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.

 

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