Highest Paying Travel Nursing Contracts

Highest Paying Travel Nursing Contracts

By Anna Lamberson

Whether you are seasoned or a newcomer, chances are you are looking for the highest paying travel nurse contracts. Say no more. We got you! Let’s break down the assignments to look for to make the most dough and where you can find them.

1. Crisis Rate: Highest Paying Travel Nursing Contracts

So what is a crisis rate contract and what exactly does that mean for you?

Crisis contracts exist because a hospital or facility is facing an immediate need for staffing. This can be due to the opening of a new unit, high patient volume or a staffing shortage. This urgency for staff is one of the most common situations that lead to the highest paying travel nurse contracts. However, the highest paying travel nursing contracts vary in many ways from the contracts you had in the past. You will be required to work more, be on a unit with travelers, and see more competition while applying. While these are great financial opportunities for travel nurses, always ask the agency you are working with many questions. Assure you have a complete understanding of the unique situation you may be placed in.

2. Highest Paying Strike Travel Nursing Contracts

A controversial yet appealing contract opportunity are jobs available to accommodate needs during a hospital employee strike scenario. My first piece of advice here is to educate yourself on why this particular strike is occurring. They are due to an ongoing staff concern that remains unaddressed or a standoff in union contracting. If the issue at hand is something you feel ethically against, maybe reconsider. However, if you decide to pursue this type of contract, is can be one of the highest paying.

You see a lot of similarities in this contract like you do with a crisis rate assignment. Something to consider is if the agency and hospital have a pay guarantee in your contract before you sign. This means understanding what happens to you if the planned strike is cancelled within days prior to the strike date. It is important to understand this, so you know if and when you are assured the pay you agreed to if the strike is cancelled.

3. Highest Paying Travel Nursing Contracts that Offer Bonuses

One of the easiest ways to get extra cash in your pocket is looking for contracts that offer different bonuses. These can include contract completion bonuses, extension bonuses or a retention style bonus. While completion and extension bonuses are the most common, you will find some agencies with provide you with a retention bonus. This means if you sign on for another contract in a specific amount of time you receive a bonus. Not all agencies offer bonuses, so the best way to find them is to read the entire job posting.

Next, speak directly to a recruiter to ask about these as a potential option. Wanderly is a great resource for this as you can connect directly with a variety of different travel nurse agencies. This is the simplest way to make extra cash, because you are rewarded for loyalty without working more.

– Location and Seasonality

If you don’t want to submit to a higher-intensity assignment, think about when and where to look. Think ahead about your plans for the timeframe you would ideally submit. Many contracts have ASAP start dates, which are great if you are flexible. However, with this in mind, be sure to have those applicable licenses and certifications ready in advance. Especially with how much variability we see in process times for these items. These are also important to have ready ahead of time because as the seasons change, the rates will change. While travelers head south to stay warm in the winter, you can find a high paying job up north. Think about popularity with seasons, some states will market some of the highest travel nurse contracts during the less desirable months when needs increase.

– Agency Dependent

Finally something to consider when you start your search for the highest paying travel nurse jobs is to think about the agency. As always in the traveling healthcare world, it is so important to do your research. Different agencies often use different billing rates. This means if two nurses both work at the same hospital, pay can be very different based on agency billing. Another thing to keep in mind is that certain agencies hold exclusivity with facilities or hospitals within a certain community. So if you are eyeing a higher paying area, identify which companies have that market in their pocket.

So why is the pay so variable within the market?

Simply put, it is because agencies all uniquely structure their pay packages for their travelers and because they offer you different resources. For example, one agency might provide you with not only a personal recruiter, but additional assistance such as a housing department, clinical resource leader, on-boarding specialist and more one-on-one overall focus. Over at the other end of the spectrum you’ll find agencies that you simply apply to a job and only speak to a recruiter or individual when absolutely necessary. In these positions you must be ready to pull your own weight when it comes to completing on-boarding, licensing and anything else it takes to settle you into that new assignment all on your own.

As always, happy hunting for that next great assignment and utilize these tips to optimize your travel nurse pay!