With literally hundreds of travel nursing companies in business, determining which companies you’re going to work with can be daunting. In addition, there are so many different ways to find them. In this post we’re going to discuss perhaps the most common method that travel nurses rely on, travel nursing company rating services.
People LOVE rating services. As a result, travel nurse rating services focused on agencies have sprung up across the web. These services are typically engaged in ranking companies based on some criteria that they’ve deemed useful in making such a determination. There are so many of these services that discussing the nuances of each would be more trouble than it’s worth for you. Instead, we’ll focus on a couple of themes that will help you interpret the usefulness and validity of these services.
Open forum travel nursing company rating systems
Some of these services employ a type of open forum rating system that allows members of the site, or sometimes anyone, to complete a survey designed to rate the agencies they’ve worked with. Then, some sites assign a cumulative score based on a tally of all surveys, while others highlight the number of positive versus negative ratings. There are three important factors to keep in mind when utilizing this type of service.
First, research indicates that all else being equal people are much more incentivized to complete these surveys when they feel disappointed in some way. So these systems may be biased on the negative side. Second, and in contrast, some agencies give their travel nurses an incentive to complete these surveys when they know that the travel nurse has had a good experience with them. Additionally, agency employees may pose as travel nurses and log on to the site to give their company a positive review. It’s not possible for agencies to do this for every single service. They may focus on one or two, so they’ll have a high rating on just those sites. Third, an agency may receive a high or low score based on some criteria that is meaningless to you. For example, the agency may receive bad revues for the travel nurse housing it provides. But if you don’t take company provided housing, then this shouldn’t matter to you. You’ll want to check the details of the surveys to determine these issues.
Criteria based travel nursing company rating services
Another type of rating services provides ratings based on a set of criteria that they have deemed important. For example, one popular site assigns points based on various aspects that comprise the overall service provided by an agency. For example, company provided medical benefits, pay check frequency, rental car availability, maximized tax advantage pay, company provided housing, etc, are scored based on their availability. If an agency can provide medical benefits, then they get a point. If they can provide a 401k benefit, then they get a point. Again, you’ll need to look at the criteria to determine if the various services are of any importance to you. I must also point out that the information on these sites isn’t always accurate. I know for a fact that some companies have been recorded as having medical benefits and a 401K when they most certainly did not have these services.
This brings me to my final point on these services. My experience has revealed that these services are suspect, but useful. As mentioned previously, you’ll really need to cross reference what you find on one site versus another in order to get a clear picture. I know from first hand experience that even the most trusted sites have inconsistencies and/or false information.
Additionally, some sites rate companies higher because the company pays them in some way to do so, either directly or through advertising. Furthermore, some of these sites are biased by their own personal feelings on the subject. For example, they may have an obvious bias against large travel nursing companies based on their own personal beliefs rather than anything substantive. Finally, some sites have a very limited number of reviews per company which isn’t a good sample size based on the fact that most agencies engage in hundreds of contracts per year. Again, these sites are very useful, but be sure to cross reference what you find if you plan on relying on them to make your choice.
In an effort to provide a more complete picture, we have compiled the ratings of the three top travel nursing agency rating services into one comprehensive list.
In our next blog post, well discuss everything you need to know about finding travel nursing companies using blogs, massage boards and word of mouth.