Picture this: Your travel nursing contract is almost up. Those 13 weeks flew by fast! Now you find yourself in a predicament. You landed an extension, but you’re not sure if you should stay or if you should move on to bigger and better things. The easiest way to secure employment as a travel nurse is through a contract extension. In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about navigating travel nurse contract extensions and if they’re the right decision for you.
What is a Travel Nurse Contract Extension?
It’s simple! A travel nursing contract extension is when the facility decides to extend your assignment beyond 13 weeks. Extensions can vary in length. You can typically negotiate to stay at the hospital for an additional 4, 8, or 13 weeks.
Securing an Extension
If you find yourself really enjoying your assignment, reach out to your recruiter and let them know you are considering extending your contract. Although you may want to stay, ultimately it’s up to the facility to decide. This is why it’s important to maintain a positive relationship with your nurse manager. As long as you are helping where you are needed and performing your tasks to the best of your ability, you should have no trouble landing a travel nursing contract extension. As with everything in the world of travel healthcare, timing is everything. You should approach your recruiter about an extension anywhere between 4 and 6 weeks before your initial assignment ends. They will take everything from there and keep you informed of the process.
Why Should I Consider a Travel Nurse Contract Extension?
There are several important variables you should keep in mind when considering an extension. First and foremost, it’s much easier to remain where you are. You’re already comfortable with the area, you know the hospital policy and procedures, and you don’t have to go through compliance again. Second, you don’t have to stress about finding a new job. When you sign a new travel nursing contract, you have to start completely over. For the sake of your sanity, sometimes it’s better to stay put rather than moving on to a new assignment. Third, your pay will most likely stay the same. It’s important to note that there are occasions where your pay can be raised or lowered at the facility’s discretion. There are pros and cons to both, however it’s ultimately up to you and what best fits your needs.
Taxes and Travel Nurse Contract Extensions
While this may seem obvious, per the IRS, as a travel nurse you cannot stay in one location for longer than a year. Most hospital systems do not allow for travelers to remain in their facilities for that long. However, if you find yourself approaching that tenure, you risk losing your tax-free stipends and having your wages fully taxed. Working for too long in the same area can ultimately result in your tax home being moved to the hospital’s location. Be mindful of the tax implications that come with travel nursing contract extensions.
Travel nurse contract extensions are great for nurses wanting to stay a little longer at their assignments. SQUAD Medical Staffing has dedicated recruiters available 24/7 that can help you secure an extension in no time!