Each month I will include a blog entry answering some of the most common questions I get from readers about locum tenens as a nurse practitioner. Feel free to comment any questions you have or email me at travelingNP.firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are some challenges of finding that first assignment?
The first assignment may be a bit challenging to find because as new travelers we are expecting the perfect job. After time we start to realize that we have to be a bit more open minded of the location and practice setting we are looking for.
Another challenge is having recruiters take you seriously. Many nurse practitioners are curious about locum tenens and will talk to a recruiter about locum tenens options without being completely serious about it. Thus, recruiters do not like “wasting” their time with new travelers that may never accept a locum tenens position. I find that recruiters take you more seriously after completing your first assignment. I recommend networking with other travelers so they can refer you to their recruiter, as referrals are taken more seriously. I am always more than happy to get you in touch with some of my recruiters.
Lastly, finding that first assignment is tricky if you do not already have the state license you are searching in. It is possible to work with an agency to obtain a license and then search for jobs. However, many sites do not want to hire you until your license comes through. I personally recommend you obtain the license yourself first, and then search for jobs with multiple agencies. This will increase the probability of you finding something that meets your needs. You can always be reimbursed for the license later on. I think new travelers have a misconception that the agency will do EVERYTHING for them, so applying for a license on their own isn’t ideal.