How to Transfer from a Full-time Position to a Traveling Job

If you’re working full time as a PT, OT, nurse, or pharmacist and are thinking of quitting to become a full- or part-time healthcare traveler, read below for some tips on how to make the transition.

  1. Aim to have at least three to six months of salary saved. If you quit before you have an assignment, it could be a few weeks before you get one. Or the assignment could fall through (it does happen). Or you could find yourself with a longer “between assignments” period at one time or another, and it’s wise to have an emergency fund you can count on.
  2. Understand that it can take a few weeks after signing up with a travel staffing service to be offered an assignment. (That’s one reason why it’s a good idea to register with at least three or more services; you have a better chance of receiving an assignment quickly.) If you quit your full-time position with no financial resources to fall back on, you could find yourself in a dicey money situation.
  3. If you’re working full time and you receive word of an assignment with your travel staffing firm, don’t worry that you’ll need to leave your current employer right away. Most assignments tend to start about two weeks after acceptance, so you’ll have plenty of time to give your two-week notice.
  4. If you’re not sure that a traveling career is right for you and you’d like to try it out, and if you’ve been working at your facility for a few years and are considered a valuable employee, see if you can take an unpaid leave of absence for a few months so that you can go on some travel assignments. If it turns out you prefer to work in one place rather than several, this gives you an opportunity to return to your former employer.
  5. As you register with different services, you may find that you accept an assignment that’s “so-so” to you only to find that another service soon enough comes up with a “dream” assignment. If the two assignments are for the same time period, the professional thing to do is to keep your obligation with the first staffing firm. It’s very bad form to accept an assignment and then tell the staffing firm you can’t fulfill the obligation at the last minute. Emergencies do occur, of course, and your staffing firm understands this. If something comes up that won’t allow you to start or finish an assignment, let your staffing manager know as soon as possible.

If you’re working full time now as a health professional (such as a nurse, OT, PT, pharmacist, speech therapist or an aide or tech in one of those sectors) and are curious about a career as a healthcare traveler, speak with a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. Our recruiters have extensive experience hiring and placing travelers, and they’ll be able to help you make the transition from working at one facility to working for several as a traveler. Contact us today.

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