Helpful Tips for the Nurse Traveler - page 3

by Diary/Dairy 95,175 Views | 114 Comments

Hey there all, I just wanted to post a general thread about the basics of travel nursing for all those people who want to consider it. I know I asked a lot of questions when I was considering traveling and I see that a lot of... Read More


  1. 18
    Thank you for opening the door to this topic.
    I am currently on an assignment, more than midway through a 26 week contract. I found out last week that I am making as much as 33% less than my coworkers who are working for other agencies.

    33% less for doing the exact same job with the exact same housing!!

    Now I know it is unprofessional to discuss with ones fellow travelers your rate of pay and have never had such a discussion during the course of prior assignments. This, however, is a unique situation. The facility is very small, located in a remote resort location. They use quite a few travelers for their season. We all live in hospital housing, work full time together and play during our off shifts. After a few months and a few cocktails you can learn quite a bit about your coworkers, including their rates of pay.

    Needless to say my new found information filled me with fury and suspicion. "Who is taking advantage of me, the agency or the facility?" After leaving a message for my recruiter I scheduled an appointment with the DON (a definate perk to working in a small facility is the access to the people with the answers). What I learned from the DON was that she was currently using a hand full of travel agencies and that essentially they had all been contracted for the same rate. Why, then was 33% more of that contracted rate winding up in the hands of my coworkers? Ofcourse this was a question only my recruiter could answer....

    And this is the fifty thousand dollar question (All right, more like $8000) "Why is it that your competitors are receiving the same rate as you from the hospital and managing to pay their travelers 25-33% more? What are you doing with my money?" The way I see it one of two things is happening here
    1. The overhead for this large national travel agency is so out of control that they can no longer pay a competitive rate
    2. You are making a whole lot of money off of me
    Either way I was not making these thieves one more dime until I recouped some of the cash that had been diverted from my checking account to date.

    Believe me when I tell you we went around and around. In the end did I get what I deserved? No but they did agree to a bonus that will make my compensation closer to what my more saavy coworkers are making. The only reason I got this bonus is that I alleviated the grey area. Housing is usually a bad agencies most powerful trump card. "Your housing is better/more expensive blah blah blah". Also unscrupulous agencies are banking on the fact that the decision maker at the facility won't be accessible and usually this is true. That's why this experience is so important for all of us. If you find an assignment you are interested in ask the person who interviews you what other travel agencies the facility uses. Call these agencies and ask what they are paying for that same contract. Shop around until you find the best senario for you. Then go back to your agency with all your facts and wait for your much improved offer. Don't let these agencies low-ball you because they will.


    And so my fellow travelers I hope this experience of mine will help you all to be better negotiators on your upcoming assignments. There should be no room for unscrupulous agencies. Remember there is a nursing shortage. Agencies need us more than we need them. Let's support those good ones who truly support their nurses.
    Flygaze, kgold102, RD_Congo, and 15 others like this.
  2. 1
    Hey Mac! I just experienced the same thing with my company! The most frustrating thing was that my recruiter kept saying it was the hospital! I know for a fact that it was not the hospital for the identical reason...very small hospital with a direct link to the DON who handles the contracting of travelers. I am most angry that I have been with this company for 5 yrs and now I feel like a fool! Your advice about the nurses interviewing the travel company is excellent. Well the scales have fallen out of my eyes. My next travel company (because this one won't be stealing from me again) is going to undergo an extensive interview!
    allieRN2008 likes this.
  3. 0
    So....it sounds like working for a travel agency right out of school is out of the question....am I right?
  4. 1
    yep - you need at least one year's experience, 2 to be safe.
    rkrs6673 likes this.
  5. 2
    Thanks! This was really helpful, as i am trying to decide to travel or not. I really want to but some of the companies i have tried talking to have really discouraged me! There are so many and i have been given the run around by two different companies so far. Any companies out there anyone really likes or dislikes?!?
    hhendu5 and Diary/Dairy like this.
  6. 1
    This has been helpful
    Diary/Dairy likes this.
  7. 0
    Holy smokes, I am so glad I found this thread!!!! My husband and I are looking into travel. My question (or one of them) is the same as many; how do you choose an agency? Can you all give me specific names of agencies I can look in to? I am an RN and my husband has been retired for several years, though we are not 'old', just fortunate. Thank you in advance for you knowledge and experience.
  8. 0
    Please clarify for me: Does it matter if you have been an LPN for a number of years before becoming an RN in terms of getting a travel assignment upon licensure? This thread seems to sugggest a min of 1-2 yrs. RN experience is the only way in correct?
  9. 0
    VCurrent - there are a ton of agencies out there! Decide what you and your husband need and then see which agency can give you that - You can also look on Delphi Forums, they have lots of information on their 2 traveler forums.

    Pedsnurze1, as to the question about experience, I am not sure what to tell you - you could talk to a recruiter and see what they say about that. I am really not sure what to tell you. Good luck in your search.
  10. 0
    Thanks to everyone who contributed info on this thread. It has been very helpful. I'm a med-surg RN with 2 years exp and thinking about travelling early next year. I'm trying to do as much research as I can. I'm very excited but very scared at the same time as I've heard many of the horror stories. Pay is very important to me. My question is, is it typical for the Agencies to ask for all of your info before they can give just a ballpark of what the hourly rate might be?? Thanks again!


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