Per-diem or Traveler

Posted

I am moving to AZ at the end of May with my husband and 2 kids. I had thought that maybe travel nursing would be a good way to get things paid for like our move, my license etc. The. I saw that per diems make great money and someone made the point to make sure your travel pay is the same or better than per diem and to be sure that the housing stipend is coming from my pay.

So, I'm confused. For Phoenix, I've seen per diem rates around $39. Travel agency websites boast $1100-1400 weekly after taxes (if that's accurate I don't know ) .

So since it's a huge move from Boston to Phoenix, should I do a travel assignment for 13 weeks to get some of my move paid for or does per diem make more more sense?

Thanks.

MsConstrued

MsConstrued

79 Posts

You have to keep a tax home in order to be a traveler. There is a plethora of information on what that means on PanTravelers.org but if you do not pay market value rent to a place back in your tax state, keep your mailing address there, your car registration, etc. then you do not qualify for the tax-free stipends which are part of the $11-1400 a week you are seeing for a traveler. If you're definitely moving there you can look for a perm position that pays for relocation expenses or you can take those out of your taxes next year if you're NOT a traveler.

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,739 Posts

If you are moving, then your tax home will be where you are moving to, in this case Arizona. The rates you see advertised for travelers include things like tax free housing stipends you are not eligible for. Your best bet is to get a permanent job in Arizona and start shopping now. A real job, unlike per diem or travel, will pay a significant amount for moving expenses and/or sign on bonus, and provide benefits like sick time, holidays, vacation, and good health insurance, all better for your family than you will ever get from a travel company.

izzybee2001

izzybee2001

6 Posts

I just worked in AZ. A lot of nurses I know started working for St. Joes per diem for $46/hr. Good luck

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 2,418 Posts

Your husband needs to have a health insurance benefit for the entire family from his job if you are even considering per diem. Per diem employees do not get health insurance through the company they work for, generally, which is one reason the dollar amount they get is higher. Buying health insurance for your entire family out of pocket would totally defeat the purpose of working per diem. You would not save any money, and might actually take home less than you would as a staff nurse, if you had to buy insurance.

ParalyticAgent

ParalyticAgent

Specializes in Emergency, Med/Surg. 99 Posts

Buying health insurance for your entire family out of pocket would totally defeat the purpose of working per diem. You would not save any money, and might actually take home less than you would as a staff nurse, if you had to buy insurance.

I just want to point out that this isn't necessarily true. I received a 30% raise when I went per diem, and the cost of my insurance increased $140/month. That extra cost was absorbed by my significantly higher rate of pay, plus I love the freedom of being in charge of my own insurance.

A_Flood87

A_Flood87

17 Posts

We just had to buy our own health insurance because we are moving. My husband is not able to carry the benefits at this time. The insurance I just bought is only $150 more a month, and making per diem pay is a lot more than $150/month difference. I'm not too worried about buying benefits since I have to buy them elsewhere for this move.