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agatka agatka (New Member) New Member

Best travel nurse agencies

Travel   (187,886 Views 38 Comments)
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You are reading page 2 of Best travel nurse agencies. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Since this traveler is already making this pay, it is rather disrespectful to trash their decision. They were OK making that money when they first started. Without knowing all the facts, you might be dead wrong anyway. This is probably their first assignment, which is probably not a position you all have been in lately. Taking any assignment puts them on a better competitive footing for their next assignment - which is now. On top of that, this is a couple traveling. Thus the housing cost is halved and they may still be making decent take home. You need to also consider the difficulties of both being placed at the same hospital.

Just saying horrible pay is not constructive.

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My gf and I are working an assignment in Cali under Cross Country. We like the hospital and want to extend, but our contract sucks. We did not know you can negotiate and we get no other benefits for working overtime. Our contract basically is $20 1st 8 and $30 last 4, $1100 housing and $235/week M&I. What should we expect to take home for working the base 3 days a week in Cali? I'm just asking, so if we can renegotiate there is a number I should be shooting for.

Also is it possible to sign a new contract with the same hospital, but with a different agency?

If I were you I wouldn't extend bc the contract isn't worth it. You could be making so much more money then that! In CA I would expect $27-32 base rate, plus at least $2000-3000 stipend. If you like the hospital that much you could stay for maybe a couple more bucks an hour, but there's no way CC Is going to give you the kind of money you deserve now that they know you are willing to work dirt cheap. If money isn't the number one priority, maybe extend, but I would get some quotes from other agencies for your next assignment! That kind of pay is what I may expect in Ohio, but in CA, I would be very upset! There are agencies out there willing I pay better then that. Try some smaller ones maybe.

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Thanks for all of your input. We took the assignment, bc we were having trouble getting jobs. A lot of hospitals were rejecting our applications because I did not have enough nursing experience (2 years) but my gf had 4 years experience. We are both ED nurses with experience in everything ED related besides TNCC.

We have received other quotes from other agencies but they all seem to be around the same amounts. We know we are in a bad contract, which is why I came on here to get a general idea of what pay should be in Cali. We are planning on applying to a couple of other agencie, so far we are with Emerald, Fastaff, CC, RN Network, and TNAA.

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That is enough agencies to get decent quotes, logistics on getting the right assignment for two of you is next. Get some quotes, see if CC budges, don't burn any bridges so you can consider extending. Extensions do look good on your work history. Make sure you get your own written references. Southern California does average about $5 an hour less than Northern California, so that may be where some of those negative comments are coming from. Florida has a similar sunshine tax. Consider doing an assignment outside Southern California.

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There are hundreds of agencies out there. I would just would NOT recommend TaleMed. A company which no one is heard of, but was very highly rated by Highway hypodermics. That was why I applied with them. But I had to haggle with them to get my paychecks correct and my housing was awful and they did next to nothing to remedy it. Having a close relationship with a recruiter is important to me, but unfortunately I did not have that at all with TaleMed. I ended up working with Parallon since they have many facilities in Texas and I was happy with them.

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Just finished talking to the recruiter and she didn't seem to want to budge off of the numbers. I quoted her on some other offers and what other travelers were getting at the same facility. She kept trying to tell me different agencies structure contracts differently. I asked her about extra shifts after working our contracted 3. She tried telling me, they could only pay us our base $20 and then $30 for extra shifts. She must think I'm an idiot, or her company's billing department are idiots. By her train of thought then, she is telling me that the hospital pays them less on the extra shifts worked. I think we are done with this company.

Anyway I just want to clarify that the fair rate should be at least $30 base rate plus $2k-$3k for housing? Also is it just a matter of getting added benefits worked into a contract such as 401k, insurance, and meals and incidentals/per diem? Or is M&I's/per diem part of the $2k-$3k housing stipend?

Thanks for any input and you guys helping out 2 new travelers.

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I thought for years that not paying extra for the fourth shift was bogus, but it turns out there are situations where it is actually fair. Not that you would know unless the agency gave you a copy of their contract with the hospital though. Some hospitals pay a flat rate for the first 60 hours. Under such contracts, there is no way for an agency to do anything else but pay exactly that way for the first 5 days. Day 6 is all at overtime rate, and only then would the agency start having excess profits.

If the hospital contract is structured this way, what I would aim for is a higher overtime after 12 rate, and a higher 6th shift rate than one based on $20 an hour. I'd like to see something more like $60 after 12, and $45 for day 6. Of course, that is probably moot unless you actually worked that much this assignment.

So about all there is to negotiate is the travel pay I mentioned earlier (or take another assignment). Does CC still have an annual loyalty bonus? If so, I'd try to structure that into your pay structure now. I doubt they will do that, but no harm in asking.

Negotiating is not really about threats, but your recruiter needs to understand that if they don't move at all, you will not be rewarding them by working with them consistently in the future. Each traveler is worth around $20,000 a year in gross profits to an agency, and this is currently a traveler's market in ER, not an agency's market. If they lose you, they lose potential profits.

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I am seeing different numbers being posted for good pay in California. I plan on traveling there oon, probably in the next month or so, but I am new to the traveling game. I was told by some recruiters that your hourly base rate is low because they try to tax you lower, so it might seem like you are only paid $15 or so plus housing and food and that would equal what looks like you are getting paid $30 or so an hour. Does that sound right?

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Hello everyone!:) I am looking to find a travel agency who recruits a contract for Palmetto Health in Columbia, SC. If anyone knows, please share.

Thanks!

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The most direct way to find this out is to call HR at Palmetto and ask them what agencies they use.

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Ned, a quick question about the whole travel pay and base salary with OT. Is it ok for a traveler to set say 30/hr base with 45/hr OT and request maximum GSA per diem rates for the area in which they are going? At least that way I would have a steady net taxable income and only my tax free per diems would fluctuate depending on where I was. Like with my first assignment starting in 3 weeks I am stuck with a 20/hr base plus 30/hr OT and my MEI is double the max on the GSA site and the housing is just shy of the max, the net take home calculates to be ok for what I need but at the time I did not know negotiating was even an option. I do not want to necessarily limit my options here, but also need to make money myself and not feel like I am being taken advantage of. I would think this would be an ok move since the bill rate is what pays the agency and then they pay me, but I do not want an attitude of you need me more than I need you, because that is not the case. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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Whew, lots of jumble there. One probable typo, you meant your M&IE were half of GSA maximum?

For starters, you know all compensation comes out of a fixed hourly bill rate, right? That means all you can do with is slice it up differently. So on any given assignment, assuming best efforts at negotiation and working for an agency with the lowest gross profit margin there is, your maximum base compensation is fixed, period.

I would recommend taking a look at PanTravelers calculator and play around with it. Also read the related articles. While it is not designed for it, try changing various compensation amounts and hold the total compensation fixed. That will show you how playing with how the pie is sliced affects your take home pay without changing the cost to the agency.

So doing that with an agreeable agency would be called zero sum negotiation (my term). You will increase your pay and the agency profit remains the same. Great goal, and many agencies are willing to do just that. Why not? No cost to them and it gets them the traveler.

It just happens to be illegal. The IRS will call it recharacterization of wages (from taxable to non-taxable) if they catch an agency at it. The good news is that it is not illegal on our end, we won't owe the IRS back taxes, penalties, and interest.

Generally, the IRS cannot even catch agencies at it directly (unless the negotiation of recharacterization is documented), but from a big picture perspective they can garner enough proof to force the agency to mend their evil ways, and they are indeed slowly forcing all agencies to behave.

So all this looks like gobble-de-gook to you and I appear to be dancing around your straight forward question, right? Wrong. Nice clear answer, no you cannot dictate your compensation terms to an agency, compensation depends directly on their bill rate at that hospital and their gross profit margin. Period. What I told you was exactly how to work around the issue to maximize your pay. That's what you want, right?

One more tidbit of information here: M&IE come with a tax burden to an agency. You can receive it tax free, but it is not tax free to an agency. As a result, I've never seen an agency max it out, ever. The same is not true of provided housing (or stipend), the agency can max it out without extra cost, which is exactly what you are saying is happening (less typo). This IRS crackdown alluded to above has caused a new rule that applies to agencies: if housing is provided on a tax-free basis, M&IE must also be paid, at least 40% of the combined lodging/M&IE total. It is exactly in this way that the IRS is cracking down on most wage recharacterization in our industry, there is a tax consequence to doing so.

That is a lot to take in but here is a quick review:

  1. Fixed bill rate per agency, per hospital.
  2. Fixed gross profit margin per agency (based on their cost of doing business, and business model).
  3. Fixed total compensation for the traveler, per assignment.
  4. You may be able to negotiate how this total compensation is sliced, to your benefit and without personal risk.

Got it? Zero guarantees that you can extract from an agency beyond a single assignment contract.

Overtime is a completely separate issue from base pay (fixed total compensation per assignment), and one I've discussed several times (I'm guessing you have read at least one such discussion). Either reread those posts, or read the article on how to negotiate overtime on PanTravelers.

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