travel healthcare

5 things you may not know about travel healthcare

When healthcare facilities experience shortages in its full-time staff, hiring managers seek out travelers to fill in. The demand for qualified healthcare travelers is ever increasing as the opportunities available continue to grow. However, it’s a career that you may not know much about or have ever considered. So sit back and read up on the details – here are five things you may not know about travel healthcare.

  1. We take your experience seriously.

One of the questions I receive on a daily basis is: “Can I travel as a new grad?”.  Unless your specialty is staffed by our Rehab Therapy Division, the answer is no. For healthcare specialties in our Imaging, , Nursing, Cardiopulmonary and Lab Divisions, paid work experience is going to be required in order to be eligible for travel. Specific qualifications will vary by specialty so don’t hesitate to reach out to a recruiter to walk you through the experience requirements that will set you up for success traveling.

  1. State licenses are key.

Obtaining state licenses is one of the most important things you can invest in for help with stability while traveling. Talk with a recruiter to find out which states there are assignments open regularly for your specialty. Consider obtaining at least one state license from every region in the US where there is consistent need—this will help with job security while traveling all year long. Most importantly, don’t forget to keep your receipts! Aureus Medical will reimburse for a state license up to $300 on your first assignment in that state.

If your specialty doesn’t require state licenses, you can increase the amount of openings you’re available for by broadening your experience, obtaining a registry or certification that you may not have, or opening up your location preferences. If you’re interested in traveling now or in the future, it’s never too early to begin talking with a recruiter about the steps you can take in your healthcare specialty to increase your marketability.

  1. You’re employed by the staffing agency, not the facility, when working as a traveler.

Travel assignments are typically 13 weeks in length, and you’re only under contract with an agency for the weeks you’re on assignment. The staffing agency you signed a contract with is responsible for your pay and benefits. During initial conversations with your recruiter, ask about the pay-package breakdown so that you’re knowledgeable about what your hourly rate is vs your tax-free stipends and the benefits which are offered. Aureus Medical pays weekly, reimburses for travel expenses up to $600; offers vacation pay, holiday pay, 401k plans, insurance for health, dental and vision; and tuition reimbursement.

  1. Healthcare travelers are eligible for tax-free per diems as a result of duplicating expenses.

A lot of candidates are drawn to healthcare travel because of the tax-free money included with an hourly wage.  Legally, travelers are allowed to receive tax-free per diems to cover the costs associated with traveling away from their tax home for work purposes. Speak to a tax professional for details on how to keep a tax home if you’re unfamiliar.

  1. Aureus Medical can help with finding full-time positions as well.

Did you know that the average life cycle of a traveler is 2-3 years? While we have many travelers who have been on the road with us for 10+ years, it’s more common for a traveler to transition into something more permanent after a few years of traveling. Many candidates use travel as a way to seek out their next full-time job. They test the waters in a location/facility before committing to relocation through match hire.

Aureus Medical is a full-service agency and able to assist candidates in finding full-time jobs as well.  This is done through our direct hire openings. The best way to advocate for your career is by communicating your career goals and preferences with your recruiter. They can then be on the search for potential job matches!

What are some questions you still have about healthcare travel? Comment below and I’d be happy to answer them as well as offer details about the exciting opportunities available through Aureus!

Katie Lutmer is a Social Media Recruiter for the Cardio and Imaging divisions of Aureus Medical Group. 

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