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Nurse Reva's Expert Advice on Navigating Travel Nurse Contracts

Brittany Greaves, RN
March 28, 2024
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Signing a new travel nurse contract marks the beginning of an eagerly anticipated adventure. It's a moment filled with excitement, knowing you're about to embark on a new journey. Yet, it's natural to approach this step with caution, ensuring the agreement reflects your expectations and safeguards your interests. In collaboration with Reva Lewis, a dedicated NICU travel nurse with eight years of experience and a strong advocate for nurse empowerment, we've delved into the essential insights and common pitfalls of travel nurse agreements. You can watch the full event here or scroll down for the highlights, ensuring you're fully prepared to sign your next contract with confidence.

FAQs About Travel Nurse Contracts

What is a travel nurse contract?

Travel nurse contracts are agreements between healthcare facilities and nurses who are willing to work temporary assignments in various locations. These contracts outline the terms of employment, including duration, compensation, benefits, and specific job responsibilities.

What is a stipend?

A stipend, or per diem, is a predetermined, fixed amount of tax-free money provided to the nurse on top of their regular salary to cover specific expenses incurred while on assignment away from their permanent residence.

These stipends typically cover costs for housing and meals. Be sure to read our full travel nurse tax guide to ensure you qualify for stipend pay.

What are taxable wages?

Taxable wages refer to the portion of the nurse's compensation that is subject to federal, state, and local income taxes, as well as other payroll deductions such as Social Security and Medicare contributions.

These wages typically include:

  1. Base salary
  2. Overtime pay
  3. Bonuses and reimbursements

What should every travel nurse contract include:

  • Basic information: agency and hospital information, your name and address
  • Assignment details: facility name, location, unit, float units
  • Schedule and duration: contract start and end date, shift, number of shifts per week, shift length, guaranteed hours, RTO
  • Pay information: taxable hourly rates (holiday, OT, call back, on call, charge), reimbursement amounts (if any), stipend amount, pay period, timesheet reporting
  • Benefits provided (if any)
  • Signatures from both parties

Contract Items That Are Often Overlooked

Make sure to note this information is accurate and within all agreements:

  • Approved Time-Off
  • Travel Reimbursements and Allowances
  • Missed Shift Penalty
  • Cancellation Policies
  • Non-compete clauses
  • Stated Agreements made during the interview (floating, time keeping, etc.)

Do’s & Don’ts of Travel Nurse Contracts


  • Read your contract in it’s entirety
  • Make sure you’re conversation with the hiring manager or recruiter matches the contract
  • Keep copies of all contracts and communications


  • Sign a contract without understanding all terms
  • Ignore Red Flags in Contracts
  • Burn Bridges with Employers or Agencies

Details to Double Check Before Signing

Taking the time to address these questions can help ensure that you enter into the travel nurse agreement with confidence and clarity. 

  1. Is the compensation package clearly defined?
  2. Are there any hidden fees or costs associated with the assignment?
  3. What is the cancellation policy if either party needs to terminate the contrat early?
  4. Does the agreement outline clear expectations for the assignment, including schedule, duties, and location?
  5. What healthcare benefits are included in the agreement and are they sufficient for my needs?
  6. Have I thoroughly reviewed and understood all clauses and provisions within the agreement to protect my rights and interests?

Ready to Embark on Your Next Adventure?

We hope this recap has armed you with the knowledge and confidence needed to navigate your next travel nurse contract with ease. Understanding the ins and outs of these agreements is crucial to ensuring a fulfilling and rewarding experience on your next assignment. You can also read our comprehensive Travel Nurse Contracts Guide for even more insights, tips, and strategies to empower you in your career journey.

And if you're itching to put this knowledge into practice, we've got you covered. Search travel nurse jobs with Trusted and discover a world of opportunities waiting for you! At Trusted, we're more than a platform; we're your partner in carving out the career path you've always dreamed of.

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