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Nursing Agencies and Travel Nursing Overview

Career News March 19, 2013

The nursing industry is in high demand across the United States and private clients, family doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and hospitals all seek qualified nurses who can provide superior medical care services. While a majority of nurses discover permanent jobs in healthcare facilities; other nurses choose to travel around the United States to fill in at available positions. There are shortages in all areas of the nursing profession and a particular health care facility may need to fill an immediate opening. Such nurses are known as travel nurses, and they obtain positions through nursing agencies in which they are registered.

Nursing Agencies Overview

In order to work as a travel nurse, you need to become a member of a nursing agency in order to obtain contracts for available positions. They are often called nurse staffing agencies or nurses’ registries; they perform the work of matching recruiters with nurses that meet the requirements. The recruiters will then contact healthcare facilities around the nation looking for open nursing positions.

The majority of nursing agencies are businesses in the private sector. Nurses are paid for travel and accommodations; in addition to the salary. To register with an agency; nurses do have to pay a fee, but it is well worth it with the compensation they receive. Banner Health says that these agencies service a broad area of nursing positions as well as openings for pharmacists, professionals that provide clinical support and respiratory therapists. The salary can be extremely competitive among various agencies, which means nurses should research the agencies before deciding to work with one.

Nursing agencies could specify whether their nursing staff is on a “per day” schedule or are available to fill specific positions for short lengths of time. Nursing agencies can only serve specific areas in certain states and hospitals.

Travel Nursing Overview

Any licensed registered nurse can become a travel nurse. They travel to various areas to fill nursing positions, and then they move on at the end of the contract. says that the usual length of a contract is thirteen weeks before the nurse moves on to another location. The length of assignments can vary from one to four months, and each nurse can choose the duration before they agree to the contract.

A love for traveling is a requirement for travel nurses. They should be able to work with many different medical professionals and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. They must also be able to adapt to living in a hotel or other temporary accommodations.

Travel nurses earn a regular salary as well as bonuses and benefits; they must pay their own yearly taxes, similar to a contract worker, according to PPR Healthcare Staffing ( They often have to pay for travel and accommodation expenses upfront and will be reimbursed by the nursing agencies. Traveling nurses also need to be licensed to practice in different states.

In order to get paid, travel nurses must complete time sheets to document the hours worked at a medical facility. The employer also has to verify the time worked and sign the time sheet. Then, this sheet has to be faxed to the nursing agency so they can receive their salary.

Cooperation Between Nursing Agencies and Traveling Nurses

Not all nurses who travel around the nation works for a nursing agency. There are those that are self-employed and discover the healthcare positions that are open and ready for qualified health professionals to fill. Determining the route to pursue depends on how much effort and time the travel nurse wants to put into discovering open positions and making sure that they are properly compensated for their work.

A nursing agency does the work of finding a job and the health care facility pay the agency. All parties involved benefit. Nurses get jobs, nursing agencies get paid, and medical institutions get the workers they need. This type of nursing is likely to increase in the future as more and more areas of the nation need nurses.

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