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My Biggest Travel Nurse Mistake...

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

Let me tell you about my 1st recruiter as a travel nurse….

My 1st recruiter (Douglas) was so helpful and a really nice guy. I had been searching for my first travel nurse contract for over 5 weeks before I found Douglas. Douglas was great at his job. He really knew how to get things done. He responded to texts and emails quickly and even found me my first contract in less than a week.

I felt like I got lucky by finding Douglas. He made it all happen when no one else could. He was even very personable. We had several friendly phone conversations and even cracked some jokes with each other. The entire process of getting my first contract went very smoothly once I found Douglas and before I knew it I was moving over 400 miles away from home to start my first travel nurse contract. I was nervous but excited.

I knew that if I had such a great experience with Douglas he could surely help travel nurses too. So I told everyone about how great my experience with Douglas had been so far and if they wanted a great recruiter they should work with him too. AND maybe I would get a referral bonus!!

Before I even finished half of my first contract I had already decided I wanted to extend because “I loved the location and I was making more than double my staff nurse pay!!”

Around week 8 of 13 Douglas asked me, "How are you liking your first travel contract?"

I responded, "I love it and I wanted to extend if they want me to."

A couple weeks later I was offered an extension. When I got the offer I asked Douglas for an extension raise but he nicely told me there was no money for that and he wouldn’t be able to increase my pay.

I was a little bummed but Douglas was great and I fully trusted him because he was nice and had helped me with so much already.

It wasn’t until the middle of my extension (13-week) when I was talking to another travel nurse in the same department who was making $500/week (about 30%) MORE than me!!!

The entire time Douglas was very personable, helpful, nice, and hard-working but he was lowballing me by $500/week each week….I estimate I lost around $15,000 in potential income during my first 6 months as a travel nurse. My biggest mistake was fully trusting my recruiter and believing he had my best interest in mind.


  • Your recruiter might be friendly, hard-working, nice, attentive, helpful, and available but that DOES NOT mean they are a GOOD RECRUITER.

  • Recruiters are NOT incentivized to have your best interest in mind.

  • Do your own research. Make sure you are getting offered the highest pay rate possible before you submit for a contract.

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