Travel vs permanent work

  1. HELP!
    I will be moving to Kodiak or Anchorage in April '16, (hubs has a job in kodiak) am currently a travel nurse and have heard that a travel nurse is better off doing an independent contract (which I know nothing about!) vs working with an agency if traveling to AK because as a staff nurse in AK you will make better than a traveler. is this true?

    Has anyone travel worked as an RN in AK and then became permanent and gotten paid the same or more as permanent?


    I will most likely be working for Providence as they have openings in L&D in Kodiak and Anchorage and that's my experience.


    I will be moving to AK permanently but was wondering if doing a couple travel positions would be better money vs applying for permanent positions right away.
  2. Visit Surfandnurse profile page

    About Surfandnurse, BSN

    Joined: Nov '15; Posts: 46; Likes: 37
    Travel L&D RN
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in L&D


  3. by   OutOfStater
    I've never heard of travelers making less in AK than staff nurses. AK has a solid pay rate for staff nurses, but it certainly isn't that large. I can't imagine travelers getting paid less (if you did get paid less as a traveler, it would likely be equivalent to staff pay in a large number of places in the 48)
  4. by   Surfandnurse
    Thank you outofstater! I think if you go to bethel or Sitka etc ( not soldotna, kenai, Fairbanks, homer or anchorage ) the pay as staff nurse is pretty high... And living in a bigger town with more competition for RN jobs prob brings the pay down a bit? If I'm wrong..... Please correct me! I have an interview with providence in anchorage but I'm going to see what a travel agency can offers me first.
  5. by   OutOfStater
    Working any job "in town" such as ANC or FAI is likely going to bring your pay down quite a bit in comparison to working somewhere in the bush. The cost of living however, is tremendously cheaper in say, ANC than it is in Bethel or Nome, where gas can go for $10/gal and milk is usually even more. The general rule is the farther from the road system you work, the more your paid and the more it costs to live. (some exceptions for SE such as Sitka, Juneau, Kodiak) Also keep in mind if you look at somewhere rather remote such as Bethel, transportation in and out can be a real issue depending on the weather.

    Prov. usually starts their staff nurses at $30/hr and goes up depending upon experience, certifications and then they have shift diff. Good luck!
  6. by   Surfandnurse
    Again, thank you OutofStater for the information. I greatly appreciate that you included Providence's starting hourly pay. It's always hard to ask "how much am I going to get paid?" when interviewed, but it's also important to be straight forward when applying for jobs.
    Sounds like doing a travel job would be more lucrative overall.
    I have NO desire to go to Bethel, but it's an average bush town so i used it as an example. Makes sense that cost of living is much higher in the bush towns and the transportation also is $$$. Sitka, Kodiak and Juneau aren't as expensive as "bush" towns because they have >5,000 people?? I am still waiting to hear from AK board of nursing, but I'm sure i'll get my endorsement in no time.
  7. by   AKYogini
    Hi Surfandnurse,

    I just moved to AK from out of state to work for Providence. They are offering some great incentives if you are planning on sticking around Alaska for a while. $10,000 signing bonus plus relocation assistance and great hourly pay. I personally could never work in the bush because of the remote location and my husbands job is in the city. Anyway, feel free to message me with any questions. I don't know anything about travel nursing but I know that both Providence and Alaska Regional are hiring like crazy.
  8. by   Surfandnurse
    I can't send personal messages yet cuz I haven't done by "15 posts" lol! so hopefully you'll get this reply.
    I was offered a full time L&D position at Providence in Anchorage but they won't tell me the hourly PAY!! But the lady from unit that I interviewed with etc mentioned doing a travel position to see if the hospital is a good fit, and then staying as permanent, which sounds like a good plan because yes they are hiring like crazy she said - many openings all the time.

    Which unit do you work on? A sign on bonus would be great! I'm sure they're highly taxed, but would still be money in your pocket. I know providence has hospitals all over AK, so once you are an employee I'm guessing you can re-locate? maybe? do you know?
    I declined the position they offered because I want to know the pay- as travel nursing positions are usually at minimum $40 an hour plus non-taxable income- making your actually take home ~$60/hour.
    Why is there so much turnover? People who aren't from there feel far away from family probably? The lady I spoke with said they just had a couple nurses resign and they had almost been fully staffed. (which she said was very abnormal and that they are pretty much always hiring travelers and permanent staff.)

    My hubs isn't sure yet about his job yet.
    are you going to become a resident? We would like to live there for at least 2 years, but don't necessarily want to be stuck there during the long dark times Jan-march.... We'll see what the good Lord provides I suppose!!!