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Paid more than perm staff nurses?

Travel   (6,868 Views 41 Comments)
by redshott redshott (Member)

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quick question about travel nursing...i've met a few and am a current student (debating between nursing and RAD tech) and i heard that as a travel nurse, you get paid more than perm staff nurses? is that correct? i heard that was true in one place and am not sure if it's just because of the area there or if that's a standard across the US...thanks! ~amanda

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oMerMero specializes in ICU.

296 Posts; 3,817 Profile Views

Yes, travel nurses generally do get paid more than staff nurses. Travel nurses work through an agency rather than being an employee of the hospital. Travel nurses are used by hospitals to fill a staffing shortage.

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JRapha'sRN specializes in med/surg, rural, ER.

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As a traveler my take home pay was always similar or a bit more than the perm staff's pay, however I also got housing and travel expenses. The biggest perk for me was the ability to go to work and go home--no meetings or politics!

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caroladybelle is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

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Yes, travel nurses generally do get paid more than staff nurses. Travel nurses work through an agency rather than being an employee of the hospital. Travel nurses are used by hospitals to fill a staffing shortage.[/quote

As someone that has been in nursing "a long while", the pay is about the same or maybe a little more.

However, there is usually no PTO time. So it gives and takes.

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166 Posts; 3,289 Profile Views

As someone that has been in nursing "a long while", the pay is about the same or maybe a little more.

However, there is usually no PTO time. So it gives and takes.

I would have to disagree with you. In most locations throughout the country a travel nurse is compensated more so than a staff nurse. In places that have unions like maybe CA a staff nurse might have a comparable salary.

For instance, I am from a small town in the midwest. The going rate for an RN is between $17-20 per hour:o, but a travel nurse can make $50 an hour as an all inclusive rate. I also think that if you looked into it, many travel companies now offer PTO that accumulates and can be cashed in.

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caroladybelle is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

5,486 Posts; 29,453 Profile Views

I would have to disagree with you. In most locations throughout the country a travel nurse is compensated more so than a staff nurse. In places that have unions like maybe CA a staff nurse might have a comparable salary.

For instance, I am from a small town in the midwest. The going rate for an RN is between $17-20 per hour:o, but a travel nurse can make $50 an hour as an all inclusive rate. I also think that if you looked into it, many travel companies now offer PTO that accumulates and can be cashed in.

If one breaks strikes or works horrible assignments one might make $50-$80/hr, plus housing. Or includes your housing as part of the pay.

If one works a standard contract , a company may CHARGE $50/hr. But the nurse does not make that...not even remotely that in most cases.

While there are companies where one might make that, but generally there are reasons why many of us do not work for them. Some of them have ethical issues involved.

The average non-strike traveler is not making $50/hr plus housing in most places. Nor do they earn PTO in most agencies.

PS. I do not consider housing/utility moneys as part of my income, as I maintain a legal tax residence. Most of us do so, so the "free housing" doesn't really help the pay for me, I still have to pay for my house or pay heavy taxes.

This is information from the 4 travelers I worked with tonight, all with at least 3-6 years of travel experience. Of course, none of us work strikes and we do not include housing moneys as part of income.

By consequence, at my assignment in Philly, staff nurses working perdiem could get $55-$65 an hour and as many hours as they wanted at one inner city facility. "Crunch" pay in Baltimore for staff, was up to $75/hr for a 12 hour shift.

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166 Posts; 3,289 Profile Views

caroladybelle:

You and your four travel coworkers are wrong. Whether you maintain a permanent residence or not you still have to count the free housing or housing stipend as compensation from your company. The $50 an hour I stated was an all inclusive rate as I previously mentioned. I can give you actual examples and help work the math for you if you like. As I mentioned in my previous post, there are exceptions, however as a generalized statement, travel nurses are compensated better than staff nurses.

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RN Randy specializes in MICU, ER, SICU, Home Health, Corrections.

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caroladybelle:

You and your four travel coworkers are wrong. Whether you maintain a permanent residence or not you still have to count the free housing or housing stipend as compensation from your company. The $50 an hour I stated was an all inclusive rate as I previously mentioned. I can give you actual examples and help work the math for you if you like. As I mentioned in my previous post, there are exceptions, however as a generalized statement, travel nurses are compensated better than staff nurses.

Hey, do the math for me.... I'm thinking of local travel and I already drive 54 miles to work at the closest place. I own my home and curious of the travel pay, taxes and benefits of local travel. Within a 3.5 hour radius I have a few big cities in two states, with close relatives, so I could do some assignments parked in friendly yards with a small towed rv trailer I could drop off, and still be home for the rest of the week, moving the trailer only on assignment completions. ANY input appreciated!

thanks,

rb

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ERRNTraveler is a RN and specializes in Peds, ER/Trauma.

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Hey, do the math for me.... I'm thinking of local travel and I already drive 54 miles to work at the closest place. I own my home and curious of the travel pay, taxes and benefits of local travel. Within a 3.5 hour radius I have a few big cities in two states, with close relatives, so I could do some assignments parked in friendly yards with a small towed rv trailer I could drop off, and still be home for the rest of the week, moving the trailer only on assignment completions. ANY input appreciated!

thanks,

rb

THIS would be how you could really rake in some cash as a traveler- stay with family, commute from your home (as long as it's over 60 miles away), or RV it & pocket the housing stipend. Also, you can make a lot of money with some companies by working overtime- my company pays me double time for overtime. But generally, travel nurses do make more than regular staff nurses.

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nursetobe668 specializes in med&surg.

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But generally, travel nurses don't get any pensions. That's a biggy consider future retirement income. Only company matching 401 plan, sometimes they only match up to 50%. Plus a lot of agencies only pay $25-35/hr as the base. And majority travel nurses' jobs are 12 hour night shifts. The average assignments are 13 weeks in length. Unless you really good in adapting new enviornment, to switch from hospital to hospital in such short period of time, the stresses from adapting new work places, new bosses and co-workers, different working hours, and relocation as a whole may not be even worth the pay.

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ERRNTraveler is a RN and specializes in Peds, ER/Trauma.

672 Posts; 6,501 Profile Views

But generally, travel nurses don't get any pensions. That's a biggy consider future retirement income. Only company matching 401 plan, sometimes they only match up to 50%. Plus a lot of agencies only pay $25-35/hr as the base. And majority travel nurses' jobs are 12 hour night shifts. The average assignments are 13 weeks in length. Unless you really good in adapting new enviornment, to switch from hospital to hospital in such short period of time, the stresses from adapting new work places, new bosses and co-workers, different working hours, and relocation as a whole may not be even worth the pay.

I get a better match with my 401k now than I did as a permanent staff nurse. I make approx $10/hr more now than I did as a staff nurse. I LIKE working nights. Part of the beauty of travel nursing is the 13 week assignment- I never have to get involved in hospital politics, and get to see new places. Part of being a travel nurse is being highly adaptable- if you are not someone who likes change, traveling is not for you, but most travelers thrive on the change in scenery every few months. And most companies reimburse for travel expenses, so, for most of us, it IS worth the pay- we wouldn't travel if it weren't

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6,620 Posts; 14,269 Profile Views

It can be stressful, but I do make a lot more than I did as a staff nurse. I take home about 2K more a month than I did as staff in the same hospital.

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