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Can I join different agencies at once?


Specializes in ER.

I was curious to know if any of you had experience with different agencies. I have worked in the ER two years (first nsg job out of school) and think it's a good time to start travel nursing. I am certified with CEN and have PALS/TNCC/ENPC/ACLS/BLS, have precepted, can do triage and even had some experience as charge nurse. I can also translate Spanish.

My only (and somewhat major) setback is the hospital I have been at is not a trauma ED. I am thinking this might make things difficult when finding a place. I am pretty particular about the places I'd like to go: philadelphia, denver, salem VA, charlotte NC, california.

Have any of you all found it difficult to find a hospital with your specialty in the location that you were aiming for? Can I shop around and submit my application to several different agencies, and whichever recruiter finds me the best matches is the one I contract with and join?

It's my first time (obviously), and so I am feeling quite lost!

Also, which are the best agencies to join (since there are literally like hundreds!) and how do they find work for you in between assignments?

Thank you so much, any input is very appreciated.

You are fine to start traveling, you don't need trauma. I would not submit an application to random agencies. The biggest factor in success as a traveler is your recruiter or recruiters and the quality of communication you have with them. The agency brand is relatively unimportant, and so is a particular assignment. You want to start with an assignment appropriate to your skills and first time status, and the right recruiter will take a long term view and do the right thing. Not going to happen if you don't communicate well with them, nor will you be able to build a good business relationship built on trust.

My advice is to call a dozen or so agencies, and sign up with the five recruiters you like best and have them all go to work for you. Do not let them submit you for an assignment without your express approval, and if you really like how an assignment sounds but it is not with your favorite recruiter, run the details by that guy. Having several agencies has a number of advantages, you will quickly learn where the BS lies, and who treats you the best, and who has the best pay. But your short term goal is not to have the best pay, but have a successful first assignment.

Totally agree with NedRN! Great info!


Specializes in ER.

Wow thanks-- that is great advice! I thought the trauma thing might be a big deal, because on a few websites when I searched for particular cities that I wanted there was nothing within 50mi that had a travel nurse posting or need, unless it had a "trauma level one ER nurse experience required" tagged underneath it! But I will talk to different recruiters then. At first I was trying to just pick one, because I get so confused with who is who because they call me every stinking day! Haha. And by the end of my 12 hr shift I have like 4 voicemails from all these recruiters. I can't even keep them all straight. But hey such is life.

gonzo1, ASN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP, CEN. Has 18 years experience.

I was once working with 5 different agencies at the same time. It's no big deal. But a pain at tax time. So many W2s.


Specializes in ER.

How are you with 5 at once? Youre not taking assignments with each of them are you? Are you just using them to compare pay and locations against each other?