How to Leave a Contract the Right Way

by | Aug 8, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

Life is unpredictable.

The nomadic life of travel nurses adds even more chaos to this. At some point in your career, you will likely need to end a contract early for one reason or another. 

There is a right way and a wrong way, use these tips to leave a contract responsibly to encourage a working future for yourself and the agency.


Talk to your recruiter.


Before making any major decisions, reach out to your recruiter to see if you can come to an agreement. Whether it be pay, staffing, work conditions, or an unforeseen personal issue you should always approach your recruiter first.

They have many tools at their disposal and any good recruiter will work hard to make sure your assignment is as successful as possible.


Check your contract

Know your contract inside and out. Does your contract specify a specific shift? Specific unit? Certain patient ratio? If it is written into your contract it should be honored. 

Have you already decided you are cancelling? Some companies have fines and penalties written into your contract if you leave early.

Go over your agreement with a fine-toothed comb before moving forward.

Be Honest

Honesty is always the best policy. You are human, and life happens. Be upfront about your situation with your recruiter and give them a chance to help you out or advocate for you.

Weigh the pros and cons


Most travel nurses eventually will have a nightmare contract. One where everything seems to be going wrong.

The hospital is dangerous and your grandma is sick and your apartment is a dump even though the online listing looked really nice.

Weighing the pros and cons of leaving is a great exercise before making a decision.

I will always advocate for the nurse to do what is best for them. Only you can know what that is. Just keep in mind that leaving a contract early could cause you to be “blacklisted” with the agency, meaning you are no longer eligible for rehire.

In my experience, this is case-by-case and the context of the situation matters. This is why it is always a good idea to first reach out to your recruiter and tell them what is going on.

If you are leaving a hospital due to unsafe working conditions or hostile staff, please leave a review of the hospital in our database to ensure future nurses don’t suffer the same fate.


I just found out that my coworker is making $xx.xx more than me per week. Will my company match that pay?


If you find out that others are making considerably more than you, reach out to your recruiter. They will likely want to see some sort of proof (like that company’s agreement stating pay). If they refuse to match, I have no doubt the higher paying company would be more than happy to sign you up at the new rate.