Newbie Travel Nurse Tips from Experienced Pros

With plenty of jobs throughout the country, now is an ideal time to dive into a healthcare travel job, whether you’re a travel nurse or an allied healthcare pro. But if you’re not sure how to start, we got you! Our experienced healthcare travelers came up with a few tips perfectly designed to help newbies.

Use Kamana for Your Agency Profile

We know. We sound like a broken record talkin’ about Kamana, but we can’t help it. Kamana is the greatest thing to happen to travelers since, well, we’re not sure. When you’re looking for a new job, you normally need to fill out a profile for each agency you’re working with. This means uploading your references, license information, filling out job history and more on each agency’s profile. Enter Kamana.

The Kamana profile is a universal profile, which means that you’ll be able to use it no matter what agency you’re working with. We call it our profile-back guarantee—fill out the Kamana profile once and you’ll be able to share it with every agency you’re working with, even if they aren’t currently using Kamana. It’s a total time saver. Win.

Also, since everything is stored electronically, you won’t need to lug around a paper file that can get lost or damaged. Win, win.

Pay Attention to Your Contract

Your contract is your guidebook to your assignment. Pay close attention to everything in there and don’t forget to read it thoroughly. Need some time off? Make sure it’s in writing. Want block scheduling or only day shifts? If it’s not in your contract, it may not happen.

Respond Quickly on Compliance

After you sign a contract, the work starts. Compliance means all the background information related to the facility’s requirements, such as drug tests, gathering vaccination records, licensing and more. If you have everything in one spot in your Kamana profile, compliance will run more smoothly because you can share your file with your onboarding specialist.

Make sure to respond quickly, especially to a drug test request. Drug tests, when required, are often required to be done within a specific time frame, which means if you miss your window, you could be jeopardizing your assignment.

Be Smart About Housing

After you’ve signed a contract, it’s time to find a place to stay during your assignment. Some newbies are so excited to find a great place, they immediately book an Airbnb or other long-term rental for the entire 13 weeks. Hold up. Experienced healthcare travel pros know that it’s possible for assignments to get canceled and if you’ve signed a lease, you’re going to be stuck paying rent the entire time. A lease is a contract and unless you have a cancellation clause, you’re on the hook for that money.

Consider booking a hotel for the first week or two of your assignment. That way you’ll be able to view an Airbnb in person before signing a lease and you’ll have a better idea of how the facility’s unit works and whether there’s a cancellation risk.

Additionally, know that you don’t have to use your entire housing allowance to pay for housing. If you’re able to find a place to stay that is under your allowance, you can pocket the difference. Depending on your location, this may or may not be possible, but it’s something to look into before you sign a contract.

Keep in Contact with Your Recruiter

Your relationship with your recruiter doesn’t need to end just because you’re working at a facility. Good recruiters will check in with you and make sure everything is going well throughout your assignment, not sure just when it’s time to sign a new contract. Be honest with your recruiter about facility feedback—if the location has a few bumps, they’re going to want to know. It’s also possible that the agency has a clinical team that can help travelers navigate difficult situations. If you ever feel unsafe at a facility, your recruiter and the clinical team should be your first phone call.

Newbies, make sure that you take full advantage of your recruiter’s expertise, but also don’t forget about these tips from experienced healthcare travelers. These pros have the experience and knowledge to help you understand how to navigate the sometimes confusing world of healthcare travel.

Triage recruiters have the knowledge needed to make your first assignment (and any others) a positive experience. If you’re looking for a new healthcare travel job, check out our job board and connect with a recruiter today.