Travel assignment in Houston -- does this sound competitive?

  1. I was offered a travel assignment on a tele unit for $25/hr as the effective pay rate plus $1200 a month for housing. Does this sound competitive? There are also not any guaranteed hours. I thought that travelers are usually guaranteed at least 36 hours. I am new to this process, and I know people have said that the market has changed for travelers; but this type of offer barely makes it enticing for me to go and travel. I could make more with a staff job. Can some of you please weigh in and offer your thoughts?
  2. Visit prosperouschick profile page

    About prosperouschick

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 35; Likes: 15
    MICU; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience


  3. by   NedRN
    One offer? Of course you don't know if it is competitive. How will you find out? Check with the competition (other agencies).

    If it is just about money, sure, stick with staff. If you want to travel, you can make more. The Deep South, including Texas, is not the place to do it in general, especially for new travelers.
  4. by   cardiacrocks
    I make way more than that as a staff nurse, good luck.
  5. by   NurseRies
    Quote from cardiacrocks
    I make way more than that as a staff nurse, good luck.
    That's why I keep telling people not to be a travel nurse for the money. It's really hard to save money or pay off debt unless you're really disciplined, or maybe sharing living costs with someone, or your sig other is also a traveler. I made more as a staff nurse, but I did work 2 jobs. My living costs were lower and my benefits were much better. Trying to figure out how to keep progressing with the shift in income...
  6. by   jskgx2
    I did three assignments in Houston, TX and while I was not there for the money I can tell you pay is generally more than that. Also, housing was around $1600. The rate you have been quoted sounds more like Dallas to me as Dallas pays alot less and housing is cheaper.
  7. by   hysrn
    Get a CA license and get out of there is LOW!!! Might want to look into rapid response companies...Fastaff, ACES I also have TX and will only go to Austin simply because it's awesome and I have a place to stay's the only place I'd sacrifice's such a killer town, totally worth it
  8. by   prosperouschick
    I am not looking to travel just for the money. However, I thought that travel nurses generally made an equivalent hourly rate to what a regular staff nurse would make in a given locale. I did not think that staff nurses would make less than what a regular staff nurse.
  9. by   prosperouschick
    NedRN, I was hoping to check indirectly with what other agencies are doing by talking to people on this forum. I'm sure that we are all not signed up with the same agencies, at least that would be pretty unlikely. I'm sure that the many people that are on travel assignments in TX can give an idea of what the competition is doing without me having to sign up with multiple agencies to figure out if a travel assignment sounds right.

    For example, I know that many travel nurses are guaranteed at least 36 hours a week (and some even 48 hours a week). So it would be interesting to hear if that is what people are still being told or if more and more people are hearing that they may get to an assignment wherever it may be and that there is the possibility that they could be called off one day due to low census since they are the higher cost traveler. Personally, I would not be as interested in travel assignments if a hospital is able to continuously call you off for low census. I feel that there should be a certain level of commitment if they are going through the trouble of getting a traveler, otherwise they should just hire more PRN staff.
  10. by   NedRN
    You don't have to sign up with agencies to get quotes. Going to the hassle of being fully signed up should be contingent on being satisfied with quoted compensation on an available assignment. Sure, there are agencies who will refuse to give you details without being signed up. Forget them! There are around 400 agencies that provide travel assignments.

    Generally, hours are guaranteed. The guarantee is not worth a lot, but most assignments (9 out of 10) complete successfully.

    As to getting the compensation dirt from travelers, here are the variables you are looking at:

    1. How much experience in your specialty.
    2. How much experience traveling.
    3. What kind of hospital/unit experience.
    4. References.
    5. What agency.
    6. How long with that agency.
    7. General hospital location.
    8. Current needs of that hospital.
    9. Hourly versus housing/travel/per diem pay.

    All of these make real differences. If you are unbelievably lucky, someone with your exact resume will have been pitched the exact same assignment last week by a different agency who supplied all the compensation details and posts it here. Probably not going to happen.

    Let's say you are shopping for a car. A friend tells you that they just bought the car you are interested in from x dealer for x amount. Will that be useful information to you when you want different choices of dealers, model, and options?

    So you have to shop around. I can't help you with personal decisions about travel versus staff, that has even more variables unique to you.
  11. by   lindsey2384
    there are so many things that effect your rates. 1200 for housing in Houston is low. You need to decide if traveling will be financially worth it and why you want to do it.
    I can stay In-house/pool at my home job and make 32 an hour. But no hours are guaranteed.
    As a traveler, your hours are "guaranteed" but the hospital can re-evaluate staffing needs at any point and cancel you for the day or the entirety of your contract. There is always good/bad with everything and a risk involved.
    If you want to travel for the experience, then you probably will come out a little bit ahead, but not much.
    I personally do not know anyone who has worked 36 hours a week as a traveler and made 3 or 4 times what a staff member makes.
    Hope this helps