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When Should I Look for My Next Travel Contract?

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Working as a travel therapist or travel nurse has many pros and cons.  Personally, one of the biggest cons is not knowing where I will work next.  To some people, this may be a thrill, but it is definitely a source of stress for me.


As a traveler, you are constantly looking for a new job. It seems like just when I get settled in a new place and can FINALLY drive to work with out a GPS, I am already thinking “where am I going to work next?”


So when should you start to look for your next contract?


In my opinion, you should always be looking for your next contract.  In reality, you want to search heavily when you are 2-4 weeks away from your anticipated start date.


What does that mean?


It means that when you have an idea of what you want (start date, setting type, location) you should update your recruiter(s) with that info.  Some great contracts are available because of medical leaves (think pregnancy).  These contracts are often booked a month or 2 in advance.  It is good to keep your recruiters in the loop in case something opens up early that matches your start date. Other contracts may open at the last minute, because of a staffing shortage, so you really never know.


Ideally, about 4-6 weeks before you are ready for your next assignment, you start to tell your recruiters what you are looking for so they can give you a heads up if anything is available.  In reality, you may only book an assignment at the end of your current contract (or even afterwards if the job market is having shortages).  Hopefully, you get your next assignment in a timely fashion and do not have to take any unintended time off with out pay.

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