Community Stories

Essential tips for professionals using ShiftKey

With the ShiftKey app, you’re well on your way to working on your terms. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the app every time you use it.

Nurses with patient

Getting started

You’ll need to complete a few legal requirements, including uploading state-required credentials, passing a drug screen and completing a national background check. Then you can bid on PRN shifts using the ShiftKey app. Once completed, your credentials will be housed on the app so facilities can see them whenever they wish. That gives you the ability to request shifts you find via ShiftKey without needing to share your credentials each time you connect with a new facility. The app will even notify you when your credentials need to be renewed, which makes it easier to manage that process!

Required information for credential verification:

  1. Your license number and the state(s) you’re licensed in.
  2. Your Tax Identification Number (i.e., SSN or EIN) for IRS Form W-9.
  3. Choose how you want to be paid. Select ShiftKey Wallet to get access to your funds as soon as your invoice is approved and enjoy other perks, or add your bank information if you want to be paid via direct deposit.
  4. A government-issued photo ID.
  5. A current CPR card (course completed within the past two years).
  6. A current TB test (taken within the past 12 months) or TB questionnaire.

If you practice in a state with state-specific requirements, you’ll need to upload the requested documents. You’ll also have the option to upload documents required by some facilities (e.g., vaccinations and specialized training certifications). If you choose not to, you won’t see PRN shifts posted by those facilities.

How to speed up the credential verification process

Once you submit your documents, our credentialing team will verify them. Here’s a list of tips to help you avoid the most common errors, which will help our team verify your credentials as quickly as possible.

  • Make sure that the name you use on the ShiftKey app matches the name on your government-issued photo ID. (For example, if your married name is on your ID, you should use your married name for your ShiftKey app profile.)
  • Make sure every photo you upload is clear and contains the entire document — incomplete or blurry images cannot be accepted. Once you have uploaded the image, double-check the uploaded file to be sure that it’s the right one. (You’d be surprised how often the wrong photo gets uploaded by mistake, and it only takes a moment to check!)
  • Be sure to fill out IRS Form W-9. This form is required for all independent professionals using the ShiftKey app.
  • Schedule and complete your drug screen and background check(s) as soon as possible. Drug screens usually take between two to three days and the background check conducted by our vendor Checkr takes approximately three to five days, but sometimes they can take longer. State-required background check times vary by state and type.

How to bid on a shift

On the ShiftKey platform, you choose your rate. Every shift has a suggested rate, and you can bid on the shift at that rate or a different rate.

Certain shift requests can be added to your schedule in seconds. These shifts display an Instant Assign shift badge () and requests are immediately accepted by facilities.

How to increase your chances of getting a shift request accepted

If it’s your first time using the ShiftKey app, you may find it’s different from other apps. The ShiftKey app is a marketplace that facilities and independent professionals use to find each other. That means many professionals may also request the PRN shift you want, but only one request can be accepted. Bidding on multiple shifts during the same shift time can increase your chances of having a shift request accepted.

Independent professionals new to the ShiftKey app have found bidding on five or more shifts to be helpful, but that can vary based on location or demand.

You can feel good about requesting as many shifts as you want because you cannot be double-booked through the app! Once a facility accepts your request, the app will automatically cancel any conflicting requests.

The top four tips for unlocking more shifts:

  1. Make sure you’ve uploaded all facility documents. That’s the only way to see shifts at facilities that require them.
  2. Increase the distance you’re willing to travel. On the ShiftKey app, you can set the distance you’re willing to travel for each shift. If you’re not having luck in your immediate area, increasing that distance will let you see additional shifts near you.
  3. Enable push, SMS and email notifications. Sometimes, having a shift request accepted is a matter of timing, and notifications help ensure you know what you need to know. ShiftKey notifications will also alert you to new shift opportunities, keep you informed about your credentials and so much more.
  4. Consider working when there’s high demand. Because PRN shifts are as needed, the weekends and holidays are usually the times of highest demand and give you the greatest opportunity for getting your PRN shift requests accepted.

How to get paid

To get paid, you’ll need to submit an invoice for each PRN shift you complete. The ShiftKey app makes this process super simple, but the way you do it can vary by facility.

Location Services

For the ultimate ease, you can use the ShiftKey app to track your billable hours by turning on Location Services. The app will also verify you were onsite during your shift. (Location Services aren’t available everywhere yet, so check with your facility.) If you have questions, head to the Location Services FAQ.

Digital Signature

Digital Signature is another convenient option for tracking your billable hours. With Digital Signature, all you need to do is have an authorized facility staff member sign your device to verify your shift before you leave the facility. Visit the Digital Signature FAQ if you have any questions.

Best practices brought to you by ShiftKey power users

Using the ShiftKey app means that you have the opportunity to forge relationships with schedulers and administrators in many facilities. Here are some best practices from long-time users:

Arrive at the facility early, especially if it’s your first time there. Every facility is different, so give yourself enough time to find parking, orient yourself to the floor, find supplies, meet the nurse on duty and make other preparations.

Make sure your phone is ready to go. Charge your phone and bring it with you to your shifts. If you’re using Location Services, keep your phone on and the ShiftKey app running in the background. (If you force close the app, it will disconnect you from Location Services.)

Connect with the facility’s schedulers. If they’re on duty, make sure you introduce yourself to the scheduler. That will make it easier for them to remember you next time you request a shift at their facility.

Save your favorite facilities. If you really liked working at a facility, use the app to make them a favorite so you can easily see their available PRN shifts. All you have to do is tap the 💚 on the shift badge.

If you need to cancel, provide as much notice as possible. Life happens, and sometimes that means you’ll need to cancel at the last minute. But facilities tend to favor professionals who show up for their scheduled shifts, as they consider those professionals to be reliable and dependable.

Use the ShiftKey app to create the lifestyle you want. One of the top perks independent professionals enjoy is flexibility. With ShiftKey, you can work wherever you’re licensed, in over 40 states. If you’re looking for more inspiration, see how six independent professionals used ShiftKey to transform their lives.

Remember: When you start something new, it takes time to build momentum

The ShiftKey platform isn’t an agency. It’s a marketplace that allows you to connect directly with facilities in your area so that you can work where you like. It also empowers you to choose your rate so that you can earn what you deserve.

When you first start, you’re new to the facilities using the platform. That means having a shift request accepted can be a bit of a numbers game, as others who may be more established on the platform could be bidding on the same shift. If you want to increase your odds, request multiple shifts at the same time (it can sometimes take about five requests before one is accepted) and follow the best practices when you’re booked. With persistence, follow-through and a willingness to try new facilities, you’ll start to build your network. Facilities need independent professionals they can count on, and you can be one of them.

Get your questions answered

If you have any questions about using the ShiftKey app, send us a message. We’re here to help!

Talk to Support