Travel Nursing Agencies: Is your agency clinically qualified?
Posted Oct 03 2008 11:32am
The well known and widely acknowledged nursing shortage created a great number of vacant nursing jobs. This shortage ultimately lead to the creation of a new industry - travel nursing.
Anytime a new industry is spawned, there is a "rush" of companies seeking to fill the void. These companies represent a variety of different backgrounds. For instance, some may be driven by a general recruitment mentality whereby recruiting a nurse is considered essentially the same as recruiting an accountant or computer programmer for example. Others may simply have been formed by investors with no prior experience in healthcare seeking to make a quick profit in a perceived high growth industry.
As a nurse, you realize that the travel nursing industry is ultimately about providing top notch clinical care to patients. In choosing your agency, you may want to determine the clinical background and competence of your agency. Are there Registered Nurses on the corporate staff? Have these RNs been in hospital acute care situations? Will you have access to clinical support 24/7/365 while on assignment?
A successful travel assignment involves more that just a great location and a nice pay package - you want to be comfortable, confident, and proficient in your assigned unit. That starts up front in knowing as much as possible about the particular unit's practices. Your agency must be clinically knowledgeable in order to ask the appropriate questions such as the unit's nurse to patient ratio, med administration practices, float policy, lpn/unit secretary support, and so forth. These will be important factors for you to consider as you evaluate various travel assignments options. Once you've begun an assignment, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your agency will be there for you should any clinical concerns arise