Travel Nurses: Gathering Your Paperwork

By Cirrus Staffing on Thu, Dec 12, 2013

If you have worked at least one travel or local contract nursing assignment, you are familiar with the documentation you need in order to work in the profession. What many nursing professionals may not know, however, is that many firms are required to be just as thorough as any hospital that employs nurses, and are held to the same stringent guidelines. As such, it is important to submit your completed paperwork as early in the process as possible. Background checks and drug screens can take several business days, and some facilities require your file up to a week before you can start.

 

Gathering all of this documentation and keeping it current is not a big deal particularly if you start the process early and leverage your recruiter for help. In this article, we offer you some insights and a few resources to help you gather and consistently update your ‘schtuff’ so that you can be ready to take that sweet new assignment on a moment’s notice.

What You Will Need

While there may be some minor differences in what medical facilities (and staffing firms) require when it comes to documentation, in general, most recruiters and the clients they work with are required to have the same types of documents on file. They need an updated skills inventory, your experience, a prior work history, equipment that you have used, and what you have done. They need proof that your licenses are current and to be reassured they will not see you on the next episode of America’s Most Wanted.

In order to conduct an interview and submit to potential rehab travel or local contract assignment opportunities, most rehab therapy staffing firms only need brief information. Your current resume should be enough. However, some medical facilities also want to see your skills checklist and references to consider you for the position.

Staying Current

Nursing professionals not only need to keep their work history current, but many potential employers want to see very detailed updates, including the types of settings in which you have worked, case loads you are accustomed to, and equipment you are trained on and have experience using. Of course, your license needs to be up to date and in good standing, but if you are a traveling professional, you may need to maintain licenses in many different states.

Once you have been confirmed to the assignment, new employees need to submit the following:

Medical Information

  • Annual drug screen
     
  • Annual physical
     
  • Annual TB test
     
  • Hepatitis B or signed Declination Form
     
  • MMR shot record or titers showing immunity


HR Information
 

  • Orientation Acknowledgement Form
     
  • Orientation Review Form
     
  • Policies and Procedures Checklist
     
  • Employment Agreement
     
  • Confidentiality Agreement
     
  • Handbook Acknowledgement Form
     
  • I9 Form
     
  • W4 Form
     
  • State Tax Form
     
  • State Tax Form (if applicable)
     
  • Copy of Driver’s License
     
  • Copy of Social Security Card

Credentialing

  • Copies of any state licenses you hold
     
  • National Certification Card
     
  • CPR Card

Job Specific

Sometimes clients have specific requirements, such as:

  • 2-Step TB
     
  • Varicella Titer
     
  • Drug Screen within 30 days of start date

Tips for Keeping Your Files Up to Date

If you are a travel nursing professional or local contract nursing professional that frequently moves from assignment to assignment, you will want an easy way to have updated files on hand at all times. Here are some tips to make this a breeze with each new assignment you take:

  • 2-Step TB
     
  • Varicella Titer
     
  • Drug Screen within 30 days of start date
     
  • Set up a system – decide when you’ll update
     
  • Use a calendar & reminders for license expirations
     
  • Know which state licenses require CEU’s, and look for classes that are approved in each state for which you hold a license.
     
  • Ask your recruiter for help in obtaining new licenses. If you work for Cirrus Medical Staffing, you will be reimbursed!
     
  • Notify your recruiter if you take any prescriptions that could affect your drug screen results.
     
  • Obtain a copy of your drug screen, titers, physical results for your files
     
  • Keep a hard copy of your entire file with you on every assignment

Store electronic files of your documents on your computer at home or the laptop you travel with, and put a copy on a removable jump drive to take with you to your assignment. You never know what you will need to produce quickly.

Keeping Your Recruiter Up To Speed

Cirrus Medical Staffing strives to start helping you identify your next assignment about 6-8 weeks before the end of your current job. In order to find the best assignments for you, your recruiter must stay informed of your experiences and changes over time. Your recruiter should contact you with apartments they believe you will find interesting. However, if you have acquired a license in Nevada but your recruiters do not know it, you may never be notified when an assignment becomes available in Las Vegas.

Set reminders for updating your recruiter after the end of each assignment, or at least 3 times per year. Craft a standard email and save it on your computer. When it comes time to inform the recruiters you work with that your information has changed, attach your new files, and blast it off. You will be ready to entertain that next travel nursing assignment opportunity when it becomes available, and you will have a system for making sure your professional life is documented and well organized.

Do you have what it takes?  If so, visit:  www.cirrusmedicalstaffing.com!

Cirrus Medical Staffing is an award-winning, Joint Commission Certified healthcare staffing firm that for over 11 years has been placing the best travel nurses with the top healthcare organizations across the country.  In 2013, Cirrus was named to the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies in the US.  Cirrus is currently offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus for qualified RNs who accept a travel assignment with Cirrus before 12/31/13.

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