Travel nursing has become a very popular profession as more and more people are understanding the many rewards and benefits it brings in. From travel nurses to hospitals and medical centers- the profession and possibilities have seen a great flourish over the years. While everyone keeps talking about how travel nurses and the hospitals face many challenges, people forget that these challenges are worked out efficiently by the people connecting them –the travel nursing recruiters.

Travel nursing recruiters are the vital link between the travel nurses and the hospitals or medical centers. They are the ones who bring the two together, after effectively managing and meeting the expectations of both the sides. It can be said, without the efficient working of travel nursing recruiters the effectiveness of this profession would be lost midway.

So, we know all about the challenges travel nurses face and we understand the challenges the hospitals face but it’s time to understand the major challenges faced by travel nursing recruiters. Here we go:

1. Tons of Paperwork in Travel Nursing

Travel nursing recruiters have to deal with very large amounts of paperwork for every single contract they successfully manage. Contracts, licenses, nurse’s credentials, the hospital’s credentials- everything is put together by the recruiters. Additionally, the travel nurse recruiter needs to get paperwork done from both the parties and also ensure that everything is in order. The immense paperwork load is extremely time consuming, especially when there are certain papers missing and you need to keep contacting to complete it.

2. The Increase of Vendor Management Services

With such a boom in the travel nursing industry, it goes without saying that the need for effective vendor management services has also flourished. Travel nursing recruiters must effectively deal with a large number of vendor management services, all at the same time, to ensure the smooth running of the multiple processes they handle. Sometimes multiple vendors can create confusion and lead to miscommunications. This as a whole could lead to a great number of issues that require even more time to clear out.

3: Short Notice of Travel Nursing Assignments

Travel nursing assignments pop up at the last hour. A sudden shortage of existing staff, sudden peak in demand or any reason that leaves a hospital in immediate demand for extra nurses makes it a matter of ‘emergency’. Finding a nurse at such short notice, while ensuring all the expectations are met is not an easy thing to do. While most travel nurse recruiters have a large database of nurses to contact, sometimes that isn’t enough either! Such a situation can create panic and anxiety as time is running out and you could lose out on a great deal.

4: Tons of Requirements

Finding the nurses and the right jobs for them is not the end of challenges for travel nursing recruiters. This is followed by a heavy flow of submissions by both parties before the final contract can be drafted, signed and a deal is made! Nursing is a serious profession and it is extremely important to ensure that only trained, certified and qualified nurses are selected for the job; especially when it comes to specialist nurses. When it comes to the healthcare industry extra vigilance is required to ensure quality all through the process.

5. Different types of Assignments

There are many hospitals who need travel nurses for short-term assignments only but finding a nurse for a short-term assignment is not always easy! Travel nurses usually prefer long-term assignments because of the logistics efficiency it offers. Sometimes it’s the other way around! A travel nurse may be looking for short time assignments, but hospitals want them to stay longer. Getting the right person for the right role, at the right time is a great challenge. On top of all this, one cannot control natural calamities and disasters that further surges the need for extra help and a large number of nurses.

Yes, it’s challenging but travel nursing recruiters are strong enough to overcome these challenges, here’s how:

1: Serve as an informational resource

You are the center for information, for both nurses and healthcare organizations. You need to first know all the information, and then make sure that you pass on all the necessary information to both parties. This requires having long conversation, but swill save a lot of hassle later. The more information you are able to provide, the smoother the whole process will be. The best way to do this is, first listen and understand the roadblocks or points of miscommunication and then smoothen these out through factual information. Being the middle person, you will need to have complete information from both ends to be able to make the connection easier.

2: Be Honest

False commitments, promises made to please or information that lack a foundation will only lead to chaos in the end. As a travel nurse recruiter you need to be completely honest, both with the travel nurses and the healthcare organizations. State facts and stick to the actual terms instead of lying, hiding or brushing ‘deal breakers’ under the carpet to avoid a fall out. The more honest you are the faster and easier the process will be. Additionally, you will be able to make better working relationships with both nurses and healthcare centers. In the end, you will be seen as a reliable and honest point of contact for both.

3: Always ask for Referrals

Finding the best fit nurse/organization requires a lot of people. When you call someone with a proposal and it does not work out, your job does not end there. Your job is to find the best matches. A great way to ensure this is asking for referrals. Travel nurses usually have a large group of travel nurse networks and the more referrals you get the broader your prospects will be. Similarly, healthcare organizations also have a large network and taking referrals will give you a broader horizon to work in. the more referrals you take and update in your database the faster, easier and quicker the process of finding the best fit opportunities will be. It’s a way to expand your options and success rate.

4: Offer to Help Your Travel Nurses with the Paperwork

Travel nurse recruiters have many tasks and taking on another one may seem impossible. Helping travel nurses with the paperwork is not an additional task but one that will compliment the whole process. Sending paperwork back and forth, because of lack of them or some other issue only increases your work. Instead, help travel nurses with the paperwork and ensure that everything is perfect and in order, right from the start. This will also help you build a relationship of trust and reliability with the travel nurses. As a travel nurse recruiter no one knows the paperwork better than you, why not extend your expertise to help your nurses out.

5: Be an Effective Communicator

This is probably one of the most important points for travel nurse recruiters. Communication is key to making every process easier and smoother. You need to understand, listen, process, evaluate and analyze everything the other person says and then answer. Effective communication is all about carefully listening to answer instead of just talking. Communication bridges all gaps and makes everything a smooth flow. Unless you are an effective communicator you will always have to keep going back and forth, repeating the same thing again and again.

Travel nursing recruiters have one of the most intense and taxing jobs to do, and they do it with so much ease! Handling such large bulk of work and paperwork, all at extremely short notices can stress out even the most organized and ‘workaholic’ kind of people. Take a deep breath! You are doing a great job and as long as you love your job and the difference it makes for those in need, you will be able to cope up with all the pressure! It is also extremely important to take care of your own physical, mental and emotional needs to be able to cope up with such a high-pressure job. Many travel nurse recruiters face exhaustion and even a burnout as work is ever increasing and pressing.

Take care of your own needs, first. You will never be able to give your job a 100% unless you are physically, mentally and emotionally at the top. Follow a healthy lifestyle and don’t let your job take away your own health needs. Eat healthy, follow an exercise regime and make sure you take small and longer breaks from time to time to keep your mind fresh and activated. When your mind runs low on energy, your body feels the burden too. It is very natural to lose focus and attention when the mind has overworked. Disconnect for some time and come back with a fresher mind and renewed energy levels. This includes quick breaks between assignments, short breaks through the day and longer holidays once in a while.

Another important thing to take note of is continuously working towards expanding your opportunities. If you keep doing the same thing all the time, you will soon lose interest. To really love your job, you need to keep an open mind to learning and fresher opportunities; this could mean in terms of exploring new skills, taking on a new course of study or even enhancing your professional network. Just keep growing and learning and you will do your job with passion, instead of doing it mechanically. Be passionate about your work and everyday will be a fresh start at something big!

Keep calm and Carry on!