And other things I hope my recruiter knows…

As a travel nurse, do you ever sometimes wish you could get into the heads of recruiters and tell them exactly what matters to you?

I know I do.

Not to say that all recruiters need to understand us better. But the truth is, some just don’t get us. More to the point, they don’t get that we’re all different and seek various things.

So how exactly should a recruiter attract nurses?

Put yourself in our shoes first and foremost.

You should first ask yourself: what kind of travel nurse am I looking to attract and work with? To effectively communicate with a travel nurse, you must consider things beyond simply incredible locations and hot specialties.

Below, I’ll dive a little deeper into the different types of travel nurses and how you may want to “speak” to them. And pro-tip; it rarely has anything to do with getting a birthday card or free coffee mugs.

Yes, that really was a recruiters pitch to me at one time.

The Nervous Newbie

If you’re a newbie RN reading this, first know that you pretty much need at least one year of experience before seeking to travel.

This type of nurse is usually experienced and pretty comfortable in his role. Maybe has several years of ER under his belt, is a charge nurse, and has a role in doing the unit schedules. In short, they are experienced and valuable to the unit they’re on.

But he’s now restless.

He sees all the travelers come through his ER and is getting curious. The biggest hurdle is some burning questions like: how easy is it to adapt to a new ER or unit? What type of charting do they use? Is the staff there cool, or are they tough on travelers?

The thing is, this type of nurse is super confident, really wants to travel, but has a sliver of nervousness that keeps him homebound.

As an experienced RN, he is OK with critical decision-making as long as all the facts are laid out for him to digest. So as a recruiter, how would you approach him or nurses like him?

Here’s what I’d do:

  • Provide as much information as possible. The more he understands, the better.
  • Use your network to get information on the hospital and department. As a source of information, consider other tourists you know. Nobody knows the ins and outs of a hospital better than another nurse who has worked there.
  • Don’t be pushy or quick in your approach. Also, be honest and transparent. The travel nurse will see you as salesy and become wary.
  • Have patience. It’s worth giving it some time if a nurse is this cautious and thorough because they’ll likely become a fast asset to any facility.

In short, this nurse knows he wants to travel but understands his value and must comprehend lots of detail before making a decision. It’s critical that you develop your nurse recruitment plans around this knowledge. 

The recruiter who recognizes and respects has the greatest opportunity here.

The All-In Adventure Seeker 

This type of nurse is all about the experience.

She could specialize in ICU, Telemetry, LTC, or Med-Surg, and either way, she knows what she wants. A superb location, a fab facility, and the ability to make lots of incredible memories on her days off. When you chat with her, you quickly grasp that she travels with her spouse and two dogs, and leaving them is not an option.

Things that matter most are white sand beaches, mountain hikes, and cities with an electric feel.

All that being said, while the location may be on top, making a good wage is pretty near the top, if not #2. The experience is in the locale and having some dough to fully immerse into it. It’s all about the adventure.

If your recruitment strategy is focused on anything but what I’ve mentioned, you’ll surely lose out on this wicked fantastic RN traveler.

Here’s what I’d do:
  • Keep in touch with her. Maybe some tags on Insta or semi-regular touchpoints. Not to be salesy, rather be a genuine part of her experience.
  • Money, OT, and swag won’t sway this kinda nurse. Remember, they’re all about the life experience, not the “stuff.”
  • When sending her a contract option and you cannot locate her ideal place, don’t lie! Be honest and open and do your best. Nurses have tons of options, and this type of nurse, while nomadic in nature, will likely develop a deep respect for that and remain and refer for some time!

Show Me The Money

This type of nurse is very common, especially now with COVID and crisis work available.

I’m one of these types.

Don’t tell me about the Christmas ham you’ll send. Don’t send me glossy pics of a remarkable, new contract in SoCal. The things that matter to you don’t really matter as much to me, so get into my head and understand that this nurse wants the biggest, quickest bang for the buck.

I’ll work 7a or 7p, and I’m not too concerned about the unit or location. I’m there to work and build my nest egg. I’m there to hustle for 12 on, 12 off until the end of my contract, and then take a bit off to head home. I want to work hard and save lots of dinero so that I can take it easy on my terms later on.

Point blank, money talks.

Here’s what I’d do:
  • Only show me the top-dollar contracts and let me decide if the time and location are worthwhile.
  • OT and bonuses? Show me the money and let me outta the gate to work. Don’t nickel and dime me either; I’m experienced and know what’s what.

There’s really not much else to share here.

It’s all about the dough, so let that steer you.

The Final Word

It’s essential to understand what motivates a travel nurse.

Whether the experience, location, or money – you need to know how the RN thinks and act accordingly to land them for that perfect assignment.

The moral of this story is to provide the value that the travel nurse is seeking, and retention will be one of your most minor problems to consider.

To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.


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