Imagine this, you find yourself halfway through your current travel nursing contact and are loving it! The work environment, your co-workers, and even the caseload all keep you satisfied and wanting more! You now realize that your contract is over in a few weeks and you’re sad that you’ll be leaving without truly getting to experience everything they have to offer. Does this sound like you? If it does then extending your travel nursing contract might be a great option for you!
When we have nurses that have a positive experience in a certain position or location, they may opt to extend their travel contract. Some of our nurses at Alegiant Healthcare choose to extend their contract for the same reasons. Especially with the pandemic in full effect, facilities and hospitals need help all across the country. Staying in one location is convenient for you as well as your facility.
Why should I extend my travel nurse contract?
There are many things to think about when considering or thinking about extending your travel nurse contract. Some reasons might be to build your professional resume, while others are more focused on you genuinely loving the facility and your co-workers! Whatever your reason is, we are here to help make your extension as seamless as possible.
It makes you desirable
Whenever Alegiant is working with new travelers, we usually recommend extending a travel nurse contract. Taking advantage of this opportunity as a new traveler shows future facilities that you were so exceptional that they wanted you to stay longer! This is something that many facilities look for! It will also help build your travel resume!
You enjoy your role
We see many nurses extend their contract based on the rate alone, but this tends to lead towards burning themselves out. The first thing to always consider when extending should be your satisfaction in the role. If you truly enjoy going to work that is half the battle! Before officially extending ask yourself “Can I do another 13 weeks (physically and mentally)?” If so then extending might be a great option for you!
You want more time in the location
Although our headquarters is located in Florida many of our travelers aren’t lucky to have warm weather all year round. You may want to escape winter in a warmer location for a few more months. We also understand wanting to stay in a location because of all the new friends or feelings of attachment to a facility. If your heart is telling you to stick around, then do it!
One of the last reasons is extending is convenience! You won’t have to worry about having to be submitted to other facilities or having to pack up and move. You have already helped solve a staffing shortage problem for your facility by staying. With the pandemic, more and more facilities are likely to be very happy to extend your contract and save themselves the panic of finding a replacement.
When should I ask to extend my travel nurse contract?
RIGHT AWAY! If you truly want to extend your travel contract you should talk to your recruiter as soon as possible! Communication is a key factor in travel nursing. If you want to stay, talk with your recruiter to get the ball rolling. It is common for managers and recruiters to try to replace you with another traveler because they didn’t think you wanted to stay.
What if I don’t want to extend my travel nurse contract?
Don’t want to stay, and want to move on to something new? That is fine as well! Like we said before, communication is key! Talk with your recruiter halfway through your assignment to get the ball rolling on your next location!
Check your calendar
One of the best things about being a travel nurse is that you get to make your schedule! We sometimes see our nurses taking breaks between contracts to see family, travel, or just unwind! If you have a vacation or family event planned be sure to let your recruiter know your expectations for time off.
After you realize, you don’t want to extend, the most important question is where do you want to go next? The sky is the limit in travel nursing, and we want to find your next contract in a location you want! If you want to work in a state that you don’t currently have a license for, it’s time to start the process to get licensed! Sometimes the time to get a license varies (especially with COVID-19 around), the last thing you would want is for your dream assignment to be held up or lost waiting for a license.
Why won’t a facility extend a traveler’s contract?
Although you may want to extend, the facility has to as well. It’s not unusual for a facility to not extend your contract, even if you wanted to stay. Here are some common reasons why facilities choose not to extend a contract.
No needs or changing needs
Travel nurses are brought into a facility to help fill the needs that aren’t currently being met. Sometimes these needs get met during the time of your contract. For example, they found a permanent staff nurse to fill the position and no longer need travelers’ assistance.
The facility might have reassessed its needs and discovered gaps in other areas. They could offer you a new position to keep you on staff. But on the other hand, if you are not interested in the duties of that new position it might be time to move on.
Not a great fit
This does not mean that nurses that don’t get extended are bad nurses! Sometimes the nurse’s personality just doesn’t fit with the culture in the facility, THAT IS OKAY! Even though it might not be ideal, it is a great learning moment to understand the different types of environments and cultures that you would thrive in. It is important to remember that when leaving to not burn any bridges. Even though you weren’t asked to stay there may be an opportunity later to go back! The healthcare industry is a small world and the last thing you want is to be marked as “Do Not Return” on an entire healthcare system.
Looking for less time off
Although a lot of facilities are in desperate need of nurses and healthcare workers right now, they can still be choosey if they want. Since the pandemic, more staff nurses have started traveling, you have more competition for attractive contracts.
Regardless of whether you are thinking about extending your contract or wanting to move on, remember communication with your recruiter is key! Have an honest conversation with your recruiter about your needs and wants for your next contact and they will work with you to find the contract of your dreams! Reach out to our recruiters today or visit our jobs page to see where your next contract might take you!