Questions You Should Ask the Facility During a Phone Interview

The phone interview with the facility isn’t just a time for the facility to get to know you; it is also a time for you to get information on the facility. This is important to know if the assignment and facility are right for you. Below you will find nine things that are important to ask the facility during the phone interview.

Nurse to Patient Ratio

Nurse to patient ratio is always important to ask. You do not want to go into an assignment where the nurse-to-patient ratio is too high. As you know, the nurse-to-patient ratio generally depends on your specialty and the facility/unit itself.

Scrub Colors

As you know, as a travel nurse, every hospital, even the different units in the facilities, often has its own color scrubs. Knowing this during your interview will help you plan for the assignment should you get it/take it. The Gypsy Nurses’ website offers a great resource for finding and entering a facility’s scrub colors. Search for the facility and enter the scrub requirements in the box.

Floating Policy

If you aren’t interested in floating often, it is important to know the floating policy at the facility you are interviewing. This way, there are no surprises once you are working on the assignment.

Charting System

Not all facilities use the same charting systems, as you know. And as you know, the charting systems can and do vary significantly. You may not be familiar with the charting system, meaning one more thing to learn in an already short orientation period.

Length of Orientation

Speaking of orientation, it is important to ask how much orientation the facility provides to travel nurses. Knowing how much orientation you will get before you take the assignment will mean no surprises when you start your assignment.

Do you use Block scheduling?

If you plan to go home on your days off or prefer to work your days in a row, this is important to ask during the interview. You can ask that it be written in the contract regardless. However, knowing if this is something they do or don’t do will help when deciding to take the assignment or not if it is of high importance to you.


Not all hospitals have on-site parking or charge for parking. Knowing this ahead of taking the assignment will help you make your decision and help to decide what exactly needs to be in your contract. If they charge for parking, you may ask for parking to be included in your Meals and Incidentals stipend on your contract. 

Weekend and Holiday Requirements

As a travel nurse, the last thing you want is to get to the assignment and get scheduled to work every weekend or holiday if they fall during your assignment. This is another case where you can try to include it in there if you know before signing the contract.

Chances of Extending

You may want to extend if you enjoy the contract and the area. During the initial interview, this is a great time to find out if there is an opportunity to extend your contract should you want to at the end of your first contract.

We hope this list of questions to ask the facility during the phone interview has been helpful. Whether you are new to travel nursing or a veteran, we hope there was not something for everyone. While this list is not all-inclusive and there are sure to be more questions you may feel are important to ask. If you think we missed important ones, please feel free to comment on them below. 

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Best Hospitals Announced

Hospital Sign - Best Hospitals Announced

U.S. News and World Report announces its best hospitals for 2014/2015.

Every year U.S. News and World Report publishes an annual ranking of the best hospitals in the United States.

This July the publication released its list for 2014/2015. After considering 5,000 hospitals, 17 were chosen for the honor roll.

The top 10 best hospitals announced were:

  1. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota)
  2. Massachusetts General (Boston, Massachusetts)
  3. Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, Maryland)
  4. Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio)
  5. UCLA Med Center (Los Angeles, California)
  6. New York Presbyterian University Hospital of Colombia and Cornell (New York, New York)
  7. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  8. UCSF Med Center (San Francisco, California)
  9. Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts)
  10. 10. Northwestern Memorial (Chicago, Illinois)

To see the full list of 17, click here. What do you think of the Best Hospitals Announced by U.S. News and World Report? Have you ever worked in any of them?

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Top Specialties for Travel Nursing

ER Team - Top Specialties for Travel NursingThose who want to become travel nurses often wonder if there are top specialties for travel nursing that they should focus on that would make them more marketable in the industry. In general, the demand in travel nursing tends to follow the demand in the nursing industry at large — which is big and poised to become even huger in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse employment is projected to grow up to 18 percent between the years of 2011 and 2018.

While it’s true that a nurse with any specialty can find work in the travel nursing industry, Healthcare Traveler Magazine recently published an article detailing 7 specialties especially in demand for nurses now and expected to have even greater demand in the future. They spoke with several industry experts and the 7 top specialties for travel nursing that emerged were:

  • ICU
  • Telemetry
  • Neonatal
  • OR
  • Dialysis
  • Labor and Delivery
  • ER

This is not to say that if a specialty is not on this list it should be overlooked. Every nurse has a natural area or areas of interest and at the end of the day you will be the best at doing work that you are most passionate about. For the most part these top specialties for travel nursing are ranked due to a demand in the aging population or in some cases the need for critical care nurses. Especially when traveling, a nurse of any specialty must be able to jump right into even the most intense situation.

Click here for the full Healthcare Traveler article, which provides an excellently detailed foundation of reasoning for these rankings of top specialties for travel nursing, as explained and defended by industry experts. The article also has some great “Fast Facts” for each specialty.


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Best places to find travel nursing jobs

Some people would ask why you, the nurse, are looking for travel nursing jobs. Shouldn’t your travel nursing company do that? And to certain degree that is true. That is what travel nursing agencies are good at.

But if working in great locations is one of your main interests in being a travel nurse then there will inevitably times when the company you are with will not have a job in the location you want. In that case you may want to search for a job yourself.

There are different ways to go about this. One way is to go companies websites that actually list their travel nursing jobs. Not every company does this many of the major ones do.

If that seems like a lot of work then there are also sites that aggregate jobs from several companies into one spot. Here are some of the best sites around for you to do that:

Travel Nurse Source
Healthcare Travelbook
Absolutely Healthcare
Candidate Direct Job


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