Do travel agencies lowball you? Difference between staff/agency nurse pay?

  1. Hi guys!

    I'm been in RN in Canada for 2 years (medsurg). I'm traveling to NY to work, I just got licensed. My agency is talking about jobs that pay $25-27 an hour. I suspected that was a bit low, and a poster named Suzanne was kind enough to inform me that starting wage for a staff RN in NYC was $30/h.

    Is there a difference in the pay of a staff nurse and an agency nurse? I would've thought an agency nurse would be paid higher, if anything! Does the agency try to lowball you?

    I don't mind working for $27/h...I just don't want to be taken for a fool and working for less than the standard!

    Thanks for any thoughts...
    ~Kait

    P.S. If you know of websites to get info on hourly rates by state or city, I'd love to know, too!
    •  
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   zipporah
    agency usually gets paid more because you are starting with no orientation, you just hit the floor and go and you will be cut if they can cut you. Then comes travelers who have their shifts guarenteed, get some orientation and are on contract for 13 weeks or whatever so get oriented and become like staff if they extend. I don't know what canadiens get paid as nurses so I can't factor that in. Newer US nurses make money as travelers, someone like me with over 20 years doesn't make appreciably more but it is still a good life.
  4. by   mytoon38
    Kait,

    I was just working as a travel nurse in Philadelphia. My travel agency paid me 35.00 an hour plus paid 100% for a 2 bedroom private apt. me (I travel with my hubby and 12 year old daughter and 5 Chihuahua's) and they paid 100% of all my utilities including cable with HBO! I also had free health insurance but the insurance wasn't very good.

    I was told by a friend that works as a recruiter for a travel nurse agency that the bill rate for a RN is between 65-80 an hour depending on speciatly and area you are in. Some agencies keep more money than they give you, and some try and pass on the money to their hard-working Nurses!

    Good Luck!
  5. by   NurseguyFL
    The answer to your question is 'yes'. Some of them will---if you let them. These people are in business to make money, and not all of them are reputable. Don't be too quick to sign any contract, no matter how good it may appear. Look around and talk to several of them to get an idea of what rates and benefits are available, then go with the one that best suits your needs. A good way to get offers is to post your resume on a site like Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com. In about a week your voicemail and e-mail will be jammed with offers from recruiters.
  6. by   BrandyNP
    Quote from Kait
    Hi guys!

    I'm been in RN in Canada for 2 years (medsurg). I'm traveling to NY to work, I just got licensed. My agency is talking about jobs that pay $25-27 an hour. I suspected that was a bit low, and a poster named Suzanne was kind enough to inform me that starting wage for a staff RN in NYC was $30/h.

    Is there a difference in the pay of a staff nurse and an agency nurse? I would've thought an agency nurse would be paid higher, if anything! Does the agency try to lowball you?

    I don't mind working for $27/h...I just don't want to be taken for a fool and working for less than the standard!

    Thanks for any thoughts...
    ~Kait

    P.S. If you know of websites to get info on hourly rates by state or city, I'd love to know, too!
    I worked in Brooklyn, NY (Lutheran Medical Center) a few years ago as an RN for a travel agency. I was paid $30 per hour for the night shift (that was with shift differentials). My apartment (1 bedroom furnished) was $2,000 per month and the agency would only cover $1,500 of it, so I was having to pay $500. One day I ran into a LVN from another travel company. Lo and behold, she made $26 per hour and she wasn't having to pay a dime towards her apartment! SHOP AROUND, I'm still kicking myself because I didn't. Although, I wouldn't trade my NYC experience for anything!
  7. by   Kait
    Thanks for the advice, guys!

    The last time I talked to my agency, they talked about a job at the same hospital for $30/h. Hmmm...! (this was after I'd politely expressed surprise at $25).

    The thing is, this company (CCTC) staffs the hospital I'm interested in working at (Columbia-Presbyterian). I haven't heard the greatest things about CCTC either, but my recruiter SEEMS decent (although I know it's her job to make $ for the company). I have_ been shopping around, but a lot don't do NYC and the ones that do have comparable offers but not with the hospital I want. So...I think I'll be going with them. I figure as a rookie I'll miss out on something and learn some things the hard way. I know just to have EVERYTHING in the contract!

    Thanks again...

    Kait
  8. by   LadyNASDAQ
    Quote from Kait
    Hi guys!

    I'm been in RN in Canada for 2 years (medsurg). I'm traveling to NY to work, I just got licensed. My agency is talking about jobs that pay $25-27 an hour. I suspected that was a bit low, and a poster named Suzanne was kind enough to inform me that starting wage for a staff RN in NYC was $30/h.

    Is there a difference in the pay of a staff nurse and an agency nurse? I would've thought an agency nurse would be paid higher, if anything! Does the agency try to lowball you?

    I don't mind working for $27/h...I just don't want to be taken for a fool and working for less than the standard!

    Thanks for any thoughts...
    ~Kait

    P.S. If you know of websites to get info on hourly rates by state or city, I'd love to know, too!

    This is so typical. This is why I hate the whole Travel Nurse Industry. They gauge the heck out of you. You'd do so much better working local agency contracted and supply your own housing and write offs at tax time will reinburse you. A contract with a guarantee and you can call the shots. Also, let me warn you about something...
    if you don't like your situation, you're stuck with travel company. With local agency you can break a contract without any retaliation in dollars. The worst you could face is leaving your housing you provided earlier and there's no penalty there.

close