$200,000 to travel to Iraq - page 2

I ran inot a travel nurse who claims she is getting calls from travel nurse agencies to go to Iraq for one year and they will pay her $200000. Are any of you doing this or know anyone who is?? ... Read More

  1. by   SCGreywolf
    Sorry, haven't posted in awhile. Travel nursing is going thru the same contractions as the rest of the economy. As soon as you get some experience under your belt start inquiring. The best salaries come from the 'emergent' staffing agencies such as Nurse Choice (my preference) and Fastaff. Usually the assignments paying the most are in the non-compact states because of the limited supply of nurses. You can view hourly pay on Nurse Choice's website but Fastaff doesn't offer this option. Both agencies usually contract for 48 hours a week and 8-13 weeks. Many of the travel agencies brag about their high pay but when all is said and done, they include your housing cost and travel, etc. Best thing I can tell you is LOOK AT THE BOTTOM LINE. Be careful of Strike nursing as the promises do not meet the talk.

    As far as the overseas assignments are concerned, there are a few things to consider:
    1. If you are female, stay OUT of the middle East except for Quatar and UAE. Even Saudi is getting rough.
    2. Male or Female......if you are not ex-combat military, do not take assignments in Iraq or Afganistan. You have a high likelihood of not coming back. Blackwater is the company that offered me the assignment in Iraq and the only reason I considered it is because I spent 10 years in the Army as a A-team medic in combat situations. My stint in Columbia for DOD was for one year and I averaged lead flying around me about every 10-12 days. Believe me, that is not a sound I ever want to hear again. There is no dollars high enough.....I'm too old and no longer consider myself immortal. My wife would not like this old bod full of holes or additional scars.
    Good luck. Travel nursing can be heaven or hell....it's what you make of it.
    The Wolf
  2. by   d_downer
    Thank you soo much for the information! It's really going to help me out. I really appreciate it. I am definately not ex-combat ready, though at the time I would have been if I could have. Now though, I think I would like to keep myself in as many working pieces as possible.
  3. by   SCGreywolf
    [
    Are you speculating or have you actually done an assignment there or something similar in that area? I would rather have actual facts than heresay.[/quote]

    No, I never spent any time in the sandbox. I have taken contracts for DOD and the State Department and ALL of them put me in situations that I would rather have avoided. I have been in Columbia, Indonesia, a backwater part of Thailand and a short (thank goodness) stint in Pakistan. In every one of those, I have had situations that made me wonder if I would ever see the US again. Pick and choose wisely, my friend.
  4. by   d_downer
    I went to the airforce right out of high school and at my 3 year mark or so, I seriously thought of cross training into sat ops or EOD. I am glad I didn't now. But I had always wanted to be as close to the hot spots as I could get, but in the back of my mind, I thought I may not like it as much as I thought I would down the road. I decided to get out at my 4 year mark and have no desire to be in the hot spots now...I agree that the money isn't worth it if you don't get to come back and enjoy it.
    Thanks so much!
    dd
  5. by   Gabriel13
    To the Wolf-
    Hello! You seem to know a lot about travel nursing and where it's at currently. This is a bit tangential to the original thread, but I followed it to your posts. I'm an RN with about 18mos experience in, all ER, and worked as an ER medic for 3 years, and years more of prehospital experience. I'm interested if you could proffer some advice to me. I'm looking for travel assignments in he SW USA, specifically Arizona and the Greater Phoenix area. I've been in touch with a couple agents. What should I look and ask for in a contract, and what can I reasonably expect from it? What would be a good range to ask for in hourly pay? Where are the regions/agencies/states (in all US) that you can earn the most coin? I would much appreciate any advice you could offer me. Also, have you or anyone you know worked for the federal government's Indian Health Services? What has your (or others you know) said about the experience?
  6. by   scmadm
    I have worked a couple of short stints in the hospitals run by the IHS. The one at Rosebud, SD and the clinic at Lame Deer, MT.

    The best advice I can give new nurses with BSNs is this....If you don't mind living in a remote rural setting in the US, then really consider becoming a nurse for the Public Health Service, Commission Corp and then working for the IHS. You would basically be a commissioned officer in the PHS and can work anywhere a federal nurse is needed. Beside the few nursing jobs with the FDA, most jobs I know of are with the Federal Prison system and the IHS.

    Benefits:

    -Tax free housing allowance
    -decent base salary that goes up with every year and pay grade increase. (Google PHS Commission corp payscale)
    -no overseas deployments. You can be deployed(sent) to a natural disater site like Katrina but only for 2 weeks at a time. I believe you can voluteer for longer periods if you want.
    -Retire like the military does. 1/2 pay after 20years, starting when you retire, not when you reach 65-67 years old. Free healthcare also. Now...think about this....if you are 23years old now. Where will you be in 20 years? Working for the same hospital and looking forward to ANOTHER 20 years before you can retire with a $2000/month retirement that YOU have to pay for healthcare? OR work for the IHS or prison system as a CC nurse, retire and draw a $3000-4000/month retirement at age 43 with free healthcare? The CC will pay for additional degrees as well. You have to take a commission before you turn 44. I found out too late. Of course as a CC nurse you can move and transfer to any place federal nurses are used and not lose a dime or any time. You may have a harder time moving the further up the pay scale you go, but it's still doable. For more info google "PHS Commission Corp".
  7. by   SCGreywolf
    Sorry, Don't get on here much lately. You have the answer to your question about IHS in the post immediately following yours. As far as travel nursing is concerned, you really have to ask yourself a few questions.
    1. Can you handle being away from everything you know including people for at least 4 months at a time? I know they promise that you can 'get away' but do you realize that you will be totally alone in a strange city for most likely 4 months? No resources, no late night burger runs with your bud, not even a quick beer. Think about it...that does in more travel nurses than you realize.
    2. How well do you adapt to new rules? Every hospital has different rules and you will only have a day or two to learn them and be ready to change. How well do you adapt to change in yout personal environment?

    There's very little satisfaction in money itself if you don't enjoy something that you are doing.

    That being said, the most money for travelers (as far as I know) is being paid in the California and New York markets. I repeat that if you are willing to work and you are primarily after money, take a contract in California for 36 hours or 48 if you can get it then sign up for the daily agencies for your OT. That way, if you're totally whipped after 48 hours you just don't answer the phone. You can do it.....I made 187K in 2009, worked my butt off for 9 months now sitting back and working 3 nights a week and snowboarding and skiing a lot. Planning on spending some of the money on a trip to Madagascar and spending a month there then coming back thru Algiers, Casablanca and Corsica. Frankly I am at the age where money just flat isn't the motivator it used to be.

    Can't really speak to the Arizona market except to say that usually (Lord, I hate using that word) Pheonix needs all the nurses it can get. I don't think I would take a contract there unless I was getting at least 33-36 per hour plus housing. If you want to make money, go with Fastaff or Nurse Choice and be ready to move out within a week or two. Their contracts are usually (there I go again) 8-10 weeks and the housing is Extended Stay Hotels, not apartments. If you take a contract that supplies an apartment, be prepared to be disappointed. It will be the cheapest they can find on the market....budget, don't you know,,,,,,,,,,,,
    The Wolf
    Last edit by SCGreywolf on Mar 28, '10
  8. by   DriBak
    I am ex-Infantry with combat experience and would like to find an assignment in Iraq or Afghanistan, I cannot find a link that is not hot linked to bogus sites or sires that want a fee, who is actively hiring and sending nurses to these locations?
  9. by   SCGreywolf
    Try Halliburton first, then Blackwater. If you are BSN, you should try the Department of State for an embassy assignment. DOD has occasional contracts in some VERY remote places as well as some civilian contracts for bases in the ME. They don't pay like they used to but it's still good money when you consider the tax advantages. I'm actually considering an offered contract right now thru DOD for the Pacific islands (Marianas). It will only pay about 85K a year but travel, food and housing are taken care of in the contract. Might be good to lay on a beach for awhile. Being ex-military, you might try joining the VFW post in Washington called 'China in exile". It's used as kind of a clearing house for military type positions (NOT as a mercenary hiring joint) such as bodyguards and medical personnel.
    Good luck. Look at every opportunity (and behind every door)
    You also can try civiliancontractorjobs.com
    The Wolf
  10. by   DriBak
    Thanks Wolf, Haliburton as well as Xe (formerly BW) are hiring Nurse Pracs and PA's as well as EMT-P, did not see any openings for "plain" RN's. I am BSN prepared and will check with the Dept. of State.
  11. by   snowbiggie
    Quote from SCGreywolf
    Try Halliburton first, then Blackwater. If you are BSN, you should try the Department of State for an embassy assignment. DOD has occasional contracts in some VERY remote places as well as some civilian contracts for bases in the ME. They don't pay like they used to but it's still good money when you consider the tax advantages. I'm actually considering an offered contract right now thru DOD for the Pacific islands (Marianas). It will only pay about 85K a year but travel, food and housing are taken care of in the contract. Might be good to lay on a beach for awhile. Being ex-military, you might try joining the VFW post in Washington called 'China in exile". It's used as kind of a clearing house for military type positions (NOT as a mercenary hiring joint) such as bodyguards and medical personnel.
    Good luck. Look at every opportunity (and behind every door)
    You also can try civiliancontractorjobs.com
    The Wolf
    Wolf, please check your pms!
    thanks!
  12. by   snowbiggie
    Greywolf (and others),

    I've been reading your allnurses posts and you seem like a wealth of excellent traveling knowledge with all of your experience! I was wondering if I could pick you brain on a couple traveling/staff gigs, ask a couple of questions.

    I am an ICU nurse (4 years exp) that has been traveling the last 1.5 years.

    1. Can you recommend some good agencies with good pay/assignments or agencies you have used?? I currently travel with cross country since the start.

    2. Recommendations on how to negotiate higher stipends or wage?

    3. Do you take the high wage/high stipend contracts? Any advice on where to go or how you did it?

    4. Recommendations for areas to go to earn high wages, work lots of overtime?. Looks like experience ICU staff nurses in the bay area make well above $50 an hour but I've heard its crazy impossible to get a job there now.

    Thanks a million for any response and your time!
    Last edit by snowbiggie on Apr 30, '10 : Reason: duplicate
  13. by   puravidaLV
    For all of you that say its to good to be true, it more than likely isn't. I got offered a job 4 years ago to check out tools for 80k/yr. I got in a motorcycle wreck before I could take the job.

    Hazard pay in the private sector is a nice way for some quick money, but unless your ex-military or grew up in during gang warfare you'll come back with some PTSD. Again...the money is nice, yet again...your working in a private sector war zone

close