nurse, you will find yourself in different places and scenarios all the time. It is why learning about travel nurse contracts is essential.

While it is part of your job as a travel nurse to be assigned to different parts of the country, there will come a time when you need to answer a crisis or rapid response call.

That said, you must know the difference between a crisis and a rapid response contract so you can choose which one works well for you.

The Difference Between Crisis and Rapid Response Travel Nurse Contract

A contract is vital in a travel nurse’s job, but a few differences exist between a crisis and a rapid response contract. Knowing them both can help you identify which one is more favorable for you.

What is a Crisis Contract?

Travel nurses are usually the first people who respond to any crises across the country. A crisis contract is given to nurses when a geographical location or hospital is confirmed to be under an emergency. 

As a nurse, you must understand that this contract will put you in high-risk conditions, so reading it thoroughly is necessary.

If the crisis is urgent, this contract may also become a rapid response contract. If the problem is urgent, you may get higher wages for both contracts.

A crisis can be anything alarming or overwhelming. The best example of this case is the Covid-19 pandemic that we are experiencing right now. Another good example is when the crisis is an isolated case.

It means the issue is only specific to a particular hospital or area. For example, when natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, etc., hits a location, travel nurses are given crisis contracts to answer the call for help.

The payment of a crisis contract varies depending on the nature of the crisis at hand [1]. The amount may also differ according to these factors:

  • The hospital’s budget.
  • The agency’s ability to negotiate the terms and conditions of your work.
  • Your skills as a nurse – if you have skills in specialized areas like ICU, OR, DR, and others, the better the pay you will get.

As you go through your contract, you will see that it outlines the specifics of your crisis pay. It may include both a higher base wage, additional stipends, and your bonuses and overtime pay.

A crisis contract may also be shorter than the regular travel nurse contracts. Your assignments are often short-term, while the standard travel nurse contract is around 16 weeks.

Many hospitals opt to hire nurses under this contract on shorter terms because they’re paid higher than others. So it would be wise to hire them for a short period than hire them for a long time and pay at higher rates.

What is  Rapid Response Contract?

A rapid response contract is when a healthcare facility hires travel nurses to fill in the job. The situation may not always be a crisis. But nurses are needed if there is a:

  • New software upgrade
  • An internal occurrence
  • An influx of non-emergency patients
Travel nurses must stay close to the facility and be ready if the hospital calls them on short notice.
As a rapid response nurse, you may also receive bonuses, higher base wages, and more stipends [2]. It will also depend on the following:
  • Education and certifications.
  • The number of years you are working as a rapid response nurse.
  • Nursing skills that you have.
Housing stipends are also included in your compensation. It is because finding housing near the facility on short notice is difficult.
Expect to work right away when you accept this kind of contract. It means you don’t have to go through lengthy briefings. 
In case you find yourself in this situation, being ready is always a good thing. Be sure to work with your agency in every step, so you have everything you need before working.

Choose the Right Contract

Whether you work as a crisis or rapid response nurse, be sure to choose the work where you will be happy working as one. Both positions are well compensated and need you to travel. If this makes you happy, go ahead and take the offer. Make sure to read your travel nurse contracts well for your security and safety.


EP 176: The Evolving Role of Forensic Nursing With Debra Holbrook

EP 176: The Evolving Role of Forensic Nursing With Debra Holbrook

The Evolving Role of Forensic Nursing With Debra Holbrook

The evolving role of forensic nursing has changed over the years. What is forensic nursing? Perhaps you’ve heard about it and are interested in working as one. But what is it? A forensic nurse is a Registered or Advanced Practice Nurse with specific training and education.

They specialize in caring for patients who experienced acute and long-term health issues related to victimization or violence and have unmet evidentiary needs relative to having been victimized or accused of victimization. 

In addition to these skills, forensic nurses also provide testimony and consultation for civil or criminal proceedings. It concerns nursing practice, the care given to the patient, and their opinion regarding these findings.

Forensic nursing care is not separate and distinct from other forms of medical care but rather integrated into the overall care needs of individual patients.

Our Guest

We would like to introduce you to Debra S. Holbrook in this episode. Debra is currently the Director of Forensic Nursing at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, coordinating care for interpersonal violence victims for all Baltimore City hospitals. She is the President-Elect of the Academy of Forensic Nursing.

She has testified before a Senate Judicial Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs on behalf of a new law known as the DNA Justice Act. Debra also published the first research linking ALS to latent injury in strangulation. 

Changes in forensic nursing over the years, what forensic nursing is, and how alternative light source technology has changed the forensic sphere. 


The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!

  1. Debra, can you give a little background about how you got into forensic nursing?
  2. You’re one of the leaders in the forensic nursing space. Was there a specific event in your life that pushed you to be a pioneer and an advocate for change in the forensic sphere?
    • We don’t remember any forensic nursing-related material from nursing school. We don’t even think we were given any info in the first place. If you were to ask us how to gather DNA or even the basic process of what to do when a victim presents in the hospital, we’d have no idea. 
    • How/when did you realize there needs to be a change in how we help victims?
    • What bothered you in the healthcare system, where was it flawed?
  3. Where do you think we could still improve? Where are we still lacking in helping the victim or the flaws in this giant healthcare system?
    • We spoke to a SANE nurse before, and one of the major issues in forensic nursing is the lack of resources and funding.
    • Some people get scarred for life and have the trauma for the rest of their lives. Does the current system help them through these times, or is it a one-and-done approach, and then the victim has to seek further care?
  4. You testified on capitol hill before a senate judicial committee on crime and drugs on behalf of a bill signed in 2005 as the DNA Justice Act. Can you walk us through how you came up with the bill and how you got to the point of presenting it and getting it signed into law?
  5. You published the first research linking alternative light source technology to latent injury. How does alternate light source technology assist in identifying injury?
  6. What is a project you are currently working on or a problem you are looking to solve?


Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why?  

If you are a victim of abuse or assault or need someone to talk to about what you are going through, download the bmoresafe app. This app helps address the needs of patients in the Baltimore area and provides resources for sexual or domestic assault victims. You can download this app for free through PlayStore.

Get to know the evolving role of forensic nursing by watching this full episode here 👇


00:00 Introduction
01:19 About the guest
08:45 What are the flaws of our healthcare system
13:31 What is an asylum case
15:00 Where is the funding coming from
16:43 Qualities of a forensic nurse
18:48 Forensic nursing myth
21:34 Reasons why victims are not reporting the crime
24:10 The first thing a forensic nurse should do when dealing with a victim
26:58 Very brutal and degrading crimes
29:41 Advanced technology that helps solve crimes
32:41 Alternate Light Source :
36:49 What’s next for Debb?
38:12 Reasons why heinous crimes exist
44:22 Keeping work and life balanced
47:27 Wrapping up the episode


EP 175: What is a Rapid Response Nurse With Sarah Lorenzini

EP 175: What is a Rapid Response Nurse With Sarah Lorenzini

What is a Rapid Response Nurse With Sarah Lorenzini

When it comes to emergency response, a rapid response nurse must face it with complete confidence. However, not all nurses are as assertive and confident in emergency situations. It usually happens to new nurses or nurses who are just starting their careers and are not entirely used to emergencies.

Some nurses can handle the stress, while some may panic or avoid these situations. How can nurses respond to crises with ease and confidence? Can this be learned? How can we empower nurses to handle emergencies?

In this episode, we introduce you to our guest, Sarah Lorenzini. Sarah is a Rapid Response Nurse, educator, and podcast host who teaches nurses how to respond to emergencies. She is passionate about empowering nurses with confidence and competence to advocate for their patients.


The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!

  1. Sarah, can you give a little background about yourself?
  • What is your nursing experience?
  • How did you get into Rapid Response?
  • What does a rapid response nurse do?

2. Your day-to-day process for responding to emergencies.

  • How important are team dynamics during an emergency and nonemergencies?

3. Over the years of traveling, we’ve noticed that units with close nurses perform better as a team during admissions, troubleshooting, and emergencies. 

4. What is something you believe every nurse should know when it comes to emergencies? 

  • Are some universal steps to use during an emergency or in preparation? Ex; ABCs, looking at detailed notes at the beginning of the shift.

5. Where do you think the biggest flaws are regarding rapid responses and codes? 

  • What do you think needs to change or focus on? For example, quicker identification of a deteriorating patient, access to supplies, lack of education on the first steps of action, poor communication…

6. The smartest nurse can struggle in an emergency; how does the body react to a stressful situation, and how can we harness our SNS to help us?

7. Intuition is something that builds over time, but it’s just like confidence. A lot of time, we doubt ourselves. How can nurses use that intuition?

  • The one we always go it is talking about what you think, almost like getting a second opinion from the nurse. Something simple as saying, “I’ve had this patient for the last 3 nights, and his belly looks bigger. Can you take a look and see if it looks distended and feels hard? Do you think he might have an obstruction? 

8. Rapid Response and Rescue course? 

  • What made you make it?
  • What is it about?


Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests.

If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why? 


Podcast: Rapid Response RN

IG: @TheRapidResponseRN


New Course: Rapid Response and Rescue

Do you want to be the best Rapid Response Nurse? Learn all about it in this full episode; click here 👇


00:00 Introduction
01:47 About the Guest
04:55 Qualities of a Rapid Response Nurse
07:34 ER vs. ICU
10:34 What does a Rapid Response Nurse shift look like?
14:56 What nurses should do and know when having a patient
20:50 The dynamics of taking care of the patient
23:12 What does a Rapid Response Team compose of?
26:54 What nurses should know before calling the rapid team
31:42 How to overcome stress and panic in an emergency
41:20 How to be confident and How to help build confidence in others
48:40 Magnet-status hospitals
50:07 Course for Rapid Response
54:16 Wrapping up the episode