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5 Frequently Asked Questions About Working With Travel Healthcare Staffing Agencies

Becoming A Travel Nurse During A Pandemic
January 22, 2021
Travel Nurse

The demand for healthcare professionals has been steadily growing over the course of the last decade, and is expected to grow by 14% over the course of the next 10 years according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is three times the average growth rate for all other occupations.  The onset of the current pandemic has certainly accentuated the vital need for qualified healthcare professionals.  B2B Staffing Services specializes in the healthcare field and have successfully placed countless candidates with our healthcare clients; as such, we field many questions from potential candidates who are interested in a travel contract position of what to expect.  Here are five of the questions that we hear most.

How are pay rates calculated for candidates, and whey are they different?

While pay rates are set by staffing agencies, the vast majority of the time, agencies are working within the client bill rate structure. As the client sets the bill rate, agencies typically have a set formula to calculate pay rates to cover its own costs including liability insurance, workers compensation, employer taxes, payroll costs, marketing costs, recruiting and account manager costs, credentialing and HR costs, etc.

Regardless of the pay rate, agency recruiters will advertise all jobs they have available, even if the client isn’t offering as competitive rate as another client. Simply, not all clients are the same and have limitations of what they can offer. Recruiters still want to offer all assignments to candidates and let the candidate make the choice of which job assignment(s) are right for them.

Do I have to work exclusively with one recruiter or agency? 

There is no rule in working with multiple staffing agencies to identify travel and contract assignments. It allows the candidate to also identify which agency recruiter(s) they like the best as well. However, please be sure to not apply for the same assignment with two or more agencies. This not only causes confusion between the agencies and the client, but will likely hurt the candidate’s chances of receiving an offer as the client may perceive this as a conflict of interest and walk away from the candidate.

How much experience do I need to qualify?

The vast majority of contract assignments require candidates to have a minimum level of recent, correlating experience. Levels of experience vary, but on average 1 – 2 years minimum experience is required.

Will I qualify for a travel stipend?

Travel assignments, typically defined as over 50 miles from the candidate tax home (primary residence), often qualify for non-taxable reimbursement for lodging, meal and incidental expenses. Staffing agencies typically set the travel stipends by consulting the United States GSA Per Diem Guidelines (https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates/per-diem-rates-lookup).

It is highly recommended for all healthcare travelers to consult their CPA or tax professional prior to beginning a travel assignment.

Do I need to be licensed for the state a position is located in?

With the exception of the emergency or crisis scenarios, specific state or compact licensure is required in the state you will be working. The license will need to be active and clear of any open disciplinary infractions prior to start. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many clients and states waived the specific state licensure requirement, allowing candidates to start assignments as long as they only held a license in any state of country. Many states offer temporary and emergency licensure with rapid turnaround times.

Please always check with the staffing agency to determine the job assignment licensure requirements and options available to obtain a license.

B2B Staffing Services is here to ensure you find a fulfilling position on your healthcare career adventure.  Contact us today to get connected to one of our recruiters.

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