Guide to choosing the right travel assignment


Have you decided travel nursing is the life for you? We’re here to help you navigate the ins and outs of travel nursing (hey, it’s what we do!). It’s easy to get confused with all the conflicting advice from competing recruitment firms, so let this be your go-to guide when in doubt.

Location, location, location

What are your top three destinations you want to travel to? Think about why you want to go to these locations – is the beach your common denominator? A big city? Knowing why you prefer particular locations may help you be more flexible in case your destination choice isn’t available. Talk to your recruiter, who can help you navigate the open jobs versus your destination choices. Give yourself options!

Assignment length

Thirteen weeks is the standard length of a travel assignment, but there are shorter and longer assignments available. The drawback to choosing an assignment shorter than 13 weeks, though, is you’re not able to get as comfortable with your unit. Travel nurse housing can also be difficult to find for less than three months. The upside? Most travel assignments offer the option to extend, so keep this in mind if you decide you want to stay longer.

Pay Package

Unlike staff nurses, travel nurses are paid by specialty instead of years of experience. This doesn’t mean your experience is meaningless – it is a great selling-point on your resume to help make your profile stand out among the others that are submitted for the same job. Ask you recruiter to help you calculate your take-home pay after bonuses, stipends and insurance. They can help you decide if the higher pay rate per hour job is better than the high sign-on bonus job with a lower pay rate.


Make sure your benefit package includes health insurance. If you do opt out of this must-have benefit, then make sure you’re covered elsewhere, be it the Market Exchange or your spouse’s medical insurance.


Finding housing is where many new (and even veteran) travelers get intimidated. But with a little preparation and knowing your facts, you can make this easy-breezy. Most travel assignments offer two housing options: a housing stipend or company provided housing. If you’re working through your recruiter to find housing, make sure you find out what is included in the arrangement: do you need to upgrade to get a TV or microwave? Is the housing furnished? You will need to pack personal items for every travel assignment, whether you find it yourself or go through the recruitment company, but know what’s included so you can pack accordingly.

With this guide, you are better informed and prepared to navigate your travel assignment! With the help of your Cirrus Medical Staffing recruiter, your travel adventures will be everything you hope and more.