It is getting close to the end of your 13-week contract and you are considering your options. Some nurse travelers take a few travel assignments until they land a permanent position. Other nurses just want to try traveling for one assignment or take one travel assignment after another. But you may also have the option of extending your current travel assignment.
The Pros and Cons of Extending Your Contract
Nurse travelers are needed for a variety of reasons. For example, the patient population may increase during certain times of the year and extra staff members are needed when the census goes up. In other instances, there may be a chronic shortage of nurses in an area, and travelers help fill that void.
Although it can vary, many travel assignments last for 13 weeks. But what happens after your contract is up? It depends on the situation and reason the facility needed to hire a traveler. In some cases, you may have the option of working beyond your original contract.
There can be several benefits to extending your contract. One of the biggest reasons to stay at your current location is you already have found your groove. You may be making friends and settling in. By the time your 13 weeks is up, you are probably very familiar with your facility’s protocols, charting system, and policies. It is easier to stay somewhere you are used to then move on and start again.
Extending your contact is an opportunity to stay in a facility you have become comfortable with. It also allows you the chance to become more familiar with the area you are living in. If you enjoy your current location, extending your contract can be a great experience.
On the flip side, you probably took a travel assignment to experience new facilities and new parts of the country. If you stay put at your current assignment, you may be defeating the purpose of working as a healthcare traveler.
Considerations for Contract Renewal
If you do decide you are having fun at your current location and have the chance to extend your contract, there are a few factors to consider.
Contract timeframes may be flexible. Not all facilities need you to renew for the same length as your original contract. For instance, if your original contract was 13 weeks, your extension may only be six or eight weeks. The facility may only offer a certain number of weeks. In other cases, you may be in a position to negotiate how long you are willing to stay.
You may not be offered the same pay rate. If you were hired due to a crisis situation at a facility, such as a strike, you may not be offered the same rate when you renew your contract. The facility may still need staff, but the crisis may have passed, which can lower rates offered.
Know the nursing market. If you want to stay in the same area, determine if there is a demand for nurses. You may be able to get a better contract in another facility close by if there is a shortage of nurses.