How to Increase Your Pay Through Agency Assignments

There are many benefits to choosing to work through a staffing agency; You can pretty much set your own schedule, there’s a variety of jobs from which to choose, and the staffing agency finds the jobs for you. But, the bottom line being, well, the bottom line, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to make and if you can increase your pay through agency assignments.

As an agency nurse you will probably increase your pay over that of a nurse with a regular job-as in a hired by a hospital or medical facility-just by signing on with the agency. On average traveling agency nurses make a bit more than the average nurse. In some cases a good bit more. Some agency nurses can make, in just 2 twelve hour shifts what their counterparts make in a 36 hour week. 

And agency nursing offers you the means to increase your pay from there. By taking advantage of the short-term positions available to traveling nurses you’ll increase your pay and gain exposure to many different positions and patient care circumstances than you ever would working in a typical nursing job. 

Become a Travel Nurse to Increase Your Pay 

If you haven’t been a travel nurse before it can be a little overwhelming at first. You may be apprehensive when it comes to jumping in. After all, it’s a new position and you’ll be with a whole new group of people. The job itself is temporary; most lasting 6 months to a year. 

But travel nursing is also an exciting way to advance your career, make new friends, have new experiences, and increase your pay. You’ll gain loads of experience you otherwise wouldn’t get, and you can choose your assignments. Travel nursing is a wonderful opportunity for any nurse.

How to Get The Best Travel Nursing Jobs

Appreciate Your Recruiter:  It seems pretty basic, but the easiest way to garner the best jobs and increase your pay as a travel nurse is to just be kind to your recruiter. Let them know how much you appreciate what they’re doing for you. Be completely honest right up front about any red flags they may find on your resume. Be available to them by answering their phone calls or texts. Let your recruiter know immediately whether or not you can take on the available job. Be cooperative.

Highlight All of Your Experiences:  It isn’t uncommon to work with a few different agencies. Let your agency contact know up front who else you may be working with. Also let them know even bit of experience you’ve had, including if you’ve worked in a medical setting prior to your getting your license. This will give you the “experience advantage” over other candidates.

Details are Important:  Details, for both the employer and employee, are important. Before asking the agency to submit your name for consideration you need to find out the particular details of the position, such as: 

patient load

orientation period

trauma level

departments where you’ll be working

shift times



It’s just as important that you offer details about yourself:

acquaintances you may know who are also employed there.

if you’ve applied there before

any upcoming time off you may need (family or social commitments, for example)

Be Flexible:  This is key to getting the best jobs as an agency nurse and provides the opportunity to increase your pay. Flexibility is a necessary quality on anyone working in medicine, but especially in a travel nurse. When you’re seen as flexible you’ll most likely be offered the jobs first. Sure you might have your heart set on a certain shift, location, or area of the hospital, but if you are open to different shifts, in different hospitals than what you were hoping, and different departments you’ll not only gain experience, but the favor of the agency recruiter.

Take the Time to Adjust:  As a travel nurse your orientation may be short and might leave you feeling adrift in a sea of unknowns. Don’t be afraid to ask over and over if necessary. Your coworkers will understand and soon you’ll have it mastered. Don’t worry about fitting in right away. The staff may not invite you to social functions right away. But give them-and most importantly yourself-time to get to bond. Just keep doing an awesome job and soon you’ll earn the respect and friendship of your peers.

Increase Your Pay and More

Of course money isn’t always everything so you need to weigh your other benefits as well. The flexibility is a big perk of working for a medical staffing agency. Also the experience you gain by working in different patient care scenarios adds great value to your nurse’s portfolio. You may discover a location, or a specific employer where you could see yourself working for your career. In that case you have an extreme edge over others who aren’t familiar with the ins-and-outs of the facility. 

Still, even with good pay, wonderful opportunities and extreme flexibility, agency nursing isn’t for everyone. But if travel appeals to you, or, if you’re having a hard time zeroing in on the right position that fits your skillset, personality, and your needs right now, you’re likely a good candidate for agency nursing. Speak with an agency recruiter today and start setting your own schedule as you increase your pay.

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