5 Things You Need to Look for in Your Travel Nurse Contract

5 Things You Need to Look for in Your Travel Nurse Contract

Being a travel nurse offers you new and exciting ventures as you get assigned to different locations. But before you get pumped for your assignment, it would help you read your contract first. Here are things you need to look for in your nurse travel contract. 

The Travel Nurse Contract

Before we check the important contents of your contract, let us first know what a travel nurse contract is and make sure you understand every detail it entails [1]. 

By definition, this contract is an agreement between the professional (you), the agency, and the hospital. The agency employs travel healthcare workers like you through this contract. The agency then has an agreement with the vendor sourcing manager that makes contracts with the hospital. In some cases, smaller healthcare facilities can work directly with the agency, but it depends highly on the matter. 

There are a few types of travel nursing contracts that you should know. Among these includes the standard and crisis, where extra nursing staff is needed immediately. The arrangement between the nurse and agency may also serve as the leading tax documentation. It also establishes the obligations and conditions for work and covers essential things like wages, benefits, and others.

Besides the initial arrangement written in the contract, travel nurses can also negotiate specific terms with the hospital during the interview. It could be something like the particular number of days off, night shift wages, floating rules, and so on. The agency will then send an updated supplement to the hospital regarding these specified agreements called confirmation, but only once the nurse accepts the offer for this assignment. 

What to Look Into Your Contract

Before signing your contract, be sure to check that your responsibilities are clearly stated and the staffing responsibilities of the facility. The agency and healthcare facility must be transparent with you. Here’s what you need to look into:

Travel expenses and reimbursements

Take note that the agency almost always pays and reimburses your travel expenses. Many agencies are willing to cover the costs you make when traveling to your assignment, either by driving or traveling by plane. There are three ways that this can happen:

  1. You initially spend money on gas or airplane tickets, and the agency will repay you afterward. 
  2. The agency will pay for the traveling expenses in advance; airplane tickets, train tickets, or gas for your car. 
  3. The agency will pay out an amount over a set period. 

Any reliable agency will lay out these terms to you and ensure that you are provided with what you need. In addition, you must also know how you will be reimbursed if there is a cancellation of the assignment. 

Housing Policy

In some cases, agencies will offer to arrange or provide travel nurses with housing. This is done through an internal system or several housing sites that cater to healthcare professionals on a temporary assignment. You also have the freedom to look for an apartment or housing. But why bother when there is someone who can do that for you? 

So, before you sign a travel nurse contract, be sure to check what your agency is offering you in terms of housing. Make sure to take note of your responsibilities regarding this part too. See if you will pay for it and if yes, are they going to reimburse you after? If the agency is the one to set up the housing, ask what will happen in case your assignment is extended. Be sure to ask essential questions so you are not left with all the responsibilities. 

Sick Pay

Getting sick while on the job cannot be avoided, especially since there is a pandemic. No matter how much you take care of yourself, there will come a time when your immune system weakens and you need rest. In case this happens, see what your contract has to say about it. 

Your agency must be able to state clearly what happens when you get sick while on duty. It should also include the coverage pay in case you are placed in quarantine. 

Policies on Cancellation

Travel nurses are often overlooked by hospitals, and sometimes, their contracts get pulled at the last minute.  In case this happens to you, be sure to know what your agency states in this matter. Are you going to get paid for it? Is the agency willing to find you another assignment? Are they going to reimburse your travel expenses just in case? – knowing all about these will help you get a better position and prepare you for the following steps. 

Health Insurance

Many nurses are covered with health insurance as full-time staff. However, if you work as a travel nurse, are you covered with the same insurance? Of course, being a travel nurse means you are more exposed to risky situations. Therefore agencies will provide you with the health insurance you need. 

Keep in mind that the risk of getting sick on the job (even accidents) is pretty common for all nurses, and travel nurses are no exception. Finding a good agency that can provide you with health insurance is a must, so you don’t have to meet any medical expenses in the future. 

Your Takeaway

Now that you know what things to look for in your travel nurse contract, be sure to note them. Working as a traveling healthcare professional has its perks, but knowing that your agency provides you with protection and security is always ideal. Finding one that can help you with everything you need is something you should always consider. 

Share This