thinking about traveling | allnurses

thinking about traveling

  1. 0 Hello all,
    I have been reading many threads here and found many interesting and confusing things about travel nursing. (Background info: I am a med/surg nurse with 13yrs of experience and less than one year of tele experience.) I have always thought about traveling but so many things have kept me from trying it. Fear mostly. Now the main things are that I currently have a mortgage on a house (which is seeming like it's a good thing) and two I have a pet (50 lb good old fashioned mutt). Suddenly, the more I read, the more doable traveling seems. My thinking was to find a company, start in my state (Maryland) or very close and than if everything works out alright, I was planning on taking assignments in other areas such as Mesa, AZ and Louisville, KY. (I have family in both areas) And than go from there....

    So onto my questions. So I would call multiple agencies and get a feel for the companies and offers. Now when I read some of the hourly rate they seem extremely low. I am assuming that housing, utilities, food and travel may be to this to compensate for the low pay? Also the whole this is taxable and that is tax free is a little confusing. What if I decide to start my first assignment in the state that I already live in. Would that be a wise thing to do? Will that make a difference in pay or benefits And what about health benefits? I read somewhere that could add up to hundreds of dollars a month. What exactly should I look for? The main things and also if anyone has any tid bits about the little things as well that a first timer wouldn't think about.

    I know this is long. I just have so many questions and want to be clear.
    Thanks to all who respond :-)
  2. Visit  FrogluvRn profile page

    About FrogluvRn

    Joined Aug '14; Posts: 19; Likes: 4.

    12 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  NedRN profile page
    1
    You are paying for health insurance, period. If your employer didn't provide it, you would be making more every month. Yes, it is expensive, but you are already paying for it.

    Most travel assignments pay between $40 and $50 an hour in total compensation. High housing stipend and per diems compensate for low hourly. Don't look at one number in isolation. Use PanTravelers calculator to figure out your real compensation to compare different offers.

    I would not limit yourself to travel in your state. What's the point of that? You might as well stay where you are as staff! If you are concerned about your skills and how readily you might adapt to a very new environment, I would recommend working per diem at a nearby hospital. Then you don't have any issues with keeping your staff position if it turns out you don't like new working environments.
    shoegalRN likes this.
  4. Visit  FrogluvRn profile page
    0
    These are good points. I have to say that I have always been one to play it safe though. I think that I will be fine adapting to a new unit. A few years ago, I left a job that I was at for 7yrs and went to a new facility because I feared becoming stagnant in my career. I than left that floor after two years for a tele position to improve my skills. So I am not sure it's about moving to new facilities.... I suppose you always run the risk of assignments from hell which I will be honest and say that does make me a little nervous. I am considering travel nursing to do just that....travel. If I make more money than I currently do than that's great. But I want to make sure that I have steady working assignments so that I can still pay my mortgage, car payment and monthly responsibilities. I have seen several people say that it is good to work with multiple agencies. How does that work?
  5. Visit  NedRN profile page
    0
    Call up 15 or so agencies and pick the best 5 recruiters to work with. This is contract work, you only work for 3 months. An agency is not a full time commitment.
  6. Visit  FrogluvRn profile page
    0
    So I don't have to be "faithful" to one agency. I can start with agency A for my first assignment and either stick with them for assignment 2 or see if agency B has something better? Does that sound about right? Thank you for your response by the way.
  7. Visit  NedRN profile page
    0
    No Plan B, big potential trouble if Plan A falls through.

    You are a free agent after every assignment, if agencies learn that you are loyal, they may not make their best offer. Mind you, your decision for your first assignment may not be about the best money or location, you just want a successful assignment on your resume. There is also a steep learning curve and you will have time to figure out your best path (could be working for a single agency even).
  8. Visit  FrogluvRn profile page
    0
    Ok, I know that I may sound like an idiot here but what do you mean by a "plan b" I thought that once you sign a contract with an agency than you are stuck until the contract ends (unless you or the hospital breaks it). So you can only have one contract at a time. After the contract is over or close to being over, you can make your assignment with another agency. Correct? This is what confuses me about the idea of working with multiple agencies. Thanks again for responding. Your comments are very helpful.
  9. Visit  NedRN profile page
    0
    Let's say you have a contract to go to Hawaii, $50 an hour. You interview, agree to go, quit your job, and finally get a contract in your hand. But it reads $15 a hour and you have to pay for housing and airfare out of that. Obviously can't work. An extreme example, but without a Plan B, what will you do?

    Or let's say you get a good contract, and at the very last second, the hospital cancels due to low census. What will you do? If you have been exploring a number of assignments with several agencies, you should have some options. If not, disaster!

    Or what if you can't get a particular state license when everything else is a go? I could what if all day, but travel isn't like a staff job, stuff happens. You need to have contingency plans. If you put all your eggs in one basket (one agency), you have greater risks.
  10. Visit  FrogluvRn profile page
    0
    I see what you're saying. That make sense.
  11. Visit  ERpinup profile page
    0
    Hello FrogluvRn - I too have been contemplating travel nursing, 5 1/2 years ER experience. I also have a house with a mortgage and always thought it would be 'irresponsible' to take on travel nursing because of all the what-ifs. I submitted a post on here about what do people do with their houses and basically all I got was have family stay there or friends but I do not have that option. I do have family that lives by and they are willing to come over 2x a week to check on it and take care of anything if needed. I also have a friend who I guess works with an agency and lets other travelers stay there. All your questions pretty much sound like mine! Do I work for more than one agency, how long will it take to get assignments, etc..... Next month I am going to the Travelers Conference in Las Vegas and they are having a Newbie Seminar that I think will help me out a lot. You should really look into going!
  12. Visit  shoegalRN profile page
    0
    Quote from ERpinup
    Hello FrogluvRn - I too have been contemplating travel nursing, 5 1/2 years ER experience. I also have a house with a mortgage and always thought it would be 'irresponsible' to take on travel nursing because of all the what-ifs. I submitted a post on here about what do people do with their houses and basically all I got was have family stay there or friends but I do not have that option. I do have family that lives by and they are willing to come over 2x a week to check on it and take care of anything if needed. I also have a friend who I guess works with an agency and lets other travelers stay there. All your questions pretty much sound like mine! Do I work for more than one agency, how long will it take to get assignments, etc..... Next month I am going to the Travelers Conference in Las Vegas and they are having a Newbie Seminar that I think will help me out a lot. You should really look into going!
    I have been an nurse for 5 years, 4 years ED experience and I also have a house back in my home town. I have my neighbors as well as my family check on my house every week. I also have an alarm system that has cameras outside where I can log onto my computer or phone and see my house. I can make sure my lawn guy is keeping up his end of the bargain and making sure my lawn stays cut every other week.

    I have a PO box that I have my mail forwarded to and I pay all my bills online. I come home for a month in between assignments to work my jobs back at home, and I take a week off during my assignment to come home to work. This has worked for me.
  13. Visit  NedRN profile page
    0
    Quote from ERpinup
    I also have a house with a mortgage and always thought it would be 'irresponsible' to take on travel nursing because of all the what-ifs. I submitted a post on here about what do people do with their houses and basically all I got was have family stay there or friends but I do not have that option. I do have family that lives by and they are willing to come over 2x a week to check on it and take care of anything if needed. I also have a friend who I guess works with an agency and lets other travelers stay there.
    If your house is appropriate (at least two bedrooms), try to find a responsible roommate. They will get a heck of a deal with you gone much of the time, and you will get a lot towards your mortgage, someone to look after the place 24 hours a day and perhaps deal with mail. This preserves your tax home.
  14. Visit  FrogluvRn profile page
    0
    I would love to go to the conference but it's a little late for me. If you find out any good bits of info I would love to hear them. I rented a book from kindle about travel nursing which did have some interesting facts about how to get started. Of course the house thing is still is still a problem. I am in the same boat with my house. I have some family in the area but there is no guarantee that they would be able to check on my house. I have even thought about going to my church and seeing if someone was interesting in renting a room really cheap so that someone will be there. However, I am nervous about having a stranger in my house. I really wish I could go to that conference to talk with someone.


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