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time frame for first assignment?

Posted

Specializes in Emergency, Psych. Has 8 years experience.

So, I've been preparing for some time now to transition into travel nursing. Several months ago I signed up with several agencies and alerted my recruiters to my proposed time frame. I then obtained several additional state nursing licenses (I don't live in a compact state). I kept in contact with these recruiters.

A few weeks ago I let them know I was ready for a mid September start date for my first contract. I let them know my preferences, but also let them know I was in no way picky about my first assignment (ie I would love a day or midshift but would do nights). It's getting close to that mid September start date I wanted but still no contract. And suddenly the recruiters I had such an easy time getting a hold of before are super elusive now.

How long is the average time from signing a contract to starting? Am I worrying I won't get a contract by mid September for nothing? I need to start no later than mid September for a 13 week contract because I will have to get home to fulfill my work obligations.

Any thoughts?

I had a similar experience with recruiters who seemed eager until push came to shove. It took much longer than I expected (and than recruiters led me to believe) to find my first assignment, but for various reasons I was only looking in one metro area. You shouldn't have as much trouble as I did (six weeks between saying "okay, ready for a job now" and starting) with being open to multiple states. But, although one reason I'd looked forward to travel nursing was that I thought the recruiters did all the typical "job hunt" stuff for you, I found I had to be pro-active. I looked at their websites and found the jobs I was interested in, called the recruiters and said "I want to be submitted for this job". Everyone says there are a lot more jobs than you find listed on the website, but it seemed to me like the recruiters weren't keeping a very close eye on what was available even listed publicly! They responded well to my requests and that's how I got a job.

Jobs posted online are often "representative", or in other words, a complete lie.

Sign up with more agencies, and don't get too picky about your first assignment. With one successful assignment on your work history, you will have more options for the next ones. You have already limited yourself with requirements at home, so travel will be more difficult. Flexibility is important to successful travel.

wanderlust99

Specializes in ICU/PACU. Has 10 years experience.

I don't like how your recruiters seem elusive. They should be at least going over positions with you and the start dates now. I will usually tell the state I want to my recruiter to search and she will go over every opening with me, with start date, pay, etc.. She will call me daily with any new positions that she thinks I would be interested in. Even if the start date is say Sept 1st, sometimes I will still submit and ask them to push back the start date another week or so if I can't make it.

It's important to have someone that will call you back and work hard for you.

That being said, I do start looking for jobs 4 weeks ahead of time typically, but most often I don't get a contract until last minute. I typically only know where I'm going less than a week to 3 weeks in advance. And that can be very stressful at first.

HikingNinja, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Psych. Has 8 years experience.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm already signed up for four agencies but will pick two more and complete those also. I'll be getting my CA license soon too according to the board so that should open more opportunities up for me. My one recruiter did get back to me with numbers on one contract (which were good per Pan Travelers) and was supposed to be setting me up a phone interview but that was days ago and I've been calling her with no response. I just find it odd that the recruiters who made a point of checking in with me weekly on my status I can't get a hold of now. Even the one working for an AMN subsidiary. I'll keep trying and keep trying and keep you guys posted. With 5+ years experience and cert in my specialty surely someone will want me even if it is my first travel assignment.

HikingNinja, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Psych. Has 8 years experience.

I don't like how your recruiters seem elusive. They should be at least going over positions with you and the start dates now. I will usually tell the state I want to my recruiter to search and she will go over every opening with me, with start date, pay, etc.. She will call me daily with any new positions that she thinks I would be interested in. Even if the start date is say Sept 1st, sometimes I will still submit and ask them to push back the start date another week or so if I can't make it.

It's important to have someone that will call you back and work hard for you.

That being said, I do start looking for jobs 4 weeks ahead of time typically, but most often I don't get a contract until last minute. I typically only know where I'm going less than a week to 3 weeks in advance. And that can be very stressful at first.

I sent you a pm.