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Travel agency suing me for Per Diem for contract I did not start

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Against my better judgement, I signed up with A.mer.i.can. M.ob.ile for a 13 week assignment . Unfortunately 4 days before beginning my contract, my granddad was hospitalized and subsequently passed a day later. I contacted my recruiter immediately and left a detailed message in addition to an follow up email for my recruiter letting them know there was no way I would be able to begin this contract.

Long story short the agency paid me $220 towards per diem which I promptly had my financial institution reverse. I spoke with a very nasty account manager about these funds who said I was paid Per Diem inadvertently. I am like, "How, you guys knew beforehand, before the orientation started what was going on and that I could not start". Why in the world are you taking any funds from the facility if you are aware I was not able to begin this contract?

To make matters worse, the agency from hell is trying to recoup per diem and sent me an e-mail I owe almost $500. Other than the initial $220 I have never seen any money AT ALL.

They have referred me to a collection agency and I am currently drafting a cease and desist letter towards the coll. agency. DOes anyone have any insight? Has this happened to anyone before?

Edited by rn2themaxx

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

I was contemplating contacting this agency inspite of their reputation. Thank you for posting this.

I have no advice to offer but I am curious if there were penalties for cancellation specified in the contract.

Someone else posted about AM sending a "bill" to collections a couple of weeks ago. This is an outrageous abuse of the FCRA (fair credit reporting act). It could be legal but it is still an abuse to treat a labor contract as a money lending contract, especially in the absence of real damages. PanTravelers is looking into it. In the meantime, all we can do as a community is to shun AM and their various brands and let them know why. Just a few travelers turning down opportunities with them will cost them far more than they could ever hope to recover via collections and damaging traveler credit reports. They are a really, really big company and I've copied a list of their agency brands below.

About your personal situation, try calling the state labor board in California (AM's domicile), your state labor board, and the work state labor board. One of them may be able to help you settle this.

American Mobile brands are:

  • American Mobile Healthcare
  • Medical Express 2006
  • NursesRx 2000
  • Preferred Healthcare Staffing (brand disused as of Feb 2009)
  • Platinum Select
  • HRMC
  • O'Grady-Peyton International (international) 2001
  • Staff Care (physician)
  • Merritt Hawkins & Associates (physician)
  • Nurse Choice
  • RN Demand (brand disused as of Feb 2009)


  • RN Extend
  • Med Travelers (allied)
  • Rx Pro Health (pharmacy) 2007
  • Thera Tech Staffing (allied) 2003
  • Medfinders (vendor management) 2010
  • SingleSource (vendor management) 2010
  • Nursefinders (vendor management, travel, local staffing) 2010
  • Nursefinders Homecare 2010
  • National Healthcare Staffing (travel) 2010
  • Linde Healthcare/Kendall & Davis (physicians) 2010
  • Resources On Call (allied health) 2010
  • Club Staffing (allied health) 2010
  • Shiftwise (vendor management) 2013
  • Onward Healthcare (nursing and allied) 2015
  • Locum Leaders (locum tenens) 2015
  • Medefis (vendor management) 2015

Thanks for the list Ned. Surprised to see Nursefinders on the list. One of my classmates got his first job with them and was trying to get me to go with them.

I have an interesting NurseFinders story, at least interesting to me. I've never done local agency (except for a few days before I became a traveler) so I don't know NurseFinders from that. NurseFinders used to be big in local, not so much travel. Except that they were an early vendor manager and landed perhaps the largest account in the country (other than HCA), Kaiser hospitals in California. I did Kaiser contracts through one of their legion subcontracting agencies and did a telephone interview with them, and had to visit their offices to do the mandatory OHSA, drug tests and so on.

The interesting part is that in 2009/2010 American Mobile took away the Kaiser contract from NF and just a few months later purchased NurseFinders! Perhaps NurseFinders was cheaper after they lost Kaiser.

I just remembered that there is some more bad history from American Mobile. O'Grady-Peyton is one of their brands but mostly used for international recruiting. If you think your cancellation penalties are steep, OGP had a $20,000 penalty. Mind you, it was a two year contract for most of their travelers and OGP had a good bit invested in recruiting as they had to pay for NCLEX training and a plane flight over for the test. Historically, overseas trained nurses have a really bad pass rate. Nevertheless, OGP did not have $20,000 per traveler in expenses and paid below market rates to the contracted nurses. I helped one traveler get past the penalty phase - I'd have to read old emails and forum posts to remember the details, but the facts were on her side.

American Mobile has become the 800 pound gorilla in nurse travel, and unfortunately become a monster in other ways. This happens to many corporations when they get too big, they get arrogant and no longer adhere to best business practices. Most travelers will not have a problem, only the ones in your situation. As a result, American Mobile represents an unreasonable risk for all travelers. There are lots of agencies, no reason for anyone to take on the risk of working with a bad player, no matter how large.

Ned, thank you for the compilation of A.M.N's companies. I was advised by another colleague as well to contact the CA labor board. I will keep you guys posted. I do enjoy traveling but the blatant greed and disrespect for skilled professional RN's by these companies is disheartening.

michlynn, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology. Has 2 years experience.

you guys are making me so nervous about AMN! I'm on my first assignment with them and haven't had any issues thus far... but now I'm worried about future contracts with them!

You will have to figure out the risk/reward ratio here for you personally. As I said, most travelers will not have a problem. But why take the risk? You will likely earn more working for another agency as well. No downside!

BD-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in BMT. Has 10 years experience.

It makes me sad to hear these stories about AMN, as I travelled with them. If I go back to travel, I'll steer clear, and DEFINITELY won't recommend them to anyone!

Not sure what you can do. It would be nice to be able to litigate against AMN, but hardly worth the effort for $500.00. I have entertained the idea of figuring a way to break my own contract with AMN but have refrained because of the potential problems I could face. I am currently working my second assignment with AMN and have no intention of continuing with them. My first assignment was satisfactory but the current assignment is a contract from hell...yes, I signed it, but I must say there was plenty of deception on the part of my recruiter who refuses to return phone calls and e-mails at this point. As a Nurse who spent 31 years as a permanent hospital employee, it's quite different negotiating with a recruiter who seems to have the negotiating ethics of a used car salesman.