Need Help With First Offer

  1. I have received my first offer as a travel nurse. Its a 13 wk med-surg position in Casper, WY. The offer was so confusing but basically its that I will get an $800 travel allowance and $230 wk for a car rental. Then I will receive $1150 per week (this includes all wages/housing stiped etc). So I would have to find my own housing but she said they could give me a list of apts and other housing options I could call about.
    Just wanted to get an idea as to if this is a good contract offer since I am new to all of this. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Visit samb0105 profile page

    About samb0105

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 37; Likes: 1


  3. by   PatchyPu
    I'm a RN student and can't help you but man oh man does that sound great!
  4. by   smn2010
    in all honesty, you should have done much research before entering into any contract!!! you have to do your own homework sometimes. but enjoy the experience!!!

    $1150 a week amounts to $31.94 base pay an hour for a 3-day/12 hour shift work week [color=#ffa07a]---or---- $28.75 base pay per hour for a 5-day/8 hour shift work week ($4,600 month). travel allowance seems low at $800 but i'm not sure what the distance is that you are traveling from (home base to wyoming) or if you will be utilizing a u-haul to carry any personal belongings. the $800 may need to be applied toward your initial sign up fee for your extended stay hotel rental. so check into the rates if you are not being given extended stay apartments to live in. $230 week for car rental amounts to $32.85 a day/7 days. if you have worked as a nurse, determine what the per diem nurses at facilities in the area are making. you can call the nurse recruiters at most your assigned hospital/area hospitals to find this out. based on their response, you will have a better idea of what you need to be expecting. i'm used to hearing my girlfriends who are travel nurses say that they make from $35 and above; but i don't know about casper, wyoming. don't know how many years of experience you have so you would have to take that into consideration also.

    check this site for average salaries at top cities in the united states: click on the top cities tab the look at wyoming
    registered nursing schools and training programs (rn schools) casper, wyoming appears to pay a little less than cheyenne, wyoming based on the statistics provided. information is from 2008.

    state government nursing jobs in wyoming pay nurses as follows (search wyoming state government employment):
    minimum monthly $4,151
    market premium position monthly $4,883.00
    maximum monthly $5,860.00

    hourly rates of pay
    based on an recent post regarding a wyoming nurse salary: a new nurse in cheyenne, wyoming wrote:
    Salary comparison

    mar 18 by ~mi vida loca~rna
    cheyenne, wy new grads asn and bsn are started at 25 p/h base pay. they just gave everyone a dollar an hr raise. we are so short staffed that they also just announced this week that anyone that works a 4th shift during the work week will get bonus pay on top of their time and a half. rn's it's 10 dollars more per hr so a new nurse working a 4th shift will be making about $48 per hr. their is also no state tax and no food tax here. i love it! [color=#b22222] i graduated in may and i make 25.50 p/h differentials are mid shift 8% and night shift 12%

    so based on what the new nurse indicated above, a new grad/new nurse working nights with 12% shift differential would be at $28.00 per hour ($25.00 base plus 12% ($3.00) = $28.00 per hour base+shift diff). keep in mind, the facility referenced in the post/link above is on a 8-hour shifts per day/5-day per week schedule...if you are not a new nurse....and most travel agencies require at least 1 year of experience....and you are working nights....($28.75 hour using your weekly travel rate).... you are making only 25 cents ([color=#a52a2a]$25.50 base + $3.06 shift diff for nights = $28.56) more than the new grad!!...based upon your years of experience, you decide. i would think that you would be making more than this....more like $35-40+ per hour. but then again, she is in cheyenne, wyoming and you will be assigned to a facility in casper, wyoming.

    i would do some research on the facility!! look for hospital employee reviews. is the facility in a remote, rural area?? seems as though it may be in an area that is hard to recruit or possibly has harsh working conditions (nurseatient ratios). as a travel nurse/agency nurse, does your contract state what your maximum nurseatient ratio will be??? when i was being recruited by an agency/travel, i asked and they specifically stated (in ink) that staff nurses at the facility could have a 1:7-8 ratio while i mine) would be maxed at a 1:5 ratio (keep in mind, i might only have 1-2-3 patients, but no more than 5 patients--no matter what!!) of course, i realized that i would probably be assigned the worst patients on the unit!!!!

    apartment rentals
    based upon the website for casper, wyoming
    casper apartments for rent | casper, wy -

    1 bedroom apartments rent from $625-860. also, you should check (enter casper into the rental search option) to see what apartment rentals might be going for.

    car rental
    i would suggest that you get a membership card for a couple of the rental car agencies. this way, with each use you gain points, discount $$$ for future use. in time, you will be able to get really cheap rates for you rental cars and you can bank the excess/unused money being given to you from the travel agency---to possibly put toward something else (food!, entertainment!). contact enterprise, avis, etc. in casper, wyoming to determine what their exact weekly fees are.

    ************************************************** **
    well, this should help a little bit. if anything, you have some resources to look at when you make your next contract/assignment. remember....research, research, you will have an idea as to what your requirements will be when preparing a travel contract.

    enjoy your travels!!!
    Last edit by smn2010 on Jul 31, '12
  5. by   HollywoodDiva
    Oh wow that's horrible!!! Since its your first assignment they should take care of your housing and make it smooth for you. Sounds like your not getting a good deal.
  6. by   smn2010
    i agree with hollywooddiva.

    i provided ways for you to determine average costs (in each city you're assigned to work) in my original post but forgot to state the obvious. housing and auto rental are usually handled by the travel agency (with them giving you adequate funds to continue to pay each weeks' rental fees, once you get there). since it's not, you'll have to do your own homework (determine the best costs) as far as getting the most (best value) for the money. keep in mind, you will find differences with each agency you sign up with. so be aware of these differences with each assignment, each new contract.

    it's your first assignment--a positive learning experience. just be ready to hit the floor running (whether paper or computer charting environment, etc.)!!! just know that your training/orientation with the facility will be a few days at most; then you're on your own. you'll enjoy casper, wyoming and each city where you are assigned to work. a new place, new people and activities. facility may not meet your expectation; but 13 weeks will pass by quickly. if you like the facility and want to do an additional 13 weeks, you can negotiate a better contract.

    additionally, if it's allowed within your contract/agency, line up other agencies that you can work with once your 13 weeks are up. i have a friend who worked with 2 different agencies when she was in her "travel" mode. her last assignment put her in california and she's been there ever since. that was about 2 years ago! before that she traveled both coasts, got assigned in seattle, washington and ended up staying there for about 2 years after her travel assignment ended.

    again, enjoy your travels and each assignment. you'll learn something from each 13-week experience. you'll be surprised at what a great (salary) negotiator you become with each new assignment.
  7. by   samb0105
    I have actually done a lot of research but am very nervous as I am sure many first time travelers are. I thought the best advice would come from those who have been in my shoes before. I appreciate all your information.
  8. by   dreamworx07
    Quote from samb0105
    I have actually done a lot of research but am very nervous as I am sure many first time travelers are. I thought the best advice would come from those who have been in my shoes before. I appreciate all your information.
    I know you are just looking for general opinions.... I know as a first time traveler the companies try to use that for reduced pay, BUT, I don't think the offer is that bad for a first-timer. If the job and location sound like a good fit for YOU, then take it. Its not the greatest offer ever made but it is do-able. In my opinion the most important thing about the first assignment shouldn't the money, but rather the experience itself. Go for the money on the future assignments and take this one to get you started!
  9. by   smn2010
    [FONT=comic sans ms]Sambo:

    Don't know if you saw this in another link; but another poster provided it to assist with those who are new/curious about Travel Nursing:
    [FONT=comic sans ms]Travel Nurse Help | Hospital Information for Travel Nursing Jobs
    [FONT=comic sans ms]What I found interesting was the salary range for non-travel nurses.
    Something to look at when you prepare your next contract.

    [FONT=comic sans ms]
    You will receive responses from current travel nurses in time, just be patient. Additionally, as you travel, you will meet other travellers. Befriend them and find out who they are contracted with, what incentives/benefits are being provided to them, what their contract consists of (housing, auto, stipend, etc.) without getting into exact monetary amounts. You will learn alot from all those around you.

    Once I get my youngest child into college next year, I plan to work as a travel nurse also. I already have agencies contacting me for assignments; but can't accept them. So I am building rapport with them until I am ready to start travelling.