Becoming a healthcare traveler isn’t as difficult as you may think. Have you ever thought about embarking on this exciting career path? Why not travel while also doing something you love? If you’re new to the traveling game, we’ve got all the details to help guide you through the decision-making process. One thing we will stand behind—once you take the plunge, you’ll realize it’s the most rewarding decision you could have made.
How to get started traveling
Thinking about becoming a healthcare traveler is one thing but putting those thoughts into action is another. You deserve to have autonomy over your career. Create a profile on Fusion Marketplace to browse travel jobs all over the country, easily search and compare jobs, apply with one click, and connect with like-minded medical staffing agencies that want to see you succeed on your own terms.
Once you apply, you’ll get set up with an agency and recruiter to who will help get your questions answered and the logistics worked out while you are out on the road.
Qualifications and requirements
As with every job, there will be some requirements needed to get hired on. You’ve probably already made the first step by getting educated in your field. Each healthcare division is different though, so travel requirements may vary. Luckily, your Marketplace profile houses your licenses, qualifications and information, so searching and applying is faster and easier.
Need to know more about licenses? Which division you work in will depend on how you get your licensing.
Before you can land that new assignment, you’ll need to apply to get a license in the state you are wanting to work. The best part is most staffing agencies will reimburse you for the license cost after you receive it. Hot tip: Apply for state licenses as early as possible because some states can have a lengthy approval process. For instance, to get a license in California it may take up to three months to get approved, while in Nevada it could only take a week or two. If you manage your time wisely for this, you can use the approval wait times to your advantage. So if you’re wanting to travel to California or another state with a long approval wait, you can complete an assignment in a different state that has a quicker application rate while you are waiting for that other license to get approved.
For most MT/MLT positions, the moment you graduate, you are guaranteed to be able to work in a majority of states right away. However, in a few specific states, you need to apply for the license there. These states are California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia. The territory of Puerto Rico also requires licensing. Once you get on the road, you can start the individual application process to those other states you’re considering traveling to.
Nursing Licensure Compact is a license that allows nurses to have one multistate license, with the ability to practice in any of those states. Currently, 34 states are included in this compact license, plus you need to have a permanent residency in at least one of those states. If you are not currently living in any of those states or want to travel outside of the compact license states, then you’ll need to apply for an individual state license for every assignment taken.
The basics on travel assignments
Let’s break this down a little bit more and give you the 4-1-1 on these actual assignments. The majority of them are right around 13 weeks. It goes by quickly, but it’s enough time to get some good experience, discover some cool places within your new city, and to make new friends. Sometimes your facility will need to extend a contract. Both parties (you and the facility) will have to agree to the extension and determine the new length of the renewal. In that case, you’ll get to stay in your current assignment even longer. Or, if you don’t agree to the assignment extension, then your account manager will work with you on getting you a new placement in a whole new location you’ve been wanting to check out.
When it gets down to the details of the assignment though, your account manager will provide you with several different options. At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide which assignment suits you best.
Understanding per diems and bill rates
Besides having the passion to help others, you still have a job to do, right? And for that job, you need to be able to make a living. So the next question is, how do you know what a fair pay rate is? There are so many different components that go into your contract. Regardless of what any staffing agency tells you, you’ll always have the ability to check to make sure you are getting what you deserve and what is legal. Fusion Marketplace is dedicated to transparency, so when you search for your next travel assignment, you’ll see all the details up front. No hidden conversations. No side stepping. Just plain honesty, so you can get started quickly without the runaround.
First off, let’s understand what per diem is exactly. According to the General Services Administration (GSA), “Per diem is the allowance for lodging (excluding taxes), meals and incidental expenses.” The GSA provides information about the per diem allowed in every city and state. This can be extremely useful when considering what the hospital pay rate is, as well as the cost of living. You’ll be provided with two options for your contract:
1) A higher take home rate, but you’ll have to find your own housing by researching the area, paying the deposit, being responsible for utilities, etc.
2) A lower take home rate, but that option will allow your staffing company to find housing for you and take care of all the nitty gritty details of setting it up.
Some travelers prefer one over the other. Find what suits you best and what makes you feel most comfortable.
Now is the time to explore open traveler positions and choose the best position that not only fits your lifestyle but what you want personally and professionally. As a healthcare traveler, you’ll get to grow in your career, learn new skills, and add to your portfolio of personal life experiences. Find your footing and step into your future.