HELP! 1st time travel help - page 2

by letsgosavelives85

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I'm a critical nurse with 4-5 years experience. Just got my Cali license. I've been working with Travel Nurse Across America. I picked them because they had high ratings on multiple sites. But the examples of pay rates my... Read More


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    Q:What if an agency doesn't have insurance?
    A: find out how much is private health insurance and subtract that from your take home pay.

    Q: What if it is a housing stipend instead of provided housing?
    A: the same... find out how much is housing in the area and subtract that from your take home pay. If you want to pocket the stipend, then don't subtract it from your take home pay...

    Q:then you will not know what your OT is…
    A: ask how much would it be if you do a shift OT… Don’t ever expect to do OT unless it is a guarantee 48hr contract! Always treat OT as extra luxury income and not “oh I would not make end needs with this contract, but it’s ok, I will just pick up OT when I start”

    Disadvantage of using PanTravelers:
    1.) It estimates (state and fed) tax, what if the state doesn't have income tax (you still have fed income tax)? Plus each state's income taxes are different!
    2.) It calculates how much is your net pay per hour with housing stipend factor in. What if the housing in that area is sky high (there is a reason why some areas have higher stipends)? Great! Your net hourly is higher according to PanTravelers! Now show me the math equation on how you might potentially earn less because the housing in that area is expansive!

    If how much your net hourly is more important than what you take home... yeah PanTravelers is great! At the end of the day, I believe that the actual $ amount on your pay check counts…
    I just ask what my take home is if I file single with your insurance. They have their own calculator similar to PanTravelers too! Have them do the math… At the end of the day… compare your take home per week and make your pick! I am not saying my way is the best way to compare… but to me, I felt that it is nice and simple and it takes away the different rates they throw at you! I am sure asking take home has its downfalls too… Do whatever way makes more sense to you.
    Of course, what if your recruiter is dishonest and quotes you a higher take home instead? There are a lot of what ifs… Recruiters tend to slightly underestimate your take home, so they don’t get a phone call few weeks later and getting yell at. They want a long term happy traveler and build up their reputation…
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    Quote from Du3du3
    What is the difference in pay between a hospital nurse and a traveling nurse?
    A traveling nurse usually has experience in her specialty and is contracted through an agency for short assignments to different facilities for approx 12 weeks.

    The hospital nurse is a permanent employee of the hospital itself
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    Quote from bunny8762
    Disadvantage of using PanTravelers:
    1.) It estimates (state and fed) tax, what if the state doesn't have income tax (you still have fed income tax)? Plus each state's income taxes are different!
    2.) It calculates how much is your net pay per hour with housing stipend factor in. What if the housing in that area is sky high (there is a reason why some areas have higher stipends)? Great! Your net hourly is higher according to PanTravelers! Now show me the math equation on how you might potentially earn less because the housing in that area is expansive!
    It is a calculator. There is no way that it can know what local housing costs. You have to determine housing costs in any case to calculate what the agency is actually paying you. Why would the housing stipend buy less housing that what the agency pays for? Not sure I get your point there. You could also pocket a lot more but the agency estimated take home won't include that.

    What the agency is actually paying you is the point of the calculator. If you don't know the number, you cannot be sure that if you negotiate your compensation, for example to pay more for a housing stipend and a lower hourly, that your total compensation is the same. If you don't know the number, you also cannot compare another agency's offer in the same area or same hospital. If you are good with numbers, you don't need the calculator of course.

    The estimated taxes do not affect the value of the calculator for figuring out what the agency actually pays you in total compensation. The only way to get your real take home pay is to give your home state (and local taxing authority if there is one - common in the Midwest), the work state, and your tax status and exemptions. The random agency you call doesn't know all that so their estimated take home is no better and leaves out vital information. Most travelers want to know their base rate if for nothing else than to know what their overtime base will be. They also want to know what their housing stipend is so they can look up local housing to see if they can pocket more money. The take home pay quoted by an agency does not tell them that.

    That said, take home pay is an interesting number, and recruiters use it as a sales tool. It must work, because you bought it! But I have to say, you are the first traveler that I've read who has said they like it on a travel nurse forum. Most posts gripe about how recruiters are reluctant to tell them what their pay really is, just the take home. There are good reasons why they do that - because the base rate often sounds ludicrously low compared to a staff position.
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    Quote from Du3du3
    What is the difference in pay between a hospital nurse and a traveling nurse?
    $3.27 per hour.
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    my "blended" rate in CA has been around $40/hr for the past 2 years. I've done 8 assignments in CA. You should be making in the high 30s or low 40s. Lower in San Diego, like 20s. Try a different company.

    And I take the company housing, so that's not included. I would bring home more if I took the stipend, obviously.

    I would never work at Oakland Kaiser.
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    I not only would work at Kaiser Oakland, but I did, and I went back. Liked it.
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    NedRN - Im starting at Oakland Kaiser in less than a month, so I'm glad to hear that! I've heard mixed things about all Kaisers!
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    The big issue at Kaiser hospitals for travelers, especially new ones, is floating. Staff works 8s, travelers work 12s. Do the math and it is easy to be floated Q4. It will make you a better nurse but griping about it is to be expected.
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    Thank you, NedRN for the positive words. I did choose to go to Kaiser, Oakland, for the location and the experience. I have also heard mixed reviews. palmbeachRN... remember... it's only temporary. 13 weeks can be a long time if you make it that way. That's what I keep telling myself. This is my first travel assignment and I'm really not expecting to thoroughly enjoy everything about it. I experience cold feet every 15 minutes. I think this is part of why they say your first travel job is always the hardest. I am going to try to find the positive and make it the best experience I can.

    I appreciate everyone's input very much!
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    Any suggestions for a "good recruiter/travel agency" for a wannabe traveler?


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