Full Time Position vs. Agency Position


Hi everyone,

It's my first post, but I figured the Allnurses community would be able to help me out, if anyone at all!

First of all, I'm a Medical ICU nurse working in Philly for 1.5 years. I'm originally from Cali so I came back to Norcal at the beginning of the month for family reasons. I figured I could work a travel nurse position job until April/May and then go back to Philly where I'm continuing my APN degree. I didn't have much luck with ICU travel nursing positions in the Bay Area (partially because I only have 1.5 years of experience and partially because I only have MICU experience, no neuro/trauma/CCU/etc)

I started applying to full time postions in the Bay Area, and an LTACH/acute care facility was really looking for ICU RNs. What they do is right up my alley - vent weaning etc - so I fit the position well. But what is frustrating is since I heard of them through the website and applied for the full time position, they are paying me like a full time employee, even though we have already mutually agreed on an end date of April 30, 2013. I'm only working there for 2 months. I'm frustrated because the CCO actually told me that they ARE hiring nurses through agency, and I'm sure they are getting paid like travel nurses (government stipends for meals and housing) rather than getting paid like a full time employee. Their take home pay is going to be much higher than mine, because of how we are taxed. I've already asked a couple times if there was a way that I could be considered an agency nurse rather than a full time employee because of the length of my employment, but I'm assuming it is because agency nurses are more expensive that they choose to hire me as a full time employee.

What is the most frustrating is that I'm going to be in their same cohort. They are still being hired and I am "waiting" for them to get hired, and I'd like to get started right away!

Does anyone have any advice, maybe how I can persuade them to hire me as an agency nurse rather than a full time employee.

Also maybe how I can figure out my taxes to have the IRS consider me as a travel nurse these few months, rather than a full time employee.

Thanks to all you nurses, in advance :)



2,438 Posts

Agency and Travel are not the same thing necessarily. You are employed by the facility and not an outside staffing company. They are not going to give you the stipends and per diem that some people are eligible to receive without paying federal taxes on.


55 Posts

If you don't mind me asking, how much is the tax difference between the two positions of agency and full-time employee?


1 Article; 5,767 Posts

If it is outside agency they are hiring, it is likely less expensive than in-house employees by a good bit. And will pay you less as well. So I'm not sure what their reluctance to play ball with your wishes would be based on.

You are able to deduct expenses for working away from home if you are maintaining a home in Philly. That includes actual costs of housing, rent, utilities, and furnishings; commute miles in the Bay area; mileage to and from the Bay area; and M&IE per IRS Publication 1542 (less 50%). These deductions form the basis for agencies doing the same thing on your behalf before taxes. So you will get some benefit, but perhaps not a lot for just a couple of months. That is because when you deduct expenses yourself rather than an agency "reimbursing" you, you are subject to thresholds that reduce the tax benefit to you. In addition, the agency can use Publication 1542 for a housing stipend which is far better than the receipted housing that you can deduct yourself.

But the chances are that if you get employed soon, your total bankable pay will be higher as employee status rather than agency. But if they are dragging their feet, I don't know what to recommend. Why are you not applying for agency directly? You don't need the hospital's permission. Or is it possible you are referring to in-house per diem and not an outside agency?


6 Posts

Your first mistake was you applied through the facility web site. You need to sign up with a travel company. But it will be to late there. Most places make you wait a certain time after not working for them be for you can come in as a traveler. Sorry