The best thing you can do is only ask your recruiter to submit you to travel contracts for which you are the most qualified. That means sticking to the specialty you’ve been working in most recently. Facilities looking to bring on travel nurses want them to be ready to “hit the ground running.” While systems and facility orientation for a travel nurse contract could be anywhere from one hour to 40 hours, the facility won’t allocate time to train nurses on the patient care aspect of the job. Recent experience is required.
So for example, if a nurse had 15 years of experience in ICU, and then went to work in Labor and Delivery for a few years, that nurse would be more likely to find ICU work again in a permanent role because the facility could justify that re-training investment. But if that nurse wanted to travel, they would be most likely to land a contract for LDRP positions.
Typically, the specialty in which an experienced nurse has worked within the past six months to two years is the specialty where they will have the most luck landing travel contracts.
When you’ve been submitted to a travel contract, don’t screen your calls. You don’t want to miss out on interview calls from the facility. Missed interview calls often lead to missed contracts since there are typically multiple travel nurses submitted to the same position.
You also don’t want to miss important updates from your recruiter on new positions that meet your preferences. Travel contracts fill fast, and it’s best to be at the top of the submissions pile.
CHOOSE GOOD REFERENCES
You’ll need at least one supervisory reference, though two is best. Make sure your two to three supervisory and co-worker references are expecting calls about your past performance—and that they’ll speak well of you professionally. Again, stick to your strengths and gather references related to your most recent specialty.