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Thoughts on entering travelling nursing for $$$$$

My husband & I are throwing around the idea of selling our house, our possessions, & going on the road as a traveling RN... We live in Pittsburgh and have over $150,000 in loan debt due to my husbands recent graduation from law school. Sadly, there are no jobs jobs for him here in law, finance, marketing, etc; His only income is poker, which, thankfully, he makes quite a profit at.

My thought was that I could make good money as a traveling nurse, enough to keep up with our bills and keep us afloat, and he could help out by playing poker. I was under the impression that traveling nurses make over $40/hr. Now, after reading quite a bit about the profession, I feel i may be wrong. I make $23/hr at a nursing home currently & this seems to be better pay than most that I am seeing.

I would appreciate any thoughts on the situation because right now our money is running out and we need to change something. Perhaps agency nursing in Pittsburgh would be better? We are both at such a loss right now. :confused:

EmergencyNrse specializes in Emergency Medicine.

Poker isn't a good strategy. The odds are against you.

Traveling is a way to make money if you can be flexible.

There is a lot of uncertainty with respect to availability of jobs.

150k is a HUGE defecit to overcome after school. Have you looked into some government programs designed to pay back student loans? The military and civil service had programs that paid down half of your loan value each year over 3 years for a 4-year commitment. 1st year 75k, next 37.5k, last 18.75k. That's 130k for 3 years. Puts a BIG dent in that debt.

Look to the west coast for the higher paying jobs. Good luck

I saw on another site that California nurses make $39/hr and $82,000 a year. But the cost of living is higher there. I am new to travel, but I do know pay changes with every contract, and I am not going to be making over $40 an hour. When I was a staff nurse I was making $22.75 and now I will be bringing home about $800 more a month. I agree with EmergencyNrse that poker isn't a good way. Couldn't he get a job in another state or city? The poker plan doesn't make sense to me personally.

flnursemichelle specializes in pcu/stepdown/tele.

I'm not going to shoot down the poker playing, if he can make a go of it, go for it. I also wouldn't go into travel nursing for the cash. It isn't there. If you can get a local travel assignment, it is good. I took several local assignments that were more than 50 miles from my home and I got the housing stipend so that helped. It sucked that I drove an hour plus each way to work but I kept telling myself I was making all the extra money.

If you sell everything and do travel nursing, I would say get an RV but I am not sure that is a good way to go with 150K already owed. It has to be cheaper than housing but you never know.

I would say, try for big cities where you can get more for housing and find someplace cheap to stay. Stay away from florida, it pays very poorly. It is nice to visit in the winter but pay is very bad. California is good pay but cost of living is very high too. There really isn't a "golden" place to work/live where you will make lots of money.

I would look into local agencies and see how much they pay, maybe you could pick up a couple of extra shifts and that way you would still have your full time, benefit job and getting extra pay on top. Just a thought, though.....

Best of luck, I hope you find something soon!

RN Zeke specializes in Postpartum, Antepartum, Psych., SDS, OR.

If you do travel contracts-Look on craigs list for your housing.

My experience has been mainly CA for the last two years. What I count on is...

If you take the provided housing, your take home is around $900/week. If you find your own home, take home is $1400/week. You get anywhere from $600-1000 tax free for each contract. It's not near as lucrative as I once heard, but it's okay and it's fun. If I had a partner to travel with, I would buy a cheap camper, take assignments in beautiful areas and live in parks! I have ran into a few travelers along the way that have done it this way and they have a great time...depends on your style.

It definitely isn't something to do 'just for the money'. It must also be about the adventure, otherwise, you'll end up disappointed.

The way the agencies pay out is kinda strange. For instance, I make $22.90/hr taxed + $250/week nontaxed + $2300/month nontaxed housing stipend....it ends up around $1400/week after taxes.....but you must have a 'tax home' (people get around this in different ways--talk to an accountant) to accept the tax free money.

Good luck...unless your partner is extremely good at poker, don't expect to make too big of a dent in your debt...but, you could stay afloat.

Personally I think you are more likely to loose rather than win in poker, but its your call. As far as the traveling goes, head to California, take the provided housing and keep a tax home somewhere where the cost of living is cheap. Best of luck....

GleeGum specializes in ED.

i wouldn't go into traveling for the money. also consider you will be paying for health insurance for him too. but it sure can be a great way to see the country and find somewhere else to live!

What about Saudi or Dubai? Alot of Aussie nurses go to Saudi for a year or 2 to earn tax free money and travel around Europe on their days off.

I know the income averages $100,000 AUD (and our dollar isn't far behind yours atm) - I'm not sure what the US nurses earn.

RNERHOUSESUPOR specializes in Paramedic,ER, House Supervisor, OR, CVOR.

What ever you do, consult a tax professional before embarking on any "tax free" adventures. My opinion and not an endorsement to any specific tax professional.

Believe me, there is no money in travel nursing. I have been in CA for 4 yrs now and am looking to get out. I have changed assignments, switched companies, etc. It is fun to go new places and meet new people, but otherwise it is not what you might think. Also, the benefits vary from place to place. Watch out for health insurance....you might get stuck with a bad plan. Also, rates seem to vary from hospital to hospital. In other words, the pay might change from assignment to assignment. Be sure this is something you want to do but for sure don't do it for the money.....it simply isn't there!!


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