With Memorial Day weekend behind us, summer is unofficially here, and some travel RNs who’ve banked their earnings are looking forward to fun in the sun. For others, their next step is getting ready to start their new contracts in early June.
But what about the not-so-early birds; the travel nurses who, for various reasons, haven’t locked in a new assignment but still want to work during the summer? They aren’t alone—but that’s not a good thing for those hoping to land a dream summer job.
New travel nursing job opportunities haven’t dried up completely, but market demand is stabilizing, meaning hospitals are posting new positions with less frequency compared to the first half of 2018, according to market data gathered by HCT Today.
The slow trickle of new jobs has travel agencies fighting tooth-and-nail to get their nurses into hospitals, which, in turn, has caused a surge in the number of viable candidates hospitals can choose from.
“We have some clients that will no longer take a (candidate) submittal with a single day off on it,” said Jennifer Pomietlo, a director of client advisory at LiquidAgents Healthcare. “Why? Because they are getting more than 40 candidate profiles for every job.”
Travel nurses have several ways they can stay competitive during this high-volume period, according to feedback from staffing agency recruiters and sales staff.
Keep preferences flexible and profiles sharp
Two months ago, getting a recruiter to negotiate with a hospital for more approved time off or shorter contract length might have been an easier task.
Now, nurses have to get in line with dozens of other candidates, some of which have no scheduling conflicts or contract stipulations.
“Hospitals are also looking for more specific years of experience based on specialty,” Pomietlo said. “Instead of a nurse saying they have six years of RN experience, hospitals want to know if they have two or more recent years of experience in ER if that’s what they are being submitted for.”
Nurses should work with their recruiter and agency to put their best foot forward–in other words, that means avoiding compliance delays, providing a clean resume with the right information, and prepping for the interview.
Don’t wait when you see an opportunity
If you find a job board posting that looks promising, contact your recruiter immediately and let them know you are interested, especially if the job was posted within the last 24 hours.
You may have the best resume in the world, but you also might as well be invisible to hospital staff if your profile is behind more than 30 other nurses who managed to submit their information first.
This may not apply to all specialties, but for more common specialties like medical surgical/telemetry, speed is important.
If possible, try somewhere new
Everyone wants to find a fun vacation state to work in this summer, but waiting for the perfect high-paying Florida contract may not be your best bet if you need a job now.
Instead, look for states where travelers aren’t applying and see what opportunities are available. Your chances to find high paying jobs can be much higher in less popular summer travel states like Nevada or Arizona.
If you’re having trouble finding good jobs in these states, talk with your recruiter. An experienced recruiter can help you track down a great opportunity that you may have missed.
- Agency Reviews
- Ask The Expert
- Continuing Education
- EMR Conversions
- First-Time Traveler
- For A Laugh
- Healthcare Roundup
- Hot Markets
- Industry Trends
- Market Data
- Nurse Contributor
- Take A Break
- Top 10
- Traveler Tips
- Weekly Polls
- Your Photos
- Your Stories