News Updated May 17, 2022

By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom

Rapid Response vs. Crisis Response Nursing Jobs

Quick turnarounds and dynamic, changing environments are just two of the similarities between rapid response nursing jobs and crisis response nursing jobs. Although similar in a variety of ways, there are also some distinct differences between these two types of travel nursing assignments.

As the leader in rapid response and crisis nursing placements, NurseChoice specializes in these types of contracts. Both types of assignments tend to be shorter than traditional travel nursing contracts, usually ranging from 3-13 weeks. They also pay higher-than-average wages, allowing nurses to earn a healthy paycheck in just a short time.

A variety of nurse specialists can qualify for either of these quick-start assignments, including emergency, critical care and step-down nurses; L&D nurses; medical-surgical nurses; and perioperative nurses.

Read on to discover the similarities and differences between a rapid response nurse and a crisis response nurse.

Rapid Response Nursing

Rapid response nursing assignments are pretty true to their name -- they are quick-start assignments that require a rapid response time. Also known as “urgent” assignments, rapid response contracts are seeking nurses to fill in on very short notice. Most of the time, travel nursing agencies like NurseChoice are given just a few days of notice before a rapid response nurse would need to start work. They require expedited credentialing and nurses must have all of their documentation ready to go.

These types of assignments come about for a variety of reasons. Everything from unexpected staff absences, sicknesses or family emergencies to electronic medical record conversions could constitute the need for a rapid response nurse. Or, if there is a sudden rise in patient census or a new wing at the hospital is opening soon, this could be a case for a rapid response nursing assignment.

Rapid response travel nursing allows nurses to enjoy freedom and flexibility. Working with a reputable agency like NurseChoice also has advantages such as a guaranteed work week -- which means you won’t need to worry about getting paid if your shift is canceled. Free housing, travel stipends and insurance benefits are also provided, along with around-the-clock support before and during your assignment.

Crisis Response Nursing

Crisis nursing assignments also require a very fast turnaround. They differ from rapid response contracts because crisis response nursing jobs are usually short-term assignments or project-based assignments in response to a tragic or large event. Global pandemics like COVID-19, natural disasters, manmade disasters/accidents and other emergent situations are the basis for crisis response assignments.

Crisis response nurses must jump into action very quickly, often during times of stress and panic in an emergency situation. They should be very confident in their nursing skills and ready to do whatever might be needed. They can be a lifeline for healthcare facilities and their patients during critical events.

Crisis response nurses enjoy the same great benefits and perks that rapid response assignments provide, and will often garner even higher pay rates and more opportunities to work extra shifts or earn overtime pay.

Get started as a rapid response or crisis nurse

So which type of assignment might fit you best? You can try either or both.

Rapid response and crisis response nursing positions are available throughout the country. No matter which you choose, you can enjoy the satisfaction that comes from knowing you are making a difference for healthcare facilities and their patients during times of urgent need or crisis. At the same time, you will enjoy premium compensation and travel benefits.

The recruiters at NurseChoice are your best source for learning more about the current demand for rapid response nurses and crisis response nurses, and can get you on the road to your first assignment.

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