Our Most Popular Questions: Travel Nurse Edition

If you’ve been thinking about starting a career in travel healthcare, we’re sure you have a hundred questions! At MSSI our recruiters are available 24/7 to answer any of your inquiries whether through a text message, our LiveChat feature, email, or phone call. Here are 9 of the most asked questions we get.

What kind of experience do I need to get into travel healthcare?

As far as experience goes, the more the better! You will find that every facility has a different set of minimum requirements, but typically you will need at least 1-2 years of experience in your specialty before you can start traveling.

Examples of different requirements put in place by facilities could include certain certifications (ex: BLS, ACLS, TNCC), charting experience (ex: must have EPIC charting experience), and state licensing (ex: “Must have MA state license or have applied for MA state license.”)

What if my recruiter doesn’t have an assignment I’m interested in?

If you have your heart set on specific cities or hospitals, your recruiter may not always have what you’re looking for. If this happens, you can either work with your recruiter to be submitted to a similar assignment or you can choose work with a completely different company. Many travelers work with recruiters at several different agencies for this specific reason.

Why is part of my paycheck non-taxable?

The simplest way to answer this is that travelers are typically given this tax advantage because travel nurse companies can legally reimburse their travelers for certain expenses such as housing and meals and incidentals while they’re away from their homes, as long as other criteria is met – such as a traveler having a tax home, but taking an assignment x amount of miles away.

How do travelers normally find housing?

Finding short-term housing can be overwhelming, but fortunately there are a variety of options. Here are three of the most common ways our travelers find their housing:

  1. VRBO or AirBNB
  2. Hotels meant for long term stays, such as Extended Stay America, Hyatt House, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites.
  3. Housing referrals through Facebook. Check out travel nurse groups such as Travel Nurse Housing – The Gypsy Nurse.

What if I love my assignment and want to become perm staff?

Hey, this is not totally uncommon! Have a conversation with your manager at your facility and or your recruiter and they can take it from there. It might not always be doable, but there is no hurt in asking. Options for extensions are fairly common as well.

Am I able to bring anyone on assignment with me?

For most of our assignments, you’re able to bring whomever you wish whether it’s a spouse, pet, or BFF. Instances of when this might not work out would be when the facility is providing the housing or if you’re working a crisis contract or strike. Otherwise, SO many of our travelers travel with friends and or family.

What happens if I hate my assignment and want to quit early?

This scenario may be looming in the back of your mind, but fortunately this isn’t something that happens all that often. Most of our travelers are surprised at how quickly the typical 13-week assignment goes by. Before you know it, you’re already discussing extension options with your recruiter or looking for the next exciting assignment. However, in that .001 percent chance you HATE your assignment and cannot continue working it, your recruiter is going to be your biggest advocate for making things better and or getting you out of there. It’s so important to establish a strong relationship with your recruiter.

What happens at the end of my assignment?

What happens at the end of your assignment starts being discussed about halfway through your assignment. Here are the three most common ways an assignment will end.

  1. You’ll choose to extend your assignment by a number of weeks and stay at your new facility with your new friends and coworkers!
  2. You’ll decide to pack your bags and head to the next amazing destination.
  3. You decide to take some time off for yourself.
  4. You decide to head home and take a break from travel nursing. All of these things will be discussed with your recruiter several weeks before your assignment is supposed to come to an end.

Am I able to negotiate for more money?

This really depends on the company that you’re signed with. Some companies will leave room on the table to negotiate. However, MSSI is not one of those companies. Here at MSSI, we max out the amount we’re able to pay you up front as part of our promise of transparency. It never hurts to ask your recruiter though!