Taking on a travel nurse contract does not mean you must give up on your pay and benefits. Even though you take on a nursing role for a short time frame, you do have options to negotiate your pay, benefits or hours before you start a new job. The key is having the right strategies to ensure that you are asking for a fair adjustment to the contract.
Research the Area
Before you take any steps to negotiate with a potential employer, you want to research the local area. Find out about the pay a nurse receives in the local area. You want a per-hour rate as well as a salary rate to have a clear idea of the going rate for the local area.
This is particularly important if you have specialized skills and plan to work as a travel nurse in a specialized position. The pay rate for different areas may vary based on the local cost of living. You should also be aware that a stipend for your rent and other expenses is part of your pay package, so you want to add it to your hourly rate before you assume that you are not paid a similar rate to other nurses in the local area.
Find Out More About the Contract
Do not ignore the contract. Read the details of the specific contract and make sure you understand every detail of the current contract. Even if you have worked in a travel nurse position in other locations, the details of a contract may vary between medical facilities and localities. You do not want to overlook critical information when you ask for an adjustment to the contract.
Take your time and read the details thoroughly to ensure you know everything. You can then make notes about what you want to ask and what you are willing to accept in your contract. Make sure you understand the information if you have any questions or concerns about the original contract.
Give Clear Reasons for Your Requests
Negotiation is a process that focuses on benefiting both parties. You do not want to go into the process with the assumption that a facility is able to pay more for your work or that the requests you want to make will benefit your new employer. Before you go into the negotiation, clarify your reasons for the request. You want to show how the changes will benefit the medical facility. Use your research into the local area and your knowledge of the current contract to help support your requests.
Allow a potential employer to come back with a new offer. You may find that they offer more in some areas and have strict standards in others. The key to successful negotiation is focusing on a fair contract that benefits both parties.
Negotiating your contract as a travel nurse is a process. You want to make sure your prepare in advance to avoid unnecessary challenges with your requests. By taking the time to research the local area and setting up clear standards for what you will accept in your contract, you can get the position that fits your experience and goals.