Travel Nurse, Checklist for getting started - page 3

Hello, How is everyone? (First post) So, I'm going to start traveling soon. I've got some of my information submitted to two different travel agencies at the moment, and I will eventually add... Read More

  1. by   NedRN
    Good that you have a tax home! You may have swung too far on not taking or deducting business expenses though. They can significantly boost your take home pay.
  2. by   trackhead
    The company I am working for now only offers all of their pay is taxable income. I suppose at the end of the year I can still deduct the per-diem and such.
  3. by   NedRN
    Yes you can. However it is far better, even if you itemize already, to work for an agency that pays you housing and per diems directly. Getting a housing stipend is especially good as the entire amount does not need to be reported. In contrast when you deduct housing, you can only deduct actual receipted costs.

    When you do your taxes, here is what you need to deduct. Actual housing costs including utilities and furniture rental (or costs of buying throw-away/donate furniture), GSA per diems for every day away from home, travel costs (usually the mileage rate is best) to and from home, and commute miles between your assignment housing and the assignment facility. That last item does add up! I scan and save my time cards to prove number of commutes, and save a Google map query on the actual round trip commute. That should make your deductions rock solid should you have the misfortune of being audited.

    Small items such as housewares might be allowed by some tax preparers, but I think they are better understood as covered by the "incidentals" of M&IE which is IRS speak for Meals and Incidental Expenses commonly referred to by travelers as per diems.
  4. by   trackhead
    Once again, great advice. Thanks.
  5. by   wylie-coyote
    Quote from dot92
    I'm wanting an opinion on a pay package I discussed with my recruiter today. This is for an assignment with a January 12th start date. It's also the very first discussion I've had with anyone regarding an actual real assignment being proposed to me. The details: 3 12hr shifts a week guaranteed for a 13 week assignment. Base pay rate of $16.50/hr (taxed). Stipends all inclusive; meals & incidentals plus housing allowance of $174.00/day ($1,218.00/week of untaxed money). Travel allowance to the assignment of $275.00, plus another $275.00 when the assignment is finished (I don't know if this is taxed or not?).. Compliance bonus if all of the required documentation and paperwork is completed on time of $150.00 (taxed). End of assignment/all hours agreed upon worked bonus of $1,000.00 (taxed). Overtime rate (any hours worked after the agreed upon 36hrs/week) of $36.00 per hour (taxed). I have to provide my own housing, but the agency helps in looking/setting that up if I want. They have two options available to me right now for this assignment. First option is for a one bedroom apartment at $700.00/month + utilities + small refundable deposit. The second option is for a shared (with another traveler) two bedroom apartment at $375.00/month + 1/2 utilites + refundable deposit. How's that look? I think it looks good, except for the OT rate of $36.00/hour. I think that should be maybe $5 to $10 more per hour.
    That seems like a pretty good deal! Seems like around $1600 a week would be good no matter where you going. I am looking to travel as well, what agencies do you recommend?
  6. by   dot92
    I don't really have the experience right now to recommend a good travel agency. I'm still looking to get into my first assignment. I did not end up getting chosen for the one I had posted about previously. I wish I would have gotten it, but it didn't come through for me. I've got my information submitted for two other assignments right now though, and I'm really hoping that one of these two will work out this time. They are drastically different from one another.. 155 total hospital beds with 21 being in the ED, verses 900 total with 80 in the ED at a BUSY level 1 trauma center! I really want the level 1 facility, as it will certainly have a whole lot to offer in relation to my professional growth as an emergency nurse. I submitted for that one on Thursday last week. My recruiter has followed up with it early this morning. I haven't heard anything as of yet, but I have hopes that will change by tomorrow afternoon. The pay package is even better than the one I posted about on the second page of this thread too. I want the experience, and the challenge more than anything right now though.. I can't stand the waiting. I feel every second that goes by, keeping my phone attached to my hip in anticipation of recieving that call for an interview...

    I am only signed up with two agencies at the moment, and so far they both seem to be working hard to find me a good assignment. If I don't make forward progress this week though, I am going to have to scale back on what it is I am looking for, and just take what I can to get that first assignment out of the way...possibly sign up with another agency?

    I know one thing for sure, based off of my recent and limited experience, do not go with Soliant as an agency. I personally recommend against this particular company based on my experience in dealing with them. Difficult to get ahold of, never calling back or responding to emails, and just generally not listening to my concernes or what I had to say... ymmv

    I would be willing to recommend either of the two I am with now, but they are yet unproven. If I can get what I am after through one of them, I will let you know...
  7. by   AnnieJac
    Hi, I"m new to all of this, and just getting started with submitting as well to agencies. I'm also new to these forums:/ so bear with me if i do this wrong. So you don't submit any paperwork to them till they actually have an assignment for you? All those things she has listed? I wasn't sure about all that. Her question alone helped me a lot! Thank you soo much!!!! It kind of scary!!!
  8. by   chocolateskye
    I just interviewed for my first travel assignment and was offered the position but things arent lining up it has been one problem after the other ive recently explained this to my recruiter and now he is guilting me into taking the position saying how hard hes worked to get me the interview but i dont want to mess up my very first one
  9. by   NedRN
    It is a shame this one doesn't work for you being your first, but don't take it if it is not right. Most of the work done by the recruiter is talking to you (which probably was a lot, but still), he may not have even been the one to put together your profile and submit it to the hospital. Once the profile is done, there is no more work other than emailing it to a new hospital. If your recruiter is not understanding why this is not right for you, perhaps he is not the right recruiter for you either.
  10. by   kdavis15
    I USED TO BE AN EDUCATOR IN ALASKA. if YOU ARE WORKING IN AN AREA WITH HIGHER RATES OF Infectious disease, you may be asked to have a PPD within a month due to high rates of TB in the state. Same is true with some special populations, reservations migrant workers, etc.