Difference between travel and agency??

  1. Whats the difference between a travel nurse and an agency nurse?? I mean in order to be a travel nurse you have to sign with an agency, so i would assume they mean the same thing, right??
  2. Visit nursern20 profile page

    About nursern20

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 56; Likes: 3
    grad nurse

    34 Comments

  3. by   nightingale
    Agency is usually local per diem or PRN work. Travelers, not always but usually, sign contracts for specified periods of time (usually 13 weeks) and are away from home.
  4. by   NurseguyFL
    To add to Nightingale's comment, travelers usually sign a contract for a specified number of hours per week. Per diem agency work offers no such guarantee. If you plan to do per diem work its always a good idea to register with more than one agency and you have to also be prepared to go wherever work is available, even if its a bit out of your way. Per diem shifts are canceled according to the census and its possible to go an entire week and not pick up any shifts at all.
  5. by   nightingale
    Good point NurseguyFl! I am going to make this post a stickey.

    Posters: Please add to this post any other differences our members should know about for Agency and Travel Nursing.
  6. by   pjs91n
    The diference is that per diem is usually local, while a travel nurse can be expected to move out their current state.They sign a contract usually 13 weeks or more. ( I traveled for 10 years) The agency provides housing, sometimes utilities and health insurance while you are under contract. The facilities schedule your hours and you become part of their staff but your check will come from your agency. If you are considering this option please read your contract carefully. It can be quite an experience.

    You are also contracted for 36-40 hours depending on the contract, while per diem is not so secure. per diem is more of a fill in situation.
  7. by   Nursonegreat
    when i was a traveler, i did so for about 3 yrs...i spent just shy of 2 yrs on the same floor per my chosing...at the 3 facities i worked..all 3 paid me my checks and they charged the company. i was guaranteed hours full time, but was the first to float to a different unit if there was low census on my home floor. there is no paid vacation time off, but bonuses at the end of ever 13 week "assignment". i just happen to renew my contract like 1000 times. and i got to tell them when i would be off...like i would have a 13 week assignment..but extended by say...2 weeks...then took a week off at xmas and had a new contract dated for after xmas...so i could go home for the holiday. no other regular emplyees would get to take vacation during xmas, but travelers could do what they wanted. it was a good deal and cant complain. was a great way for me to relocate to Denver for a few yrs while hubby went to school.
  8. by   LadyNASDAQ
    Quote from nursern20
    Whats the difference between a travel nurse and an agency nurse?? I mean in order to be a travel nurse you have to sign with an agency, so i would assume they mean the same thing, right??
    I do both travel nursing and agency nursing. Travel nursing is contracted with very little input for a schedule from the nurse to the hospital. They expect that you fulfill the contract with excellent attendance and attitude and it isn't easy being floated and having to take it many times on the chin. You are there to fill in temporarily for a staff nurse the hospital needs to hire and help fill that void in the schedule. I have worked crazy schedules you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy and was very tired with some pretty nasty assignments for the day while staff were sitting around. It was amazing how the Charge people looked away. The truth is, traveling is good to see other places but you can have let's say 3 patients on a step down unit and be simultaneously transfusing 2 out of 3 patients all day, 2 out of 3 are vented with issues and you may not have a secretary and be at the mercy of the day. I've been a Nurse for 28 years and even so, it's taxing on you heart and soul. Staff look at you like you're being paid one million dollars an hour and living at the Taj Majal!!!

    Agency nursing is far different. You can do the per diem thing where you pick your own days to work but the downswing is being cancelled and not having a back up hospital to go to. The way to prevent a lost day of salary is a back up per diem pool position so you can call them and offer to work and most probably can work that way and save the day.

    The other way to go is to work local agency as contract which is what I am doing now. This nails me into a schedule and I am earning high pay. No bennies though which isn't cool but at least I won't be cancelled for the day. I also have a lot to say about my schedule vs. being a traveler and don't. I also get to live at home and be able to enjoy my beautiful area especially now. It's Winter in S. Fl. It's in the 80's in the day time and the 70's at night. I'm also getting paid $40.50/hr. and paying off my bills nicely. Who can complain?????

    I am tinkering with the idea of working a hospital part time for bennies which would be a hospital I don't go to for agency work. Also, a back up for money when the census drops during the Summertime.
  9. by   rentalnurse
    i've per deium and been a traveler for almost 8 yrs, been there done that and taken a lot of crap. driven far and then worked for 3 hrs and then sent home or booked for days in a row and worked 1/2 a shift and then the rest cancelled. seen the good,the bad and the real ugly. gone to travel assignmets and been treated as if i just graduated from nsg school. other places have been great. have had travel assignments cancelled for the dumbest reasons and they can say most anything and you cant dispute it. most of my assignments now are usually about 2 hrs from home so wk a few days and go home. healthcaretraveler.com
  10. by   FullTimeTraveler
    wow wow wow, wrong wrong wrong. I tried traveling and as you can guess, I loved it. You have to ask what the situation is that you are agreeing to. My latest assignment here in San Diego, I'm treated like any other staff member. I'm not a fill in, but have a specific shift I do. Some places I go, co nurses look down on you b/c they're mostly jealous at my higher rate of pay, but I don't get floated first. Before taking an assignment, I agree on a shift and a unit. But you know what, I can do this b/c I don't have any committment, marriage, kids, etc. Agency can be fill in spots (per diem), but they too can also be contract positions with guranteed shifts usually for 3 month contracts at a time. The difference is locality. Travelers get paid well, plus housing and travel is covered (non taxable housing!). Agency contracts you get paid more than regular staff and travelers, but you're staying in your area, and getting paid like a normal employee. Also, usually, you don't get health insurance. Travel nursing, you'll always be employed b/c there will always be a dozen awesome places for you to be needed to choose from (Las vegas, Hawaii, San Diego, LA, Miami, should I say more?). Agency nurses, you're in one area and depending on jobs needed in that area. Usually, an agency has both a traveling department and a regular department. I'm doing traveling to explore places I'd want to permanently live. I have no regrets! But I will eventually settle down, I promise. Oh, did I mention completion bonuses with traveling?
  11. by   pjs91n
    Are you serious? While there are many perks about traveling. you failed to mention the downsides as well. First i did not find the money any better, i learned that the agency gets a budget to work with from the facility and the more your housing cost the less you get in salary. the bonus at the end is great but it does not make up for the weekly pay. Also, once the assignment is over they do not bring you back home to your home base they pay for traveling from assignment to assignment. i also learned that when i stopped travelling i had a diffcult time to rent an apartment on my own because i had no recent credit in renting. For one period of time i was in Seattle for longer than i wanted to be because there was not an assignment in my home base. This is not meant to discourage travelers, just a suggestion to look at very carefully before going out there especially if you are a LPN. Our assignments are far and few between.
  12. by   Treasure30
    Hello Everyone,
    I guess it depends on the individual & the travel agency you're with. I love it. First of all, I practice in an area that I most enjoy. Although I have experience in MedSurg, Telemetry, Oncology & even clinic areas, my love is L&D. My travel agency makes sure everything is paid for there & back or I'm reimburse. I have been dumped on, but I enjoy L&D, so while their sitting on their ..., I'm doing what I enjoy. The days that I'm not at my best, I come in & give them 2 choices. This is what I tell them,"yall can give me a fair assignment or I'm sick & I might not be back'. I alway come back, if you know what I mean. I enjoy travel, but I guess you have ti have the personality for it.
  13. by   suzanne4
    From a tax standpoint, the completion bonus is a bad thing. Always much better to get it added in to your pay, or then it is paid at non-earned income and a much higher rate.

    And especially if it is a contract where you are doing alot of overtime, it is much more to your advantage to get the bonus added in, if your agency pays it. And it can be done.
  14. by   carycool
    I heard they are giving a bonus pay of 50.000 in south texas. I want to know which hospital?

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