First Travel Offer

Posted
by adpnurse adpnurse (New) New

Hello! I just received my first travel offer and I'm concerned and also confused about the breakdown. I would really appreciate any experienced traveler's opinions/advice!

South Carolina offer:

Hourly: 12.25

Overtime: 18.38

Daily per diem: 26.67

Gross weekly pay: 627.67

*Housing included, $500 travel reimbursement

Hourly: 12.25

Overtime: 18.38

Daily per diem: 26.67

Housing stipend: 2025.00

* find your own housing

I am very confused about the low hourly rate and the vast difference in pay if I take the housing...Is this something common? This company gets great reviews on this site and other blogs, and I really like my recruiter and feel comfortable with her, BUT at the same time, I don't want to get low balled! What to do?!

adpnurse

adpnurse

7 Posts

whoops! I forgot to include the gross weekly pay of the housing stipend offer: $1100.17

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,718 Posts

Well, if you don't want to see what other agencies are paying, compare the pay to your permanent job. Is it comparable, better, or worse? Do you need more? What is your specialty and experience? Where are you from? What are your financial goals? Where do you want to be in five years? Is travel going to be a career? Do you need good health insurance? Willing to give up the security of a staff job?

There are going to be a lot of issues you will be confused about until you actually try an assignment or two. Then you will be better able to frame pertinent questions, and many of the answers may then be clear by then anyway. "Lowball" pay on your first assignment is just not that important.

ZAesruN

ZAesruN

2 Posts

Im new to this too but wouldn't your hourly, between the per diem and the hourly base pay come out to about $39? Thats not to mention the housing stipend if you went that route which broken down would be about $14 more an hour. I guess you would have to ask yourself if $53/hour is acceptable for you.

meandragonbrett

meandragonbrett

2,438 Posts

I wouldn't get out of bed for $627 per week.

NurseRies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nephrology, Dialysis, Plasmapheresis. Has 7 years experience. 473 Posts

Hello! I just received my first travel offer and I'm concerned and also confused about the breakdown. I would really appreciate any experienced traveler's opinions/advice!

South Carolina offer:

Hourly: 12.25

Overtime: 18.38

Daily per diem: 26.67

Gross weekly pay: 627.67

*Housing included, $500 travel reimbursement

Hourly: 12.25

Overtime: 18.38

Daily per diem: 26.67

Housing stipend: 2025.00

* find your own housing

I am very confused about the low hourly rate and the vast difference in pay if I take the housing...Is this something common? This company gets great reviews on this site and other blogs, and I really like my recruiter and feel comfortable with her, BUT at the same time, I don't want to get low balled! What to do?!

In my opinion, the offer seems low, but if you take the stipend, that's a whole different story! Housing in South Carolina is not that expensive, so you could bring home a lot if you find your own housing. Your overtime rate is terrible. I would never go for a base rate that low, but that's just me. I would ask for a higher hourly rate and a more reasonable stipend.

adpnurse

adpnurse

7 Posts

Thanks for the input from everyone! I am looking into traveling for the experience and to pay off my student loans, so the pay is something important. I know the housing in South Carolina isn't too expensive, but I have a pet which makes it a little more difficult to find a sublease.

I looked into another agency who offered me around $1000 a week, including housing. But I've come to find out that agency has a lot of horror stories! I guess there is no perfect deal, and it's something I'll have to keep researching and learn as I go.

Truckee

Truckee

Specializes in emergency. Has 12 years experience. 32 Posts

This is also a good time to look at overtime. "Pantravelers.org" talks about this at length and if you have an opportunity to read about overtime rates it is worth your time.

1. Your agency's bid for your job might be; $60/hr for the first 40 hours worked, and $75/hr for any OT.

2. Your agency has to make sure they get all of operational costs/overhead (your pay, housing, insurance, and recruiters pay and insurance) out of the first 36 hours (these are guaranteed hours). And let's assume these "$'s" are a 50/50 split between you and your agency.

3. The minute you work any OT at $18/hr the split changes to 25/75. You are now getting a quarter of the bill rate and the agency gets $55-60 pure profit.

Your agency is "betting" you'll not work any OT and "hoping" you'll work a ton. Never make this mistake twice.

Good luck

NurseRies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nephrology, Dialysis, Plasmapheresis. Has 7 years experience. 473 Posts

This is also a good time to look at overtime. "Pantravelers.org" talks about this at length and if you have an opportunity to read about overtime rates it is worth your time.

1. Your agency's bid for your job might be; $60/hr for the first 40 hours worked, and $75/hr for any OT.

2. Your agency has to make sure they get all of operational costs/overhead (your pay, housing, insurance, and recruiters pay and insurance) out of the first 36 hours (these are guaranteed hours). And let's assume these "$'s" are a 50/50 split between you and your agency.

3. The minute you work any OT at $18/hr the split changes to 25/75. You are now getting a quarter of the bill rate and the agency gets $55-60 pure profit.

Your agency is "betting" you'll not work any OT and "hoping" you'll work a ton. Never make this mistake twice.

Good luck

Yeah I wish I had known that on my first assignment! I was working tons of overtime and was making good money, but my agency was probably making a killing! I have recently found out that overtime rates can be negotiated. Don't work overtime at $18/hr just because it's "time and a half"... Good luck!

adpnurse

adpnurse

7 Posts

I had no idea about the OT profit! I would never do OT for $18 an hr, and don't plan on doing any OT while I'm traveling anyways because I want to enjoy my days off in a new location. Thanks for the information though!

whd13b

whd13b

Specializes in Med/surg, Telemetry/PCU, Bone & Joint. Has 5 years experience. 55 Posts

Actually one thing many are missing is the fact that the LOWER your hourly rate is, the better for you. Here is why: If they are only paying you $12.25 an hour, that is all you have to pay tax on! I mean ya can't beat that! However to figure out what they are actually paying you per hour, you need to break down how much your rent will be, minus the stipend they are giving you. This might end up adding a substantial dollar amount per hour to your pay. The same with the healthcare bene's. If you already have healthcare and it is costing you $500.00 per month but they give you a stipend of $1000.00, well that's another $500.00 per month you need to break down into your hourly rate. The point is, with all your stipends and allowances, if you can still walk away with 30/40 an hour as a travel nurse, that is excellent because in reality, you'd only be paying taxes on the actual "hourly" rate negotiated. That tax savings could be substantial.