5 Benefits of Staying with One Agency 

December 19, 2023 | Traveler Tips

In the world of travel nursing, one of the most pivotal choices travelers must make is whether to stick with one agency or use multiple. After completing over 30 assignments, Aya nurse fellow, Zac Shepherd, shares the five reasons why he continues to choose Aya:

1. Recruiter relationship

I’ll let you in on a secret: In the larger picture of a successful travel nursing career, there may be no relationship more important than the one with your recruiter.   

A good recruiter understands your needs, communicates clearly throughout the application process, and provides essential support during assignments. In short, your recruiter is your gateway and guide into the world of travel nursing. I’ve often heard fellow travelers say, “I liked this agency (or wanted that assignment), but I didn’t have a good recruiter, and it soured the opportunity.” I remember traveling from NJ to CA for a new assignment when I got the dreaded call that all the travelers at my new hospital had been canceled, including me. My recruiter immediately found me a new assignment in the same area with even better terms. There are simply too many unknowns in travel nursing not to have the support you need from a quality recruiter.  

In addition, building on your recruiter relationship becomes relevant in license planning. While many states are part of the NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact), there remain multiple appealing US states that require specific state licenses, often involving a long and complex application process. Aya’s skilled recruiters help handle these logistics using industry-exclusive resources for obtaining the licenses, allowing you to concentrate your time and energy on your current assignment. This benefits you in pre-planning your future assignments and in staying ahead of the field in job competitiveness.  

Without question, my relationship with my Aya recruiter formed the basis of my trust in the entire company. His ability to explain the travel nurse market and genuine commitment to securing the best terms for each assignment has been crucial to my travel nursing journey. 

2. Transparency and “total value” of pay and benefits

In my experience, successful travelers select agencies that provide transparency and education in how compensation and benefits are presented. You’ve likely seen nursing job boards/websites that list significant pay range differences for the same hospital position, which can be confusing and highlights the need for traveler awareness when selecting assignments. 

While the weekly compensation figure might catch your eye, it doesn’t tell the complete story of an assignment’s total value. You may notice an agency will boost the weekly pay to create the illusion of a “better” deal while cutting corners in other areas, impacting your overall benefits. For example, an agency may compensate for higher weekly pay by omitting relocation reimbursements, providing incomplete benefits, excluding personal liability insurance or offering minimal on-contract support. For this reason, I’ve found that viewing an assignment in terms of “total value” is an invaluable tool when making assignment decisions. 

Travelers are skilled professionals partnering with an agency to fill a staffing need, so it’s essential to choose an agency that builds trust and provides transparency from the start of this relationship.  

3. Job access and real-time updates

While some travelers might consider signing up with multiple agencies to maximize job opportunities, Aya’s relationship with facilities across the country made it possible for me to consistently secure assignments and plan my next assignment well in advance. And if I see a job listing elsewhere that isn’t on Aya’s site, I can rely on my recruiter for honest insights and market knowledge. We assess together whether pursuing the position or exploring other opportunities is the best course of action.

In the fast-evolving travel nursing landscape, having access to real-time job details is crucial. Many websites lag in updating their job feeds, leading to confusion and frustration during the application process. In comparison, the job details on Aya’s platform are updated in real-time, ensuring both travelers and recruiters can swiftly pivot to the next opportunity if a job is already filled. 

4. A streamlined credentialing process

Among the hurdles in travel nursing, few are as cumbersome as credentialing. This complex process involves agency verification to ensure healthcare workers can legally and safely practice in their assigned state. 

Despite the importance of this process, it can be very arduous for a traveler when they don’t have the support of a well-coordinated credentialing team and an easy-to-use platform for uploading and storing the required documentation. This process can take weeks to complete and going through the process repeatedly with different agencies can delay start dates or result in missing out on an assignment altogether. This complexity can extend into insurance enrollment and benefits, diverting valuable time and energy from your clinical practice during assignments. 

Staying with a single agency simplifies the process immensely. Aya’s online portal for travelers streamlines information storage, with a dedicated credentialing team member ensuring you’re up to date with all requirements throughout your assignment. The continuity from one assignment to the next ensures a seamless transition in benefits and insurance coverage. 

5. Opportunities for extensions and building professional equity

As you settle into the rhythm of your travel nursing career, you’ll find that hospitals with ongoing staffing needs may offer you the chance to extend your assignment due to your positive relationship with them. 

In my opinion, contract extensions are one of the ultimate “travel nurse hacks.” In all my assignments with Aya, I’ve extended at 6 of the hospitals I was working at, in some cases, even multiple times. An extension allows you to work in a familiar hospital with colleagues you know well, in a city you’ve already called home. Basically, the autonomy and empowerment of being a traveler, while simultaneously providing stability in your clinical practice and environment.  

That being said, extensions can only occur in the context of an established and trusting relationship between the traveler, the agency and the hospital. Despite the transient nature of travel nursing, opportunities or extensions allow you to build professional equity and create a lasting positive reputation at a facility. Assignment extensions serve as an excellent example of how you can strengthen your standing with hospitals and your agency, widen your professional network and continue setting your nursing career up for future success.  

One agency, more opportunity

While on the surface it may seem beneficial to work with multiple agencies, when you consider what’s most important in building a successful travel nursing career, partnering with an agency that you develop trust with is foundational to your journey. I have found that Aya offers the best combination of a skilled recruiter, support team and total job opportunities to travelers, while providing transparency and clear communication every step of the way.

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