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When to Turn Down an Assignment (and When to Accept!)

Jul 13, 2022 | Allied Healthcare, Travel Nursing



When you work as a healthcare traveler, it’s important to remember why there is such a demand for temporary staffing –patients need care and facilities need the staff.

The demand for healthcare services continues to rise, yet according to the American Hospital Association, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals nationwide have lost more than 94,000 healthcare professionals. This puts our nation in a critical shortage of healthcare workers, thus increasing the demand for temporary travel opportunities.

Despite the increase in demand, at LRS Healthcare we are advocating for our travelers and being particular in the facilities we work with to do our best to find a balance between reasonable on-the-job expectations, as well as fair treatment and pay. When you’re upfront with your recruiter about your level of interest in a job prior to being submitted, you’re less likely to receive an offer that doesn’t meet your expectations.

That said, as a traveler, you’re in control of the assignments you take. The current market is changing as there are fewer crisis rates available and facilities are starting to reinstate interviews as part of their hiring process.


So, when is it appropriate to turn down a job offer, and when should you accept?

Here are some things to keep in mind before accepting your next travel assignment. Along with how to recognize when you’ve received a “great” offer, “bad” offer, or when there’s room to negotiate.

When to Turn Down an Assignment (and When to Accept!)


Recognizing when to turn down a job offer.

As your staffing partner, it’s our job to advocate on your behalf. We do our best to position you in the best light so you can receive the best offer in return. Sometimes the offers that come back are not always the most enticing. Although it’s our role to share all your options with you so you have the information you need to make the decision that is best for you.

Receiving a job offer is exciting, especially when it’s in your dream destination. Keep in mind not all job offers are created equally. You may have received a lousy offer if:

  • The job description inaccurately represents the daily responsibilities
  • The facility refuses to approve your minimal request for time off
  • The offer returned is for a different shift than what was initially posted
  • The pay is substantially less than what was promoted or discussed


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Reasons to keep looking for the right travel assignment:

  • If the dates of the contract conflict with a personal event that requires substantial time off
  • If you’re not confident in your ability to complete the contract in full
  • If the facility or work environment is deemed unsafe
  • If you do not have the skills or knowledge to do the job
  • If reasonable housing is not available
  • If your request for minimal time off is not approved (fewer than 5 days over 13 weeks)


If for any reason you’re interested but hesitant in accepting, ask your recruiter if they might be able to make a reasonable counter on your behalf. If you really need the 3 days off that you requested, it might not be a deal breaker. The hiring manager might need a little more persuading.


“What do I do if I receive a lousy job offer?”

Open communication is key. Be upfront and honest with your recruiter, and with the facility during the interview if it doesn’t sound like the best fit. The sooner all parties are aware that the job doesn’t feel right, the quicker your recruiter can pivot to find you the RIGHT fit.

It also prevents time spent on the facility making an offer, receiving your denial, and having to start from scratch. They can quickly pivot and move onto the next qualified candidate.

When to Turn Down an Assignment (and When to Accept!)


When you should accept a job offer.

As your partner, we are rooting for you to get the job! We want you to get the highest pay, in the best location with the shift and start date of your choice. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work  that way.

Some of the best offers we receive from our clients meet 3 out of 4 of the traveler’s preferences. Be flexible and have an open dialogue with your recruiter on what you’re willing to flex on. If your recruiter can get you an offer in the city of your choice, with great pay and your ideal start date, consider compromising on the working evenings or nights.


How to recognize a great offer, and when to accept:

  • If the job is in your dream city, but the shift isn’t ideal – ACCEPT
  • If the pay is above average, but the city isn’t your first pick – ACCEPT
  • If the job and pay are great, but the shift is your last choice – ACCEPT
  • If 3 out of 4 of your preferences are met (Pay, Shift, Location, Start Date) – ACCEPT


Determining when to accept and when to reject offers can be stressful. If you’re on the fence about an offer you received, be transparent with your recruiter and tell them what your hesitation is so we can work together on finding you, and the facility, the best fit for the job.


When to Turn Down an Assignment (and When to Accept!)