How to pick a travel nursing company for first time travelers?? Help!

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    I am new to travel nursing, planning to start my first assignment this August in California. I am currently talking to recruiters from 2 different companies, Medical Express and Medical Solutions (I also was contacted by RN Network and was TOTALLY put off by the recruiter who was rude and negative so I broke contact with them). I am just having so much difficulty choosing between the two! I like the recruiter from Medical Solutions more, she seems more real and genuinely kind, not to say the recruiter from Medical Express is not, she just takes much longer to get back to me and does not offer valid explanations why, making me seem like a number instead of a nurse. I am just drawn to Medical Express because they have been in the business for almost 3x as long as Medical Solutions and they have a SIGNIFICANTLY larger job pool to apply for which would make traveling to my desired locations easier. I NEED some help, I don't want to make the wrong decision on my first assignment! Input from people who have experience working with these companies or just veteran travel nurses with advice would be GREATLY appreciated!
    Thanks so much!
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    Most of us work with 4-5 different companies.
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    It sounds like you already made your decision. I am not a seasoned traveler, I just got my first assignment from a company I didn't think would work for my wants and needs. However they came through. Emerald Health Care. They have worked diligently to get close to what I wanted and need. Good luck to you.
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    Medical Express is an American Mobile company (who themselves date back to 1985) and has every assignment that American Mobile has. So you are right about their resources!

    Your recruiter may be more important to your satisfaction with your assignment than a specific agency. Regardless, don't stress out too much about picking one agency. It might well boil down to which one has the best assignment for you when you are ready to go. It can often be difficult to lock in an assignment until just a few weeks before it is supposed to start. So you have a lot of time until August. Talk to a few more agencies, you might meet recruiters that (on paper) will do even better for you. The more relationships you have (up to a point), the more choices you will have, and fallback Plan B available to you when something falls through at the last minute.
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    There is no such thing as "cheating on your recruiter". The only committment you have to make is to the contract you choose
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    How do you juggle 4-5 agencies? How does that work with health insurance?
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    I, too, work with multiple agencies. They only make money when you're making money. So, they have every incentive to find you a suitable position. At the same time, you have to be realistic. The likelihood you're going to find everything you want in an assignment is slim. As for health insurance, I currently pay for my own. I've worked for RN Network and Stat Staff Professionals. I'm also with Cross Country and Nova Pro. I liked my recruiter at RN Network, but I didn't like the agency. I love my recruiters at Nova Pro. I recently applied to American Mobile because they have contracts in a particular geographic area that in looking for. They also reimburse up to $150 per month for health insurance. So, I'm hoping I can find something with them for my fourth travel contract. Good luck'
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    AWanderingMinstral, have you found any other companies that will reimburse or give a stipend for health insurance?
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    Just for the record, every agency can legally give you a tax-free insurance stipend if you present proof that you have insurance from the IRS perspective. Whether they will or not is a different story. Sometimes their insurance carrier doesn't allow the practice. But it never hurts to ask. I have gotten it from several agencies, but too long ago to mention specific agencies.
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    I also carry my own insurance and have worked with four different agencies. Up until just recently flexibility in location and pay was my top priority and it didn't really matter to me who provided the contract as long as the details fit my needs. That is until I finally connected with a recruiter who is amazing. It's true what they say...the recruiter is the person who will make all the difference. It doesn't really matter what the name of the company is. For the first time I have a recruiter who I have developed a sense of loyalty to because I know he will do everything he can to work FOR ME.


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