How to Find the Best Contract Nursing Jobs
You really want a travel nursing assignment. But you have a few specific requirements, so it needs to be the right contract nursing job. How do you find that perfect job?
To start off in the right direction, Pilar R., a recruiter for NurseChoice, suggests sitting down and setting some goals. List your short-term goals and your long-term goals, since the former may help you achieve the latter.
Then start to think about where you’d like to travel—and what type of contract nursing assignment you envision yourself taking. For example, are you eager to jump on a rapid response nursing job or a short-term crisis nursing job? Are you interested in a project-based assignment, like an EMR conversion? Or would you prefer a traditional travel nursing assignment, which will typically last for 13 weeks?
Once you have those details hammered out, you can conduct a more focused search.
How to begin your contract nursing job search
Here are Pilar’s tips for getting your search started for that ideal assignment:
Do some online research
If you’re just dipping your toe in the water of contract nursing, it can help to do some online research. Many social media platforms have forums where travel nurses can get together and chat. You might even post a few questions and see what kind of responses you get.
Network with other nurses
If any travel nurses work at your organization, talk to them about their experience. They might be able to offer some advice, recommend a staffing agency or refer you to their own recruiter. You can also find tips and recommendations on AMN Passport, an app to not only search and apply to jobs, but also used to participate in the nursing community.
Find an agency
Working with a contract nursing agency with a proven track record can be a great advantage when you’re embarking on a job search.
“We can help you find a better assignment, knowing what your experience is and knowing what the market is like,” said Pilar.
In addition to asking your fellow nurses what agencies they’d recommend, you can do your own online comparisons. One key tip: check out the job offerings on an agency’s website to get a sense of the opportunities they can offer.
Update your resume
Pull out your resume and make sure it’s updated and error-free. Then update any online profiles that you have posted on sites like LinkedIn. If you’re working with an agency, make sure your recruiter has the most updated copy of your resume and work history, and a current skills checklist. That way, you’ll be ready when new jobs are posted.
“You need to have a complete profile so your recruiter can jump on those jobs that open up, so you don’t miss out on the opportunities,” said Pilar. “If someone else ahead of you has a complete, updated profile, but you don’t, they might get the opportunity instead.”
Why work with the experts in contract nursing
You can certainly try to find a contract nursing job on your own, but most job seekers find that it’s a lot easier to land the jobs they you want when working with an agency like NurseChoice.
What’s the advantage? As an example, NurseChoice has more than 20 years of experience and a team of staffing experts who specialize in everything from recruiting and job placements, to licensing and credentialing, to housing and relocation. They also have long-standing relationships with the nation’s top health systems. And their services won’t cost you a thing.
Your recruiter has the inside track on opportunities that are available and can help you find the contract nursing job that meets your needs. Recruiters often know the hiring managers and can help get your candidate profile noticed. Plus, when you are busy working your current assignment, they can be working away to find the next one.
How to work with a recruiter
It’s a pretty simple formula for success, really. Let your recruiter get to know you! Be honest and upfront about your priorities for a job, Pilar said. Let your recruiter know your location preferences, what kind of facility you’d like to work in, how much money you’d like to make, how soon you can start if a promising job opens up, and any other details that will help them find assignments for you.
“It’s all about open communication,” she said. “Share what you’re looking for—you can even overshare, because the more information, the better. Let us help guide you to the right nursing assignment.”
Your recruiter can also prepare you for interviews. Pilar sends her nurses a list of talking points prior to their first interview with a nurse manager, so they’ll be ready.
The benefits you’ll receive
Another key reason to work with an established agency as a contract nurse: the benefits. NurseChoice offers competitive salaries that are among the highest in the industry, along with free housing and excellent benefits, such as medical, dental and vision insurance. You can take advantage of 401(k) retirement plans, referral bonuses, and more. Once you’re on assignment, you’ll also have access to round-the-clock clinical support.
Ready to get started?
NurseChoice, a company of AMN Healthcare, has hundreds of exciting contract assignments to choose from across the U.S., and our experienced team is ready to help you every step of the way.