Sometime around week 8 (or after) you should start considering if you would be interested in a Contract extension. There are multiple variables that will determine if you would like to extend at your current contract.
Many facilities will approach you right away for a contract extension, I don’t recommend that you entertain this until at least week 8. By week 8 you will know if you like the facility, if you can get along with the work load and if there is enough ‘tourism’ in the area to keep you interested for an extension.
Factors to Consider when Determining if you want to pursue a Contract Extension
- Do you like working at the Facility?
- Is the work-load manageable?
- Are there still things that you want to explore/do In the local area?
- Do you have any family or other obligations that will require you to be in a particular area?
- Are there upcoming Holidays that would effect a possible extension?
Negotiating the Contract Extension:
Kyle at TheTruthAboutTravelNursing makes some great points in regards to company costs for a contract extension. I would recommend that you read through it to better understand the cost factors from a company standpoint. There are multiple items that you can and should consider when negotiating an extension:
- Flight Home
- Time Off without Housing Penalties
- Housing Changes
- Length of Extension
Contract extensions are a cost benefit (most times) for everyone involved. The hospital has already ‘trained’ you and you continuing on enables the hospital to avoid having to train a new traveler. They don’t have to send you through orientation again and will save costs there. A hospital may also look at you extending as a compliment. You have enjoyed working at the hospital well enough to stay a bit longer.
For the Staffing Agency, you offer a cost savings from multiple standpoints by extending. Again, check the article linked above to read more about these cost savings.
For you (this is the most important, right?) You will benefit by not incurring the added expenses of moving to a new location. Although some of your expenses are covered by the Staffing agency when taking a new contract, there are still out of pocket expenses that you incur as a Travel Nurse. You will also avoid time off without pay (unless you choose to take time off between the original contract and the extension).
What do you negotiate for with a contract extension? Do you extend early in the contract or wait until close to the end?