Travel Nurse Practitioner Jobs

  1. 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!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   lannisz
    Hi,

    I am currently doing a Locum Tenens position (i.e, Travel) as a nurse practitioner. I have been an FNP for 3 years and have experience with all ages. My current position is covering for an NP on maternity leave for 3 months. This has been a great experience: The staff are thrilled to have another provider as they have been short handed for awhile, and the patients are grateful as well. I am paid a higher hourly wage than a perm position, and they pay my travel and housing as well. I plan to continue doing Locums work. I enjoy the variety and am well paid. I see my husband on the weekends as I am 4 hrs away from home.
    I would not recc doing this as a new grad, as you are expected to hit the ground running and see a full pt load from day 1. You need your experience to fall back on. There will always be new things at every assignment since every clinic has different paperwork and procedures. So get a few years exp as an NP before trying travel, also, have a broad range of nursing exp as well.
    Hope this helps!
  4. by   Christen, ANP
    Sorry to bust in on your thread, but...I've been thinking of doing some locum tenens after I get a bit of experience, and have been doing a bit of research. Is there any particular company that is preferred? How do you find out about positions?

    Thank ya!
  5. by   emtneel
    I basically started out as a new grad doing locum tenens. (I had only had 3 months experience in Anesthesia before that) As a NP you are expected to hit the ground running no matter what job you start and usually only get a day or two of orientation as it is, so it is a little harder to find jobs as a new grad but i get multiple calls daily from recruiters calling about jobs, so people are desperate for midlevels. Obviously you need to ask about the patient load, I personally dont want to see 50-100 pts/day whether I am a new grad or not.
    I have worked in MA, NM, TX, CA and love it!
    I have done mostly UC and ER, but am doing Pediatric primary care now.
    I will try to post more later, but feel free to ask any questions and I will try to answer.
    I also have a few posts about my experiences on here as well if you search for them.
    Neelia
  6. by   emtneel
    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
    advancepractice.com
    aureusmedical.com
    comphealth.com
    staffcare.com
    indeed.com

    Also posting your resume/info on linkedin.com and you should get calls that way.

    Let me know if you want more info.
  7. by   jason_np
    I would also look into locum tenens nurse practitioner jobs through Barton Associates (www.bartonassociates.com). I've had good luck and they have a rapidly growing NP locum tenens department...

    Just my 2 cents...
  8. by   zenman
    I do locums also, straight out of school. So far, I've just been in New Mexico and may not leave this state. I've been extended twice at current job.
  9. by   rafodello
    I just read your reply, i am a FNP , who has considered traveling. This is the most information that i have received. Thank you. I will begin my search.

    Rafaela
    Quote from emtneel
    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
    advancepractice.com
    aureusmedical.com
    comphealth.com
    staffcare.com
    indeed.com

    Also posting your resume/info on linkedin.com and you should get calls that way.

    Let me know if you want more info.
  10. by   NPskywalker
    I really want to do locum tenens after I graduate in May 2015. I've been told by NPs (who have never done locum tenens) that it is a bad idea to do it as a new grad and better to get at least a year of experience in a normal NP job. I am feeling discouraged by that, but I am still hopeful that I can do locum tenens as a new grad if I apply for a long assignment (6+ months to a year).
    Can anyone tell me which agencies they had success with as a new grad?
    And if I should only try applying to 6+ month-1 year assignments because I would be a new grad?
    Thanks!
  11. by   Ashley.Hunter16
    Hi All,
    I see this thread is from awhile ago but hoping to re-open it! I have worked as a hospice/palliative care RN for the past 5 years in Brooklyn NY and will soon graduate (Dec 16) from a primary care adult/geriatric NP program. My husband is from Ca and we plan to move out west (CA, WA but mostly thinking OR). My husband works for film industry and is able to bank about a year of health insurance before we go. We have a young toddler and hope to have another kid during our move. We plan to drive across country in our camper for a few months. Now I am thinking about doing a longer trip and working as an NP along the way. Or alternatively trying to get travel assignments so I can explore different places in OR/WA. Another option would be to take a travel assignment a hospice RN before we get to the West Coast.
    Hopefully I can find a job as an NP in NY for a few months before we go just so I can start in on that learning curve

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  12. by   Psychcns
    Licensing can take a while. OR is Indep practice. I just worked there as a psych np and had a good experience. I work mainly for staff care. Had one assignment with rhino which went well. I intend to take a job with Barton in the future. Maybe call one of the companies and start talking to recruiters. They will want to know dates you are available and they can help with licensing.
  13. by   travelNP
    It may be a good option to work for government traveling assignments so you can just use one license instead of applying for multiple ones. Depends on the time frame you are looking to stay in each state as well.
    Last edit by AN Admin Team on Apr 12, '16
  14. by   csummers162000
    is there an agency that does mostly government assignments? I am interested in working in the VA system.

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