6 Tips for Extending Your Travel Nursing Contract
Travel nursing is a flexible career option that allows you to work when and where you want, exploring new cities and regions while having your housing and travel expenses covered. You can book a temporary assignment in one location—typically around 13 weeks—and then move on to another location of your choice.
But, what if you enjoy a particular assignment and want to stay a little longer? Luckily, many travel nursing contracts can be extended if both parties are amenable.
“It’s very common for travelers to extend their contracts,” said Carol S., a recruiter with AMN Healthcare. “They are happy at the hospital, they still want to explore the area or location, and they have comfortable housing already situated.”
There are several benefits to extending a travel nurse contract. For instance, you won’t have to worry about job searches and interviews, new state licensing, credentialing or relocation issues. And, after several weeks on the job, you are already oriented to the facility and have formed relationships with your co-workers.
Carol offers some helpful tips for travel nurses who may want to extend their current assignment.
6 Tips for Securing a Travel Nurse Contract Extension
- Start planning early. “The earlier, the better!” said Carol. “If you are considering extending, ask your manager early on, so you have the highest chance at getting an extension offer.”
- Talk to your recruiter. Let your recruiter know you are really happy at this hospital or clinic and want to stay longer; they can help push for an extension for you and get your offer locked in.
- Confirm your schedule. Any family weddings or trips you need to work around? Be sure you think of any “deal breaker” time-off dates you would need in order to accept the extension offer, and notify both your manager and recruiter to see if they can accommodate your request. Sometimes nurses can negotiate time to visit home or take a short vacation even before their extension begins.
- Don’t forget about housing. Make sure you have a plan for housing during the contract extension dates, so if the offer does come in, you are 100 percent sure you can accept the contract. “Usually just extending your current stay is no problem, but that’s something you should be working on while waiting for your offer to come in,” Carol noted. American Mobile has housing specialists who can also help check on those arrangements.
- Double-check the details. Once the extension offer is in, be sure you ask your recruiter any questions you have about the offer. Listen well and read all the details because sometimes the extension terms do change from the original contract, Carol advised.
- Invite your friends. Lastly, Carol suggests sending your recruiter any referrals you may have, so he or she can work on getting your friends to come join you on your travel nurse adventures!
More to consider
Travel nursing contracts can be extended more than once, and a contract extension period could be shorter or longer than the original. Every facility and contract is different. A word of caution about multiple extensions, however: any relocation that lasts for a year or longer can affect your “permanent tax home” and how your compensation and reimbursements are taxed, so check with a tax advisor before making longer term commitments.
Travel nurses considering contract extensions will also want to revisit all of their arrangements that they made back home with people who may be housesitting, subletting their apartment, or temporarily storing items for them while away. Hopefully those arrangements can also be extended as long as necessary, or new plans will need to be made.
Finally, if your current facility is unable to extend your travel nurse contract but you would still like to stay in the area, don’t despair. Your recruiter may be able to find you another assignment at a nearby hospital or other healthcare facility. Again, the earlier that search begins, the easier it will be to find a new contract that can fit your needs.
AMN Healthcare has thousands of exciting travel nursing assignments across the U.S., including several exclusive contracts. And our experienced team is ready to help you every step of the way!