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Can you pay off your mortgage doing travel nursing?

Hello, I am seeking any person's advice who has traveled and can give me some sound advice about travel nursing. I am 58 years old and recently semi-retired from a full-time job in psychiatric nursing specialty. I still owe payments on my house and I want to forge forward to pay off my home as quickly as I can by making the most I can without having to be committed to working a regular full-time job yet working full-time hours and also since I still need to work full-time to reach this goal, I considered travel nursing. Since I am a little apprehensive about just going all out to travel, I thought about local travel nursing within the state I live in Tennessee where I would still be within distance to travel back to my home if need be. Has anyone done this type of travel nursing? Was it beneficial financially? Just trying to determine if I would be better off just working full-time and working either extra hours or PRN somewhere else to reach my goal quicker than travel nursing. I have heard of people who have paid cash for their homes doing travel nursing. I am open to any suggestions, comments, advice, etc from anyone who has actually traveled and knows the benefits of traveling financially regarding whether I could possibly come out on top traveling, as I am open to traveling anywhere after doing a trial run in my own state close to home (being that I find it something I would consider doing again). Thanking everyone in advance for your ideas, suggestions, comments, advice. As I am divorced, unattached with no immediate family in the state I live in so no worries about missing someone or close friends etc to keep me from the idea of traveling anywhere in the states. Also, does anyone know of any travel agencies or recruiters which you have had good experiences with during your first travel assignement? Stay Blessed! Lela

You will get more cash and less benefits as a traveler. It is similar to working per diem in that regard. More cash means faster pay down on loans. Agencies can quote you on weekly take home which will give you a good idea if you also research what housing will cost in a given location.

A major part of the financial advantage of being a traveler is tax free stipends for housing, meals & incidentals, and travel. If you take an assignment close enough to commute from home, these stipends are now taxable. Research "tax home" on PanTravelers or TravelTax for more details (very important before you start to travel).

For psych, I'd recommend larger agencies to stay working steadily with good choices of location. These include Cross Country, American Mobile, RN Network, Supplemental, and Worldwide. I'd recommend signing up with all of them. If you get a recruiter you don't communicate well at one of these, ask the manager to shift recruiters.

8-ball specializes in ICU, and IR.

I started out in travel that way. I have a house in Nashviile and I started by traveling to Louisville about 2.5 hours drive. I stayed with friends that I rented a room from. Thats the best way so that you can still get housing stipends and your friends dont charge much hopefully. However you do still need to rent from them not just for free, that way you are duplicating expenses. Depending on where you live you can travel about 1-2 hours near your home. If its too close you dont get your housing stipend.

Buyer beware specializes in GENERAL.

Lela, You sound like a good egg. I believe what you propose to do, depending on the particulars, is achievable. I sense that you are on somewhat of an existential journey as well.

The biggest concern I have is the very real obstacle of many employers wanting to put people of a certain age groups out to pasture, or conversely, if just starting out, claim they're not experienced enough. (the double whammy)

Perhaps in your area of expertise being older is more of a asset than anything else. I believe most enlightened folks would think so.

I think back in the day people were more inclined to give an earnest applicant a break, or maybe other than benevolence it had to do with need. Who knows?

You should blog on your experiences in this regard as I believe the journey you are on and the circumstances you find yourself in have great human interest value as well as being an exercise in the courage to move forward.

Buyer beware, I'm going out on a limb and say you've never traveled. What you are saying is true of traditional employers or more specifically their myopic accountants. Swapping higher paid senior staff with new employees does save cash albeit at the expense of productivity and in the case of healthcare: higher morbidity and mortality. Even bottom feeder employers like Walmart have recently seen the light with higher pay and career opportunities to increase retention, not turnover.

The exact opposite situation happens in travel nursing. There is a fixed bill rate per hour worked. Same cost to the manager and the hospital no matter the experience and skills of the traveler. Guess who they pick? That's right, the oldest and most experienced nurse!

So travel is a good place for the discarded experienced nurse.

Well Buyer beware, LOL really LOL really hard. Yeah, I always tell people that I have three strikes against me: old, fat, and black. Hopefully, since I am in psychiatric nursing, most nurses don't want that field because you can get beat up in it... LOL so maybe they might be really desparate... at least I want to give it (travel nursing) . I have decided to take a PRN position and then be open if an opportunity comes along to try one contract hopefully with 2- 6 miles away from home; if I don't like it, I can always go back to PRN and a part-time position which would give me flexibility and autonomy with the ability to schedule my work days. For sure I will come back to this site to let you and the others know if travel nursing was my cup of tea. I just want to give it a try... I have nothing to lose now since I am no longer full-time and even if I wanted to go back to full time there is a possibility I could do that too. Thanks so much for your insight, suggestions, and comments. Lela

Born black is a hindrance in most professions. Fat (obesity, not so much overweight) is a downside as well. However, overweight and obese is almost two thirds of the population. I don't know the percentage of black nurses but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't larger than the black/white general population. As you are well aware, human nature is hire persons similar to yourself. Thus a racial/gender/size/disability discrimination is persistent. Not a lot of black managers. In my specialty, operating room, I've not seen one black manager in over 20 years of travel (other than a couple charge nurses). More black surgeons than managers, but not many of them either.

Generally, none of that is a huge problem for travelers and there are tons of black travelers. You are not doing an in-person interview so the visual won't deter the manager. As an aside, video interviews are becoming commonplace. I don't like the idea as it does allow managers to exclude candidates based on other than skills and experience. If your English pronunciation is standard and you can string a few sentences together, you will do well in a telephone interview. For the most part, the interview is to persuade the candidate to take the job, not screen them. They have already decided based on your profile that you are qualified for the job. Many facilities that utilize large numbers of travelers waive an interview altogether (seems less likely to me for psych). Remember they are only making a commitment of three months, not long term staff where discrimination will certainly play a larger role.

As I implied earlier, old is great, especially if it matches a long career. Otherwise, the manager cannot tell your age if your work history is say five years of nursing and you don't list past 8 or 10 years total. Birthdates/marital status kinds of questions are illegal and not part of the profile your agency will present to the hospital. Ultimately they will know after all parties have committed.

If you are really nervous, try to get a three month leave of absence from your staff job and see how well it works! I certainly understand your concerns and am not trying to downplay them, just give you the facts as I see them from the other side (traveler I mean, but certainly does include my biases as born white).

LOL well again NedRN you are the BALM!!! Thanks for the input and your take on it from your perspective. I too, thought that biases and prejudices which are more prevalent as from my experience of living in the southern part of the USA ; however, again, I have other experience in LTC and Utilization Management, rehab, dialysis etc that I can draw on. Again, the body is wearing down from long 12 hours of standing and running on your feet all night long; here is where psychiatric nursing does not wear on the body as much as medical surgical does. Again, thanks you are the BALM!!!! LOL again and again! Lela better known as Odobox (my grandpet's name). :)

ICUman specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

As an aside, video interviews are becoming commonplace.

Are they? I wonder what managers are seeking to unveil with this method versus traditional phone call.

ICUman specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

LOL well again NedRN you are the BALM!!!

What is the balm?

Do you mean "the bomb"? If so, I agree.

LOL yeah Balm is some healing ointment! I guess he can be balm and a bomb???? I am on the over the hill gang side so I guess I should stay in my lane.... LOL

Are they? I wonder what managers are seeking to unveil with this method versus traditional phone call.

It is actually agencies seeking a competitive advantage.


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