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When you work with a medical staffing agency there are seemingly endless jobs available for nurses. How do you make sure the job you want is a good fit? And moreover, how can you secure that agency contract that seems to be the ideal position for you? While it might seem like a challenge to secure that agency contract that offers the best of everything, you can do it. 

Before pushing forward to win your desired agency contract you’ll need to look at yourself from a recruiter’s perspective. Not everyone is suited for every job, obviously. There are three big things that will influence whether or not you win the agency contract you desire. 

Top 3 Influencers for Recruiters Filling an Agency Contract

Specialty:  For non-specialized nurses, such as those in Med/Surge or Psych, there are many opportunities for work through an agency. However, for the nurse seeking a higher paying agency contract recruiters often look for specialized RNs. The top specialty fields for travel and ad locum nurses are Pediatric Intensive Care, Cardiac Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care, and Oncology. Also Cardiac Cath Lab nurses and Cardiovascular Operating Room nurses tend to be in more demand. 

Shift:  It’s probably no surprise to you that night shift assignments are more prevalent among available agency contract offers. The good news is that night shift will pay more and there’s never any shortage, no matter your specialty. The bad news? If you don’t like working the night shift there really is no amount of money that will change your feelings. It probably won’t get better in time, and your patients may suffer for your lack of enthusiasm. However, if you are OK with the night shift hours you’re more likely to secure that agency contract. And many nurses do actually prefer the night shift. It’s quieter and there aren’t as many demands during those wee hours.

Location:  For agency nurses, and most especially for travel nurses, the better paying agency contract offers come from those locations in which the cost of living is considered high. The pay will reflect the cost of living in those, typically, large cities in states like California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington. Preferred destination areas such as Hawaii and Florida aren’t typically don’t offer the highest paying agency contract.

How To Make Sure You Get That Agency Contract

Resume

Once you’ve narrowed down your preferences for location and shift, and taken a look at your skillset and credentials, it’s time to work on perfecting your presentation, i.e. your resume. This is your showcase and no detail is too small. 

Make sure your credentials are all up to date. 

If there is time, polish up on some of your skills, or take a class or two to better your chances for future agency contracts.

Try to mirror the job you want in the details of your experience.

Seek the assistance of a professional medical resume service.

Attitude

As good as you look on paper when it comes to securing that agency contract attitude is everything. 

Make sure you project your flexible nature and your open-mindedness when it comes to assignments. Be willing to make yourself available even if the assignment isn’t your top choice. 

Realize that with each agency contract you’re gaining in experience and that’s aways a plus for recruiters, not to mention your future patients. Open yourself up to many possible locations.

Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. Born and raised in a warm climate? Go north! Do you call the big city home? Accept an agency contract that may be more rural. 

Stay on Top of Licensure

One of the keys to landing the agency contract you want most is making sure your licensure and certification is compliant with the laws of the state to which you’ll travel. Once you have your sights set on the location, regardless of the availability of an agency contract at the time, begin the process of obtaining your nursing license for that state. Your recruiter can assist you in the process. 

Once You Secure That Agency Contract

Now you’re on your way to your dream job. If you’ll be going to a part of the country you’ve never been before then you’re probably pretty excited and maybe a bit nervous. That’s fine! Let your recruiter know your feelings and they will help you preemptively settle in. 

The reason you want to be a travel nurse is for the experience and adventure of new places and new people. Research your desired area and find out some significant facts. Check out travel sites online and find a few “touristy” things you can do to get to know your destination. Be prepared before you arrive.

Patients want the same wherever you go-to be provided with excellent care and afforded the skills of a kind, compassionate nurse. You already know how to provide that. Securing that agency contract will enable you to do what you do best, wherever you go. 

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