Quote from emmylou781
I am currently half way through my FNP program and only have 1 year left. I have never worked outside of my hometown and during a recent vacation, started to think how nice it might be to temporarily work somewhere else, while maintaining my home base. So, I was wondering what people have experienced regarding travel nurse practitioner work? Have the assignments been back breaking? What is the pay like? Are the locations desirable? Length of assignments? Basically, any and all information would be appreciated! Also, is it unrealistic to try to do travel NP work as a new grad? Thanks!
I started traveling because it is hard to find work in Colorado, as they have an overabundance of midlevels most likely due to the schools there.
It was the best decision I could have made. It really allows you to work someplace and not have to get involved in the politics of the organization. It also allows you to see how management behaves and whether you would want to work in the environment or not.
None of my jobs have been back breaking, sometimes i've seen so few patients (a few) in a day that I wonder how they can pay me! When I worked ER in NM I did work 12+ hours without a break, just took bites of sandwich between patients while charting, but was only 3-4 days/week and I loved it so..
Pay is good, you might think WOW i'm getting paid so much more BUT you need to consider you are not getting vacation paid, you have to buy your own private health insurance (which can be expensive, i'm paying $100/month with $7500 deductible that covers basically major medical/hospital only), you don't get any retirement, etc.. The main benefit you get is housing/utilities/internet/cable and travel paid. ( and you are not taxed on this benefit as long as you maintain and pay rent at home residence, otherwise you will pay your tax rate on this benefit)
Often you can negotiate to receive the housing money and do your own housing. So far everywhere i have been has been high cost of living so I usually get $1800-2000/month for housing. Often you can find furnished housing for much less but it is much more work to do this yourself but you can usually save a bunch of cash doing this and I find it worth it!
Sometimes, not always, you can get a benefit for using your own car ~$30/day, or you can get a rental car.
As far as rate goes you can get anywhere from $40-50 if the company takes the taxes out and from 50-60 if you have to pay your own taxes. AND you must consider if you have to pay your own taxes (independent contractor) you have to pay the employers share of SS tax which is an extra 7.5% so if they offer you 55, its really like $50 minus taxes take home.
The PRO in all this hassle is that you take deduct a LOT, you can deduct meals and incidentals (and don't have to keep receipts) for each day you are away from home, this is usually $50-70/day you can deduct. YOu can deduct miles driven to/from work at 55cents/mile, and any other expenses, paper/ink/internet/cell if you use these for work. As independent contractor you are basically considered self employed and can deduct anything related to it.
Length of assignment depends on how flexible you are and how flexible the company is. So far the shortest I have done is for 1 week which was at a company where I had previously worked for 7 weeks. The longest was 4.5 months (1 semester) at a University night clinic. Right now I am at my longest assignment (by choice, it wears on you moving long distances every month or so) 5 months and sounds like they want me actually at least 6 months.
MOST of the jobs I have worked Solo, I was kinda scared to do this at first and then turned out loving it.
I think there are PROs and Cons to working solo and with other providers. As a new grad its nice to be able to ask other providers, but you can always ask after the fact if your decision was good, it also forces you to look up and figure stuff out on your own. And as long as you have a MD by phone back up, then you should be okay.
I have found often working with MD's the more people you ask, the more answers you will get... Then it gets frustrating and I often found just looking up the evidence myself is much more satisfying as then i know the answer is evidence based.
Sometimes Docs will also tell you something that is contraindicating to evidence or such and then you have to make a decision if you are going to do what they say even if you know it is contraindicated, or you are going to make your own decision. Its your license, and you need to be able to back yourself up in court if need be...
If you are open to going anywhere, then you should be able to find a job. You may not get the job you want right off, but if you take 1-2 assignments you will then be very marketable and be able to be more choosy about where you go and have more negotiating power.
A good place to look is locumtenens.com
Also posting your resume/info on linkedin.com and you should get calls that way.
Let me know if you want more info.