Recovering travelling nurse with questions - page 2

by theopenroad54

3,850 Visits | 18 Comments

I'm not new to travelling nursing, but I am under a slightly different situation. First, a little about me. I've been a nurse for almost 25 years, & have worked everthing from psych to ICU. 5 years ago, I self-reported a problem... Read More


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    What did they teach you in your treatment program? Did you ever go to a nurse support group? Why would you risk your sobriety by traveling, which I'm sure was a strict no-no while you were being monitored? Isolating? A previous poster already told you. You will also be anxious, lonely and tired (and maybe hungry!) Remember HALT? I don't believe any agency would hire you if they knew you were in recovery because even they know how traveling is a major no-no jeopardizing your sobriety and their agency. If you must do agency work, then limit it to your own city so that you can get to meetings and be near familiar people.
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    Thanks for the insights. And yes, I meant a permanent addy for whatever travel company I may sign on with. The last time I travelled, I had to list a permanent residence to the company that I was travelling with for federal tax purposes or some such, but I used the rental I was living in at the time as my permanent addy which meant I was still paying rent on it while I was getting free housing on my assignment. This time I would like to find a way to free that up and use the money towards schooling. I'm 54yo, and really don't want the burden of student loans looking me in the face when I'm done. This seems like the perfect means to that end. I was planning on using a friends addy as my permanent, but was concerned that whatever company I signed on with would check to see if I actually resided there. Just being careful to not get my hopes up just to have them dashed on the first try.
    The info on the dog travelling was also great. I can't go if I can't take him.

    None of this is written in stone just yet. I still have til the end of July on my RPP contract, so I am just now getting a feel for the lay of the land. Your comments were greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
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    Thank you crazyoldnurse. I truly appreciate the concern. I particularly liked the HOW reference. I do not want to hide my addictive ways. I am a very grateful recovering addict with no delusions about the possiblity of using again. Anyone who knows that they are an addict also knows that there are no promises to be made that they will NEVER use again. I like to look at it as there always being some situation waiting for me up ahead that will drive me back to using. It is up to me to remain diligent in preparing myself for that moment. Meetings, a strong support group, and daily reflection are all a part of this preparation. There are meetings in every city of this country, and part of my plan is to find these places before I ever take the first step to a new city. I am not doing this to run from anything. If I were interested in that, I would never have self-reported in the first place. I am also not interested in isolating myself. My sponsor once told me that in a world with over 7 billion people, we are only alone if we choose to be. The trick is to find people who truly understand and repect my situation and associate most with them. One of the major problems in my past was not being alone, but in just going along with the crowd to feel accepted. Well, these days, I'd rather be around a crowd that actually accepts me, rather than feeling like I have to fit in.
    One of the most important aspects of my sobriety now is that I like myself sober. I honestly NEVER felt this while using, or in my previous attempts to get clean. I now care, and I care about caring. Just like these words that I'm saying. In my addiction, I really don't care about taking the time to say such things. They were just so much dribble, and I couldn't be bothered. Now, however, they have meaning and purpose, and they just feel right. I like that! As do terms like HOW, one day at a time, keep it simple, etc. These became, have been, and remain a part of my daily reflections and prayers.
    I even recently turned down a postion as a supervisor where I'm presently employed, not because I was afraid to try, but simply because I foresaw it as a very stressful situation. I will take the lesser money and responsibility if it keeps me sober. And all of this is still no absolute guarantee. I am not considering travelling as an escape, but as an option. Where I am at is, to say the least, a very hostile environment. Moreso than most that I have seen in my 25 years, and the area that I am living in is basically a closed system. Get a bad rep in one, and you are bad to all. I want to get back to the place in this profession that I feel most comfortable...ICU. After repeated attempts, this is not going to happen here. I am ultimately looking for a home. I only pray that I am not simply talking myself into another rut. We all know how this disease works. Very insidiously! I can only pray for the strength to accept life on lifes terms, and to continue to do the best I can.
    I am about to complete 5 years with RPP, and if I continue where I am at, I will begin to feel trapped (did I just say begin), and this is as detrimental to me as anything. Just want a change of scenery, and new opportunities. Not an answer to all my problems. That doesn't work, as I know from experiance. Just remember, where ever you go, there YOU are.
    Sorry for all the wordiness. This is a topic (sobriety) that I firmly believe in. Hey, DON'T GET ME STARTED! (oops, too late....LOL). Again thank you for your concern, as well as for all the comments I've gotten. It certainly helps to know that others care. And who knows, maybe I'll eventually meet some of you in my travels. That would be so cool. Til later.
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    Hi Pinkmegan. First off, this is not an attempt to diagnose or prescribe treatment for you. Taking anothers inventory is a no-no, and I do not want that responsibilty. I'm not even sure if your talking about addiction. All I can say is, and I know this statement is becoming cliche, but you are not alone. Seek help by whatever means available to you. Find meetings in your area, go to a rehab if possible, seek help at work, although for me, this led to my being fired. Of course, I missed 3 days of work related directly to my addiction, and this had never happened before. It was one of the major catalysts that led to me stepping forward. I just happen to live in a state that feels that the labor force is a "oh well, too bad for you" state. Right to work and all. But hey, it all happens for a reason. Protect yourself as much as possible, but remember, your well-being comes first. Do what you have to do.
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    A mailing address is very different from a tax home. Most agencies will be happy if you falsify your housing questionnaire, some will even coach you how to do that as it saves the money too, and makes them more competitive with agencies advertising more money. The issue is if you get audited for any reason by the IRS and your tax home status is disqualified, you will have some hefty paybacks with fines and interest.
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    Quote from NedRN
    Keeping a rental is a tradeoff. Doing so maintains a tax home, an IRS definition that allows you to accept agency housing tax free. If you don't, you are itinerant and must pay taxes on provided housing or a housing stipend, per diems (tax advantage), and travel pay. It may be better than a wash, especially if it is possible to share your current housing (keeping a bedroom open for returning at any time).
    A permanent home is not just a tax issue, it is also a licensure issue in compact states. The OP's current RN license only has "compact privileges" as long as s/he maintains her/his permanent residence in that state. If s/he moves out of state (or is using an address out of state as a "permanent address"), s/he no longer has a license that can be recognized by other compact states. Something else for the OP to keep in mind.
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    Some perm addresses are legal for compact licensure. That is completely different than an IRS tax home. It is possible to have a tax home in a compact state yet not be eligible for multi-state licensure. It can get complicated. Refer to the board for one question, and a tax professional experienced in multistage taxation for the other.
    elkpark likes this.
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    NedRN is absolutely correct. Travel Agencies will use a dog house as a permanent address if you let them. They don't care if you get audited. They just want to be able to say "look how much money you're going to make now that you have a tax home to claim". I've posted in another thread but talk to the people at TravelTax . We had a similar situation with renting and they helped us a lot to figure out if it would work. BTW, I'm not affiliated with this company. I was just so impressed with how nice they were and how much they helped us. For us, we did have to continue paying rent but in the end, it still saves us $400 us month even after paying rent.

    As far as the dogs, I can tell you traveling would be SO MUCH EASIER without them. But they are part of the family so we don't have an option either. Gotta love em even though they make life harder sometimes. We have 2 dogs just under 20 lbs and there are a lot of apartments that have a 20 lb cutoff as well as a list of aggressive breeds that they don't allow. If you let the travel company pick your apartment, they will likely be able to find one that accepts dogs. It might limit your options and you might not get in an area that you wanted, but you should be ok. We are with American Mobile and haven't had a problem yet. The only issue we had is when we wanted to find an apartment on the beach in Cali. There were plenty available and in our price range but almost every one of them only allowed cats. We finally found one but it must be the only one within 5 miles because I swear every person has a dog here. The view is beautiful, the fleas are less than welcome. But like I said, they are part of the family so these are some of the sacrifices you might have to make.

    You should also check out Travel Nurse Help: Be prepared for your next assignment . They have information on every hospital along with local information like crime statistics, weather, and rental prices in the area. Hope this helps and congrats on cleaning up. Keep it up!
    WanderlustGoddesss likes this.
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    Be advised, from personal experience, if you self-reported to your state and had a contract with them, you have to disclose that action to the BON of the state you want to work in. Your initial action will show on NURSYS--you might want to check with them on their website and see what pops up, because the BON will. Make sure you keep a copy of your initial contract, any revisions, and the letter from your current BON showing completion of your contract. I scanned all this into a PDF, for ease of transmittal to BONs. Also, if you don't currently live in a Nursing Compact state, you might want to consider residence in one. You have to be a resident to get a Multi-State license, but once you get it, you've got 24 states at your fingertips. The catch is that you have to be a resident.

    The most-important take-away....check NURSYS. Don't lie on any app to BONs, it WILL come out when you endorse. Keep every shred of documentation.

    Good luck!


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