Best Travel Nursing Agencies

Are you ready to start travel nursing and have reached the point of “which travel agency should I work with” stage? It can be very overwhelming at first. In this article I will talk about what to look for when picking the perfect agency, let you in on which agencies are my favorite, and show you a site that compiles all agencies into one while looking for a contract.

List of travel nurse agencies

What To Look For

My first contract looked something like doing a google search and clicking the first agency that came up. I, like most of you, put my information in and crossed my fingers as I waited for the agency to get in contact with me. Less than an hour later I received a call and had an interview with the recruiter. This interview was more along the lines of figuring out what I was looking for. Location? Experience? Etc. Less than 24 hours later, he matched me to a facility that fit my time frame. Less than 48 hours later, I accepted the contract. Two weeks later, I started. Though grateful for the opportunity, that contract opened my eyes to many things I wish I checked for earlier.

Moving forward in my travel journey, I realized that some things that were important to me that I didn’t receive through that contract are having a max of 3 shifts a week, smaller hospitals, although I had higher level experience, I preferred not to travel at a trauma center or teaching hospital.

What Matters to YOU?

To help you decide which agency is best for you includes deciding what is the most important factors to you. I am a single female in my late 20s. I like smaller community hospitals, short term assignments, and agencies that service close to my home.

What about you? Are you traveling strictly for the money? Do you need to be in a specific location? Do you want to travel far or locally? Are there specific units you’d prefer to be on? Is floating okay with you? Do you care about whether overtime will be mandatory? Are you traveling with family? Do you need insurance? Do you need travel reimbursements?

These are all things you need to be asking yourself when researching companies or asking the recruiter if you’ve been recommended an agency already.
I must also add that not all agencies are created equally. Different agencies have different pros and cons. Some agencies specialize in high pay, however the working conditions aren’t the greatest. Some agencies specialize in covering hospital strikes. Some agencies are popular only in bigger cities but not country wide. Some agencies have a wide range of contract lengths from 4 weeks – 6 months. Some agencies specialize in roles outside of the hospital like clinics, and some agencies offer more of a “travel per diem” role.

Bonus: I recently discovered that you can be hired by a hospital as an internal traveler. In this role you’d be working on one type of unit, but you’d be sent to different sister locations within the hospital system.

Whatever you can think of, it’s out the re.

MY Favorites

PAY: Krucial
LOCATION: American Mobile ( AMN )

For pay, it is no surprise that Krucial comes in first place. Krucial is known as the highest paying agency,but they pay well due to the nature of the work. They are known as more of a “crisis” agency. You sign up to be on their list of reserve nurses and when there is a crisis or emergency, they send numerous nurses to the location where they are needed. Typically, you must arrive to the location in 24-48 hours from the first call and you must commit to a minimum of required weeks, however there is usually the option to extend. I’ve seen people remain for the minimum 5 weeks and I’ve seen someone remain for 6 months.

For duration, Fastaff takes the cake. Sometimes you can’t commit to the usual 12-14 weeks, or if you’re new to traveling, you may just want to get your feet wet first. Fastaff offers contracts as little as 4 weeks in duration. They’re not incredibly common, but I’ve seen a good amount during my time traveling.

For location, AMN has amazing options. I’ve had friends, roommates, and coworkers work with AMN for long periods of time and across many state lines. On one of my contracts, I met a girl who belonged to a different agency, but had to work through AMN because the hospital that her agency picked was contracted to AMN only.

How To Find The Perfect Agency/Contract

Vivian is a site and app that allows you to look up contracts and cross-reference different agencies through filters like pay, location, and duration. I love Vivian because you don’t have to sign up or sift through each agency’s site to find the best contract for you. I also love Vivian because they service nurses outside of just bedside, like school nurses, case managers, and clinic nurses. The possibilities are truly endless on this site.

Hopefully this article gave you a little more clarity on which travel nurse agency could be the best for you. Leave me a comment below and let me know what’s important to you when traveling.

Happy Travel Nurse Agency Hunting!


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