Confused by it all

  1. Hi,
    I have been offered a job in California as a traveler, the pay is 23.00 hour and 1180 a week for housing. Is this right? the pay sounds low.
    Thanks
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   drpsrn
    That doesn't sound right to me. I haven't been to CA traveling, but I would think they should be quite a bit higher than that. Maybe check with other companies. Others should have access to the same hospitals.
  4. by   rn1233
    Pay rates in Cali depend on location and the unit. The farther south you go, the less the pay rate and vice versa. Although I still think that $23/hr is low, along with a low housing rate. Is the $23/hr including a blended time and half rate? If so, then that's really too low. You should at least be able to get $25/hr and $2000 for housing in critical care, although I would still expect more than that! Call other agencies and compare apples to apples. Be upfront with the recruiters and let them know you are calling other companies! Get exact pay quotes with included benefits and call around for the best offer! Don't settle...the less money you argree to on a contract, the more your recruiter and company make off you! And remember... you are the the nurse, you are the one the working, and you are the one the hospital needs!
  5. by   NurseguyFL
    Quote from ertravelrn
    Hi,
    I have been offered a job in California as a traveler, the pay is 23.00 hour and 1180 a week for housing. Is this right? the pay sounds low.
    Thanks
    According to your post, you will be making $1180 per week (which is $4720 per month), and $23 per hour, which works out to $828 per week. If you'll be doing 3-12s, this computes to a monthly of $3312, for a grand total of $8032. Depending on where you'll be living in California, this is not a lot of money.

    The housing stipend sounds ok, but you still have to be careful because the cost of housing and other expenses depends entirely on where you decide to live. If, for example, you will be living in a so-so part of the San Francisco Bay area, you will be paying around $2000+ per month for a sardine can-sized apartment, that is unfurnished and doesn't include any utilities. This is presuming you will be in the area long enough for a long-term lease (at least one year). If you are going to do a short-term lease, and you require a furnished place that includes all utilities, the monthly cost will be significantly higher. Will you need a car? If you do, it may make more sense to drive your own to the assignment than to rent one. The cheapest car will cost over $800 per month, and you also need to think about the cost of gas. So, you can see how that $4720 can quickly evaporate.

    I also, would not travel to any place in California for $23 an hour. In fact, For $23, I wouldn't travel to any place at all. Not unless the housing and per diem that they are paying is much, much higher than what they are quoting you. The $23 will be taxed, and remember that in California you are required to pay both federal AND state taxes. Plus, the costs of groceries and miscellaneous items are higher in California than in most other states. You need to earn MORE money to compensate for the higher COL, plus have something extra in your pocket at the end of the day to make the travel worthwhile. $23 an hour doesn't cut it in California for an RN. New grads in the lowest paying parts of the state are making more than that! Even in southern California, where the pay is lower, you should be able to get somewhere in the low to mid $30s/hour PLUS housing. Check around with other agencies.
  6. by   ertravelrn
    This is what I understand so far from this employer......He said I would gross 2300 a week, with 1180 being untaxed, the week will be 4 12 hour shifts.
    I have checked with a few other agencies and they offer more an hour, but a substantial amount less for housing.
    I would actually come out ahead to take the 23/hr over the higher salaries, because of taxes.
    Now, can anyone suggest a company that contracts in California, that I can call, that might be better.
  7. by   m_chatelaine
    Yes your hourly rate sounds low, but your living expenses are subject to little or no taxes so in the end you may come ahead. Plus, you also get a living allowance per day,which may be better than an hourly rate. At my place nurses make between 23-36 per hour, but different bonuses, car rentals, and living allowances included. Choose what is best for you. You also may not be able to work in the same place with a different travel company. Check the contract.
  8. by   cruisernurse
    I understand your confusion. The same is happening with me too. I have been offered $20 with a stipend of 1118 wk in stipen. If they pay housing (no travel or car) they pay $25/hr. 36 hour guarentee. I checked housing all day and wow it is high in Ponoma CA. The lowest I found for a furnished apt was $2600. I figure I can work at a hospital a couple of hours from home for $22hour with a stipen of 774/wk and come out about the same and be closer to my family.

    My calculator is worn out trying to figure it all out! By the time I get it figured out the positions are already filled. So now I know I have to commit to something quickly or I will be left unemployed, which I cannot afford!

    Best of luck.
  9. by   ertravelrn
    Cruiser Nurse,
    I am planning on doing my own housing and what I have found so far is extended stay motels. They have kitchenettes in them, and they are around $500/wk in the bay area. So, if I get 1180 week, and I pay 500/wk, I am still getting an extra 680/wk. If I am going to be gone from my family for thirteen weeks, I want the most I can get.

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