Find your own contract...make more money

  1. 1
    I came across an agency online that says if you find your own hospital contract they would take care of everything else and you would get 80% of the bill rate. Has anyone ever heard this type of thing? If I had the connections to secure my own contract I would collect 100% of the bill rate and be an indepedent contractor.
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 12 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    Before the travel industry contracted 50 percent during the economic downturn, the industry average gross profit margin was 22 percent. That means many agencies had an even lower profit margin. So that so-called 80-20 plan, or partnerships is marketing baloney. I always have a good laugh when I see that agency's advertisements. Opening a new hospital for an agency means that they will be making lots more money placing other travelers there while you get nothing for helping them.

    I'm all for independent contracting, and I have been doing it exclusively for the last 8 years. You get to keep the entire profit margin for yourself, increasing your pay tremendously. However, that is not for everyone, and there is another way to do what that agency is suggesting. Basically, it is either going to a hospital you have worked before and they want you back, or cold calling the manager and inquiring about the possibility of a travel assignment (which works better if you happen to know they are already looking for a traveler) - that usually turns into an interview on the spot. Now you have a lot of leverage. If you have a favorite agency that already treats you well, they often can obtain a contract with that hospital based on the manager wanting you, and should reward you by paying you even better than previously.

    Alternatively, once you have that "in", call HR and ask them what agencies they have existing contracts with. Then you can negotiate with those agencies and play them off against each other from a position of strength. After all, you are handing them approximately $5,000 gross profit on a platter (what agencies typically make on a 13 week assignment).

    By the way, that is exactly the scenario it takes to do the contract independently. Once they want you, you have leverage with HR to do your own contract. You need to have a contract written, get insurance, and a few other ducks in a row (basically presenting yourself as any other agency), but it is not especially difficult. Just requires a certain inclination, and some set up.
    TraumaRN21, scarcity21, and BARNgirl like this.
  4. 1
    Quote from NedRN
    Before the travel industry contracted 50 percent during the economic downturn, the industry average gross profit margin was 22 percent. That means many agencies had an even lower profit margin. So that so-called 80-20 plan, or partnerships is marketing baloney. I always have a good laugh when I see that agency's advertisements. Opening a new hospital for an agency means that they will be making lots more money placing other travelers there while you get nothing for helping them.

    I'm all for independent contracting, and I have been doing it exclusively for the last 8 years. You get to keep the entire profit margin for yourself, increasing your pay tremendously. However, that is not for everyone, and there is another way to do what that agency is suggesting. Basically, it is either going to a hospital you have worked before and they want you back, or cold calling the manager and inquiring about the possibility of a travel assignment (which works better if you happen to know they are already looking for a traveler) - that usually turns into an interview on the spot. Now you have a lot of leverage. If you have a favorite agency that already treats you well, they often can obtain a contract with that hospital based on the manager wanting you, and should reward you by paying you even better than previously.

    Alternatively, once you have that "in", call HR and ask them what agencies they have existing contracts with. Then you can negotiate with those agencies and play them off against each other from a position of strength. After all, you are handing them approximately $5,000 gross profit on a platter (what agencies typically make on a 13 week assignment).

    By the way, that is exactly the scenario it takes to do the contract independently. Once they want you, you have leverage with HR to do your own contract. You need to have a contract written, get insurance, and a few other ducks in a row (basically presenting yourself as any other agency), but it is not especially difficult. Just requires a certain inclination, and some set up.
    Very good information. Thanks for sharing.
    fawnsternurse likes this.
  5. 0
    @NEDRN...is there a way I can email you personally? I have a few questions about travel nursing and private contracts?
  6. 1
    If you have the required number of posts, you can message by clicking on my name. Is there a good reason why it needs to be a private conversation? The benefit of a public forum is that others can learn from thread, and chime in with additional information or followup questions.
    nitengale166 likes this.
  7. 0
    What is a pay rate range that you should offer, that will set you apart from the other companies that are already established at the hospital. Or do you have a good chance of being paid what they are being paid or how low should you go.

    So, what Im reading is, I can represent myself and be a one person agency (so to speak) and cut out the middle man. After lining my ducks up, insurance, written contracts, etc.

    Im sure it varies but which hospitals do you find this to be more effective, larger trauma centers or smaller community hospitals or anywhere in between?
  8. 0
    Why would you want to set yourself apart from other agencies by a lower price? Don't undersell your services. Other agencies may be concerned with getting a lot of travelers at one hospital and need a competitive bill rate, you are concerned about only one - yourself. I'm usually the highest billing agency at the hospitals I work at because I am selling something of value, myself. Depending on your specialty and skills, you may have to have a competitive bill rate to land a contract. HR will not be shy about telling you the average bill rate that they pay agencies and that is a good starting point for negotiation either way you need to go.

    I've gotten contracts at large trauma centers and community hospitals. Your best bet starting out is to try for a hospital you've already worked at who likes you and will "rehire" you. Your ideal hospital will be one that doesn't use a lot of travelers and is willing to take on another vendor just to get one important traveler - like the one the manager already has worked with.
  9. 0
    Sounds good , thank you
  10. 0
    "By the way, that is exactly the scenario it takes to do the contract independently. Once they want you, you have leverage with HR to do your own contract. You need to have a contract written, get insurance, and a few other ducks in a row (basically presenting yourself as any other agency), but it is not especially difficult. Just requires a certain inclination, and some set up."

    NedRN, could you please expand on this? Thank you!
  11. 0
    If you google my screen name and independent nurses, you should be able to find an FAQ I wrote with pretty much everything I know about the subject - I've managed my own agency since 2004 for the primary purpose of cutting out the middleman (or woman). If you have specific questions, I'll be happy to answer them here, but discribing all the facets of starting your own agency is a bit much for a forum reply.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top