Best Travel Companies

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    I know this question has been hounded to death, but every time I search the forum I don't seem to find straight answers. What are the best travel companies to sign contracts with? Pros and cons? Pay? Benefits? I am a PICU nurse with close to 7 years of experience. Any info is greatly appreciated!
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  3. 26 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    The answer is that there is no best agency for everyone. There are close to 400 agencies serving around 20,000 travelers and everyone of them has fans who work long term for them. You probably want to narrow your questions. Consider if you prefer larger or smaller agencies first. As a general rule, smaller agencies pay better (lower overhead) and everyone who answers the phone will know who you are. But they don't have the number of assignments the big agencies have so you may have to sign up with several to go where you want. Is it about money for you or location or housing? Who your recruiter is and how you relate to them is often far more important than your agency. Some travelers follow their recruiter when their recruiter switches agencies.

    When you can answer some of these larger questions, you might be able to ask less open-ended questions and get specific answers. No one agency will have great service, every location, great pay, great housing, and make you feel valued.
    delianelson likes this.
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    I have the same question... I am in the middle of my first travel assignment with TaleMed (which is a very small agency, that not many people have heard of). I applied to the agencies rated highly by Highwayhypodermics.com which rates travel companies based on their benefits. I applied to several others as well probably 6 in total(too many because it got very overwhelming, confusing and complicated as I was getting double-submitted to hospitals, which the recruiters will tell you is very bad). I went with TaleMed simply because they were the first to actually get me an interview. (As a first time traveler, it was a bit difficult breaking into the business.)

    So far I have been pretty disappointed with TaleMed and will be going with another company when this contract expires. I was disappointed with the housing they put me (Studio Plus extended stay hotel) and the lack of effort of trying to find me better alternative housing. (I had to pay about $200 out of pocket for a very dirty,smelly and outdated hotel suite) I also have had very little contact with my recruiter. For example, no one called me at all during the first week I was there and I had to call the office of course to ask a question. I really expected to have someone check on me to make sure I arrived and found the hospital as a courtesy to a first time traveler. I'vve also had some payroll issues and I have had to haggle to get holiday pay.

    I'm hoping to find another agency if anyone can recommend one with good housing that puts people up in an actual furnished apartment. I know there are hundreds of agencies, but maybe this wil help you rule out Tale Med!
  6. 1
    A travel friend of mine just got a huge a rapid response rate for a job in Oakland with a hospital paid completion bonus via FlexCare. She was saying they were paying much more and had more options for her than other companies she had spoken with for CA jobs (Fastaff, Emerald, AMN.)
    PrayToTheUnicorn likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from travelwise
    A travel friend of mine just got a huge a rapid response rate for a job in Oakland with a hospital paid completion bonus via FlexCare. She was saying they were paying much more and had more options for her than other companies she had spoken with for CA jobs (Fastaff, Emerald, AMN.)
    Rapid response jobs definitely tend to pay a higher hourly rate but they also sometimes tend to be contracts that require 48 or 60hrs per week. It's good money if you can do the hours! Fastaff and NurseChoice are two of the big rapid response companies.
    PrayToTheUnicorn likes this.
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    One company you DEFINITALY DO NOT want to go with is"Nightingale nurses" Horrible experience from the start!The only reason I stayed with them is because I would owe them $ if I broke contract but that assignment is done & so are they!!!!,Never, Never would I ever recommend this company EVER!!!!!
    PrayToTheUnicorn likes this.
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    Call around. The best agencies will employ recruiters who want to work with you and will not force jobs on you.
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    I agree with the others, hard to pin point the best agency for everyone. Do your homework. Prioritize what is most important to you. Benefits? Pay? Housing? Number of opportunities? Rank them and then find an agency that aligns with your wish list. I find that a good recruiter makes a world of difference. A helpful site is travelnursingcentral.com. Other travelers rank agencies and leave comments about their experiences with the companies. I found it helpful in narrowing down my agencies to a few. Thats the other thing, you don't have to use just one agency, use a few. If you are in rare specialty, such as myself (infusion nursing/clinical oncology), have more than a few. It stacks the cards in your favor so to speak getting assignments. The companies I currently work with include Trinity Healthcare Staffing Group, Travel Nurse Across America, and Cross Country.
    PrayToTheUnicorn likes this.
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    I am currently on assignment with Medical Solutions. I have been with them at the same facility for a year now and have never had one issue! My recruiter is awesome!!!! I would agree with nightingale nurses!! I have not worked with them and I won't!!! I get several phone calls a day from them and all from different people!! I have told them on each occasion that I am not available and that I just spoke with "insert name here" and they continue to call. I just ignore there calls anymore!!!
    PrayToTheUnicorn likes this.
  12. 1
    I know this post will be self-serving, so I'll get that out of the way right now. However, I usually try to guide Travelers to the smaller companies. The wages are 10-15% higher, the housing is usually better, and the people you deal with are typically happy to talk to you and much more informative and honest with you. Living in Omaha (Hub of the Travel nurse companies...3 of the top 4 largest are based here), and working for both kinds (HUGE and Start-up), the smaller companies typically have more flexibility with you, and will work harder to get you where you want to go, even if you don't meet 100% of the requirements. And if you are a new nurse, or a nurse with a gap in employment history, you can forget about the Big guys. They won't even give you the time of day. I won't use this as a recruiting tool, I won't post my email, phone number, or website, or spam you guys, but the company I work for was started by a childhood friend of mine who was sick and tired of how the larger Nurse Staffing companies do business. He not only found enough investors to start a sucessful business, he was just named "entrepreneur of the year" in the Omaha-metro area, which is no small feat! Its because he keeps his word, does right by his RNs, CNAs, CSTs, and understands that sometimes you have to deal with more than one staffing company when you have a very specific need. We not only will help you find the job you want, we'll recommend other agencies to our clients if we cannot find a job that they might have.

    So you can join in with the Big Guys, get paid less, and get treated like a number...OR...you can join up with a smaller company, get paid more, and be treated like a friend.

    There is my completely biased, but honest opinion!
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Jun 5, '13 : Reason: terms of service
    PrayToTheUnicorn likes this.


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