Getting Out of My Contract


I had a job offer in TX, but unfortunately the pay was terrible. I hadn't seen pay that low since I was a new grad w/zero nursing experience. I toyed back and forth w/going ahead and taking the position or taking another assignment that was to become available and offer much better pay. I know it's not all about the money, but I was hoping to earn quite a bit to help out my family financially. The other offer I was waiting on went through a week and a half before my job was to start in TX. I left a voicemail and email for my recruiter, but she had already left the office for the long weekend. I took company housing, but now she's saying I may have to pay the 1st month's rent for the apartment, and was trying to push back my start date to October. She was almost trying to push for me to start later rather than just letting me go of the assignment like I wanted. I haven't signed my contract either, so I don't know if I'm bound to it or not. Another thing is I've cancelled at an apartment in Houston before for a personal emergency the week before I was to move in, and was told I could get out of it, but would just lose my deposit. Keeping my fingers crossed I won't pay out of pocket for anything. I just didn't know if anyone had this same issue before.

Every issue has come up before.

I gather that you confirmed this assignment verbally and the agency moved forward to find housing for you? Yes, I think you owe them. Will you have to pay them? Maybe no, but I don't think that is a relevant question. Nor is low pay a relevant rationalization for breaking your word. You said yes, they told the hospital yes, so now they look bad professionally and are out money for the housing. Really, you should do the assignment.


Specializes in L&D, Mother/Baby. Has 7 years experience.

Agree with NedRN and want to add that you shouldn't be submitting yourself to multiple facilities at one time or you will repeatedly find yourself in this situation

I mildly disagree with that. While you should prioritize and not be submitted to assignments you have no intention of going to because of location, work environment, or compensation; often interviews are delayed through no fault of the agency and you must have more options.

You should be honest with everyone, no matter how many agencies you are working with. It is despicable when agencies throw away travelers, but it is unprofessional to also treat agencies who worked hard for you as disposable commodities you can burn because there are so many more. Don't ever give your word to do an assignment before seeing the written contract, but if you do give your word, you should keep it if at all possible (a valid reason to back out if the delivered contract did not contain terms promised).

For the first few years of travel nursing, there were no written contracts at all! Hard to believe these days, but true. It was all verbal. Even today, it can be astonishing how informal things can be. A traveler tells an agency they want the assignment after an interview, and the agency emails the hospital to inform them, so they don't give the assignment to another agency's traveler. It is a risk, and sometimes agencies get burned.

Just the title alone of this thread is unprofessional. "Getting Out of My Contract". It sounds like a kid's discussion on how to break promises with crossed fingers or some other fine print. Adults should keep their promises and agreements, they bind both parties so if a better assignment or traveler comes along, neither party can just say we had our fingers crossed.

So yes I understand from what you're saying that I will burn bridges with this company. However, I know for a fact I will not be returning to this company for various reasons that are too long to even tell. Personal issues I've had with the recruiter, and this is the 2nd recruiter I've had to use with this company because the 1st one was very rude to me when I did not accept an assignment I had interviewed for. You say a low pay is not worth turning down an offer, and I understand that but I've also had several other nurses who have traveled there, not just one, give me vital information that are causes for major concern. Like I've mentioned before a few recent events have happened with my family causing financial concerns, and $24/hr will not help very much, and is going to leave my take home pay at a very small amount for a travel nurse. Even though I knew the assignment in TX had a low pay I was willing to do it b/c family and friends were nearby. The financial issue came up within the past few days, and I need to do something about it which is why I want to go with my other option.

I know I'm definitely putting the company in a bind, but guess what I'm not the first to do this and there are numerous nurses who have cancelled a contract for worse reasons. I do feel bad, but I also feel the last comment made about my unprofessionally titled topic was pretty irrelevant in itself. Now you're just choosing to vent out your frustrations rather than give me any helpful advice.

Turning down an assignment is just fine. But that is not what you did, you accepted it. Now you are coming up with more rationalizations why it is fine to change your mind (all of them reasons to have not accepted originally). Why do you need our approval?

Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Let's say you accepted a fabulous assignment, great pay and exactly where you wanted to go. A week later the agency says, sorry. We found a better nurse who is also working for less money. Would that be OK? They had a good reason after all.

I agree with the other posters. Your word should mean as much as a signed contract. It's important that your word mean something. Even if you don't plan to use that agency again, people talk and recruiters change companies. You really never know who you will come into contact with again. I understand why you don't want it, but it might be less stressful and better for you in the long run to just do the assignment.

HikingNinja, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Psych. Has 8 years experience.

I'm sorry. But I must agree with the others. If you had certain pay requirements this should have been relayed to your recruiter. Texas historically pays poorly. It sounds like California or the Pacific Northwest would be better for your finances. Interviewing for multiple contracts does not have to be problematic. I simply stated during my interviews that I was interested but also looking at other areas and interviewing there as well and would base my decision on the contracts offered.

And I'm not sure what you are asking. You want to "get out of" a contract you've verbally committed to, but not signed? There's nothing to deal with in that case, other than a nagging conscience or lack there of. You will be able to find other assignments. Hopefully the hospital you placed in this position will not have you blacklisted from working at any of their other facilities.