As COVID-19 continues to impact the travel nursing industry, there’s a lot of talk about contract cancellations right now. Hospitals are experiencing low census due to COVID-19 restrictions and prolonged reopening plans, which means that hospitals may cancel nurses’ assignments if there’s not enough need for them at that facility.

So, what can you do to be prepared on the off-chance that this happens to you? Here are four tips:

#1: Keep in touch with your recruiter

If you’re worried about an assignment being canceled, your recruiter can help work quickly to find assignments that will have quick turnaround in case anything happens. If shifts are being canceled, census is declining or already low, or you’re hearing of other staff’s contracts being canceled or shortened, make sure to get in touch with your recruiter so that you both can start exploring your options.

#2: Keep your profile fresh

Some contracts have a higher cancellation risk than others. If you take an assignment that looks great, but you’re still worried about being canceled, it’s a great idea to be proactive and have all your documents ready for your next assignment if you need to find one on short notice. Our On Demand portal is a great way to keep all your documents organized in one place, and will make submitting you to your next assignment easy.

At THS, our recruiters will be able to discuss how safe an assignment is from cancellation, so feel free to ask them any questions about assignments that you’re interested in if you’re nervous about cancellations.

#3: Be flexible

If you’re a seasoned travel nurse, being flexible is probably one of your strengths by now! If a facility cancels your contract, they might have an opportunity in a different unit or on a different shift. Your recruiter can help communicate with the facility and explore these opportunities with you. Providing your manager on assignment and your recruiter with specialties and shifts you’re open to can help this process as well.

If you & your recruiter can’t work something out with the facility, being flexible will help when looking for your next assignment. If you’re willing to work a different shift than you usually do, or you have past experience in a different specialty, you’ll have a larger pool of travel nursing assignments to choose from.

#4: Prepare a financial cushion

As a travel nurse, it’s always a good idea to have some money in savings that you can reach into in the case of cancellation or complications when traveling to or from assignments. If you have savings already, great! If not, this is a good time to start putting some money away for a rainy day.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your contributions to your savings, consider finding less expensive housing on your next assignment so that more of your pay goes into your pocket. Preparing meals at home and riding a bike to work are also great ways to save money on regular expenses.

If you find your contract being cancelled and you don’t have a nest egg, you can file for unemployment in the last state you worked. You can find more information for each state here.

Want to learn more about how THS supports its Super Nurses? Click here to learn more about us and why BluePipes, Gypsy Nurse, and Highway Hypodermics have rated us as a Best Travel Nursing Agency!