As a travel nurse, you’re often starting new contracts every few months—until one clicks. Your fellow nurses are your trusted on-the-job companions, and you’re continually expanding your clinical expertise to advance your career while enjoying the unique features of your medical facility’s convenient location. Do you really have to leave when your contract ends?
Luckily, if you love your travel nursing facility, it’s possible to extend your time there as long as you both see fit.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few logistics to consider.
How to Extend Your Nursing Contract
If you’ve settled into your current location and are happy with your assignment position, you may want to extend the length of your travel assignment. It’s one of the perks you can enjoy due to the high level of flexibility in travel nursing careers.
However, when working with a recruiter or travel nurse agency like Host Healthcare, it’s crucial that you notify them as soon as possible so that they can help you iron out the details of your extension. Likewise, you’ll want to notify the facility where you wish to renew your travel nursing contract (and let your fellow nurses know they can hold off on throwing you a going away party).
Aside from giving you the opportunity to continue working with the team and patients you’ve come to know and love, staying at a facility beyond your first contract provides you and employers with a cartful of financial and practical benefits:
- There’s no need to re-interview or conduct another nurse onboarding process
- There’s no need to gain new state or hospital credentials/licensure
- You don’t have to spend time or money on moving again
You might also get to take time off to rest and reset between your current contract and your extension. Host Healthcare allows you up to 30 days off between travel nursing contracts while still maintaining your benefits.1
How Long Should I Extend My Contract?
That’s up to you! If you need a little guidance, try imagining yourself a few months down the line. Is this where you’d still like to be? If so, a longer extension may be the way to go. If you’re not sure, consider a shorter travel nurse extension, like 5-8 weeks.
Travel nurses can have the flexibility to extend their contracts based on their needs, whether it’s just a few more weeks or a more extended period. You can work closely with your recruiter and the facility to determine the best option for you.
What Are The Drawbacks To A Travel Nurse Contract Extension?
One of the only potential drawbacks to extending your contract is that you’ll be locked into this location until the end of your new contract. If it’s a place and position you love, this is likely more of a benefit than a downside. However, if major life shifts occur during your new contract and you suddenly need to relocate, problems could arise. When certain situations arise, you’ll want to make sure you have a recruiter who will have your back to help you navigate the change.
When considering a travel nurse contract extension, it’s important to weigh your options carefully. As mentioned, the primary aspect to consider is the length of your extension, which can impact your flexibility. If your extension is only for a month or two, this is unlikely to be a significant concern. Ultimately, it’s essential to evaluate what aligns best with your career and personal goals when deciding to extend your travel nurse contract.
How to Extend Your Travel Nursing Contract
If you’re excited about the idea of extending your contract and ready to make it official, speak with your nurse manager to see if your employer feels the same way. If they approve the extension, the facility can begin taking the necessary steps to keep you on their team.1
You’ll also need to contact your recruiter or staffing agency to let them know what’s up.13 Host Healthcare has dedicated and responsive recruiters who are here to empower your career, so it is easy to get the help and support you need to extend your contract.
While the nitty gritty of your extension might change depending on your contract, position, and facility, one fact generally remains the same: the sooner you give that heads up, the more time everyone has to make it happen.
LinkedIn states that most nurses know within five weeks whether or not they want to stay on a particular assignment. So, if you know early on that a placement is right for you, let your nurse manager know you’re interested in staying on. There’s logistics and paperwork to settle before your second contract, and having plenty of time to handle these aspects of your extension can make the whole process more streamlined.
Getting That Extension Offer
When asking for an extension, remember that the facility may not offer contract extensions—after all, it’s a temporary position for a reason. To help increase your chances of approval, be a model employee. Consistently show up on time, be flexible, engage with the team, and deliver quality care.3
Keep in mind, even impeccable employees can’t secure longer contracts when there are none to be had. Still, excelling in your role will put you at the top of the list if your employer plans to offer a limited amount of extensions.
Host Healthcare: Travel Nursing on Your Terms
At Host Healthcare, we’re committed to helping you find your ideal travel nurse assignment so that you can go where you want, when you want, and stay there for as long as you want.
We support you every step of the way through travel contract extensions, so you don’t have to do it alone. And with benefits like medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as 401k matching, our support doesn’t end with placement. Our dedicated team is available to talk 24/7.
Find a general or local travel nursing assignment you’ll love with Host Healthcare.
DesRosiers, Gina. Travel Nurses Money Moves: Negotiating Extended Contracts. LinkedIn, 18 May 2018, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/travel-nurses-money-moves-negotiating-extended-gina-desrosiers.
Travel Nursing Extension Tips. Host Healthcare, 24 Feb. 2022, https://www.hosthealthcare.com/blog/can-you-renew-a-travel-nursing-assignment/.