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From Submitted to Accepted: A Travel Nurse’s Guide to Landing the Offer

From Submitted to Accepted: A Travel Nurse’s Guide to Landing the Offer


The temporary staffing world for nurses and healthcare professionals has always been competitive. Now that we are moving out of those crisis assignments and back to some form of normalcy, it is only becoming more so. Even if you’re confident that your skills or experience match or exceed the level of other nurses applying for an assignment, you still might find you are being passed up for travel assignments. But, why?

Every facility or hiring supervisor may be different, but generally, there are a few tactics you can do to improve your chances of snagging your choice nursing assignment. So how can YOU set yourself apart and get that offer?


  • Always be submission-ready: In this environment, assignment offers happen in a matter of minutes. You and your recruiter should work together to ensure you as “submission ready” as possible.  Have your basic credential requirements up to date – BLS, License, vaccinations on file, skills checklist and a professional, up-to-date resume’ with references. Be sure your recruiter knows what field you have the most experience in and where you are willing to go. You can also let your recruiter know if there is any credentialing item you would be willing to update if needed (things like NIHH, PALS etc.). This helps facilitate communication about new assignments and getting submitted to them within minutes. You want to be the first nurse submitted, not the tenth. Being among the first submissions a facility receives dramatically increases your chances of securing an interview, which is a crucial first step in the right direction.
  • Make yourself available for an interview: If a client has difficulty getting in touch with you, trust that they will quickly move on to the next person in line. Provide you recruiter with times you can take a call – then answer your phone. Many times, a client will reach out to the nurse to schedule an interview without even telling the agency. These days, many of us tend to send unfamiliar phone numbers to voicemail, but here’s a tip – familiarize yourself with the area codes the facility might be calling from as soon as you give your recruiter the green light to submit you for an assignment. If an unfamiliar number calls from that area, you should probably go ahead and answer it. Worst case scenario, you waste 30 seconds of your time if it isn’t the call you were hoping for. Remember, interviews aren’t just an opportunity for the facility to find out about you, but also for you to find out about them. This is the time to ask questions about floating to other units, patient ratios, available ancillary staff and scheduling expectations. Some nurses may not do well on an interview by not revealing his/her experience and skills. Some are perceived to lack enthusiasm for the position. Be prepared for the interview, ask relevant questions, and know a little bit about the client ahead of time. Click here for some pointers on how to ace the interview.
  • Match what your resume says: Be sure what your recruiter presents to the client on the submission papers match what you say in the conversation. Your recruiter should accurately communicate your resume and experience to the clients. If you are applying for an RN, in patient, mental health assignment and have worked in patient psych for 2 years – don’t put it as 10 years’ experience because you have been a nurse for 10 years.  It is very important they have the most recent, accurate information possible.  Updating your information after each assignment can be one of the most important task you have.
  • Limit your requested time off (RTO): It is fine to ask for time off. We know 13 weeks is a long time, but excessive RTO requests limit your chances of being selected.  If you are wanting an assignment during a peak holiday time – offering to work the holiday gives you the best chance.
  • Ask to be submitted to the shift you are willing to work: Being submitted for a PM shift but only being willing to work AM is not a good practice. The hiring clients will look at those with the needed shift first.  Things such as “will discuss in interview” or “will work any shift” becomes a concerning flag to some hiring managers.  Specifics help narrow the field of candidates in a timely manner.
  • Be honest with your recruiter: Be completely truthful and transparent with your recruiter about your experience and what you feel you are able to do. All fields of nursing are not the same. Having a recruiter who knows in advance what types of units you would fit best, gives you a better chance of being submitted to those units quickly.  Being submitted to the right unit increases the possibility of an offer.  Be aware, a client who will accept any applicant regardless of degree of experience or without an interview is most likely in a crisis need. If you are flexible and willing to take on the challenge applying for those assignments will increase your chance of getting it.  But know – there will be very little orientation and the expectation will be for you to take on almost anything they have.


If you have any questions on why you didn’t get that job – talk with your recruiter or our clinical team.  We are here to guide you every step of the way. Being submission ready takes some communication with your recruiter but is your best chance at getting the offer.  Time is money and it is your money that matters.  We all want a rapid offer, but most importantly we want a successful assignment.


>>Treat yourself to a change of pace (and PLACE) by exploring all the travel nursing assignments we have available nationwide.