Travel Nurse Recruiting vs. Permanent Staff Recruiting
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Travel Nurse Recruiting vs. Permanent Staff Recruiting

March 2, 2022

Travel nurse recruiting and permanent staff recruiting have many similarities. The two disciplines are also quite different. While it’s true that both are engaged in the recruiting process for healthcare staff intent on finding good jobs, there are both obvious and not so obvious differences.

How is a Travel Nurse Recruiter Different Than a Permanent Staff Recruiter? 

A travel nurse recruiter will be visible and available to you when you begin working as a travel nurse. Your recruiter will work with you directly, ensuring you qualify for certain jobs, and giving you a leg up in securing certain positions. 

With a permanent staff recruiter, you may never work with the person at all. Most hospitals and medical facilities have medical recruiters working in the HR department. While you may have some contact with this person, but your contact will probably be limited. 

What Does a Travel Nurse Recruiter Do?

When you’re first starting out as a travel nurse, your relationship with the recruiter is critical to your success. Your recruiter will explain the details of travel nursing to you. The individual can answer questions about pay packages, taxes, housing stipends, jobs available, and information about signing contracts.

The best travel nurse recruiters will get to know you on a personal level so that he or she can best match you with the perfect travel nursing gigs. As such, you should come to expect that you’ll come to know your travel nursing recruiter quite well.

When a travel nurse job is secured, the recruiter will be involved in the onboarding and credentialing process. Your recruiter may even be involved in the payroll and benefits process. 

When you start the assignment, the recruiter will continue to be your point of contact for all service-related issues. And when your contract ends, your recruiter will be right there looking for your next gig.

What Do Permanent Staff Recruiters Do?

With a permanent staff recruiter, the focus is on a particular job. When a position becomes open, the recruiter will begin to focus on highly-qualified applicants that might be the best fit. The number of jobs available is usually on the low end.

Travel Nursing Recruiters Focus on the Nurse 

While permanent nurse recruiters may have a low volume of jobs available, travel nurse recruiters always have a large number of jobs on their list. This is because they may work with dozens of travel nurses at any given time. While the perm recruiter advocates on behalf of the organization, travel nurse recruiters advocate on behalf of travel nurses.

Travel nurse recruiters build relationships with healthcare facilities around the country. When one of their travel nurses matches a position, they notify the nurse to determine if the terms are acceptable. If the nurse does accept the terms, a contract will be signed, and the assignment can begin. 

Why Do Travel Nurse Recruiters Work with So Many Nurses?

Permanent staff recruiters have exclusive access to the jobs they are actively trying to fill.  Travel nursing recruiters, on the other hand, have jobs constantly starting and ending. For that reason, it’s common for travel nurse recruiters to be in constant contact with available nurses from around the country. He or she never knows when one may be perfect for a recent job opening. 

Staffing recruiters only need to contact applicants when they qualify for a job and then they may never talk to that person again. The staffing recruiter is only interested in filling the job, not in keeping gigs filled throughout the year. 

How Does a Travel Nurse Job Differ from a Staff Nurse Position?

Now that you know that your frequency of contact is the main difference between travel nursing and staff nursing, you may wonder about other differences. 

With staff nursing, you have to deal with office politics and staff meetings, and you may have trouble requesting time off (particularly if other nurses are vying for the same time off on the schedule). One perk of staff nursing is that you can sometimes get paid time off. Travel nurses rarely get PTO but they can take breaks between assignments if they so wish (unpaid, of course).

Travel nurses don’t have to deal with office politics because they’re constantly floating around. They often get discounted or free housing, tax breaks, and the freedom to choose the jobs they want to take.

More Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse

The two biggest benefits to travel nursing are the flexible lifestyle and higher pay that comes with the position. Travel nursing is an excellent career choice if you are looking for a more flexible way of working and living. Contracts only span up to 13 weeks, which means you can travel to new areas and work in new facilities whenever you feel burned out. You can take time off between assignments and live the kind of life you want to live while earning a healthy salary along the way. 

As far as compensation and benefits are concerned, travel nurses have the opportunity to earn more than nurses in full-time positions. The compensation you receive will be different with each assignment and may be contingent on your experience. However, pay packages are usually higher for travel nurses when compared to staff nurses and include additional perks like overtime, non-taxed income, travel reimbursements, and much more. 

Gain Freedom as a Travel Nurse by Applying with Prolink

Do you want more freedom in your nursing career? Want to earn more money while seeing more of the world? Contact Prolink and tell us about your travel nurse career ambitions. We can help you achieve your goals with exclusive gigs located around the country. Get started now by calling (866)777-3704.

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