Getting Back Into a Travel Assignment After Time Off

It’s not uncommon for travelers to take some time off, especially in the summer or around the holidays. Whether you’re taking just a week or two or you’re planning on taking a few months to rejuvenate and relax, there’s a few things to know that will help make your return easier.

Communicate with Your Recruiter

If you know that you’re taking time off, make sure to communicate with your recruiter ahead of time. This way, they’ll be able to still keep an eye out for assignments that fit your wants. Are you planning on taking three months off, regardless of what your recruiter has available? Or, is there’s a specific assignment that you’d take early if it came up? When you have this conversation ahead of time, your recruiter can keep your wants at the top of their mind as they come across new assignments. Also, if you’re going somewhere where cell service might be spotty or you’re going “off the grid,” let your recruiter know.

Start Looking for a New Position About Six Weeks Ahead of Time

It’s possible that it takes a while to find a new position, especially in this job market. At the time, there are still plenty of jobs, but there are also a lot of travelers competing for those jobs. When you start your job search about six weeks ahead of time, you’re adding in some extra time to account for slow responses from managers, delays in compliance or anything else that might come up. It’s always better to plan ahead then scramble at the end.

What’s Happening with Insurance?

When you have Day One insurance like Triage does, it’s important to know that your insurance coverage ends on the last day worked of your assignment. However, if you have another assignment booked and it will start within 26 days of your last day worked, Triage will keep those benefits on. If you’re planning on a longer break, you have access to COBRA coverage, which is then backdated to the day you lost coverage.

Snag Those Recommendations Early

Before you leave your assignment, ask if you can get a recommendation from either your manager or charge nurse. Having this in your pocket can make finding a new assignment run a lot more smoothly when it’s time to look for one. We’re not saying that you’re forgettable, but some units have a lot of travelers and getting that recommendation early means that they’ll remember exactly who you are.

Remember to Keep Your Skills Current

A year off sounds amazing and good for you if you can swing taking that much time off. However, realize that most travel agencies will want you to have recent travel experience. If you end up taking too much time off, you risk losing some of your nursing skills. Some nurses plan on taking a per diem job, also called a PRN position. This means working as needed, typically with a higher hourly rate, but no stipends or benefits. Most people find these jobs by applying directly to the hospital’s float pool.

One of the greatest things about being a traveler is the freedom to take a vacation whenever you’d like, but eventually nearly everyone has to get back to work. Use these tips to make it easier to get back on the road, no matter how long you’re away.

If you’re interested in learning more about traveling with Triage, sign up here and a recruiter will be in touch.