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Travel Nursing...

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by DreamCastle DreamCastle (New Member) New Member

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hola everyone! i have been nursing for 1.5 years in the same hospital. never worked anywhere else. i have recently been considering the travel nursing thing, thinking about trying hawaii for 13 wk assignment. the sites make it sound very good; private housing, food allotment, travel allotment, etc. has anyone ever done the travel thing? any ideas, advice? thanks!

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6,487 Posts; 21,382 Profile Views

I've never traveled just because it's not something that interested me, but I've known quite a few travelers. Some tried it just for the experience and still had a job at home, they took a leave for a 13-wk assignment. Most of them did nothing but travel. If they really liked an assignment they extended the contract, otherwise after the contract was up they moved on. I worked with several who liked our hospital so much they extended for over a year each. Just make sure, if you do not want a roommate, that you make that clear. My travel friends told me horror stories about not making it clear that they wanted to live alone and being stuck with roomies they hated.

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I'm nearly brand new to nursing, this was my first semester, but being a travelling nurse is something that really interests me. I have years before I can really consider it, and a lot to learn, but I love different languages and cultures. There's just something about going to places with great need, and we all know there are a lot of places like that in the beautiful world of ours.

I guess I need to keep my eye out for those 13wk explorations.

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Dixielee has 38 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

1,222 Posts; 9,629 Profile Views

Try checking the travel nurse forum on this website. You will find a wealth of information from current travelers and future travelers there.

I have been a traveler since 2000, and love it. You don't get wrapped up in the politics of a hospital, are able to bypass a lot of meetings, etc. There are too many reasons to mention here.....just check the travel forum.

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RN4NICU has 15 years experience as a LPN, LVN.

1,711 Posts; 6,840 Profile Views

13 week assignments are hard to come by in Hawaii (or they were when I traveled). Most agencies wanted a minimum of 6 months (26 weeks). The pay wasn't very good either. There were A LOT of nice things you had to give up to take an assignment in Hawaii when I was travelling. I just never thought it was worth it, so I never went.

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

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Never travelled to Hawaii, but I am currently on my second travel assignment- first was in FL, now I'm in NC. Be careful about the company you choose- you should be able to get free private housing, free insurance, travel & licensure reimbursement, etc. Depending on what state you go to & your specialty, you can definetley make a lot of $. Hawaii my not pay as much if housing is more expensive, though. Also, if you will not be maintaining a "tax home"- keeping an apartment or own a home in your home state, you won't qualify for tax-free housing- you will be taxed on whatever your company spends on housing for you- example: I don't own a home or keep an apartment in my home state, so each month, I get about $200-300 extra taken off in taxes for housing- still cheaper than paying $1000 in rent, utilities, & rental furniture, though. PM me if you'd like to know more about my company or my recruiter, or if you have any more specific questions.

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zozzy777 has 11 years experience and specializes in Critical care/ER, SRNA.

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I have been a doing travel nursing for almost 8 years now. I have loved every minute of it.

There are a ton of companies out there to choose from. Overall, I would say most of them are about the same. There may be a thing or two that one offers and another doesn't. Most of them today offer free private housing. Hawaii may be different though. It's been a few years since I looked into it, but I know all the hospitals there are union. You will be required to join the union and pay dues while you are there. It used to be you had to pay a portion of your rent as well because it is expensive there. Something to keep in mind, when you travel, you are not going for the job, but for the experience of living somewhere you have never lived before. Sometimes the job really sucks, but you might be living in a great new city with so much to do!!

You also will not find really high hourly rates anywhere. Very often, you might even make less than the staff nurses. For example, I was in NYC last year, my rate was 31$/hour and the staff was making 10-20 more than that. However, I was living in NYC with my own apartment and not paying a dime. You make your money because you do not pay rent or utilities.

As far as the previous posting about a tax home, there are ways around that. If you have family where you are now, use one of their addresses as your permanant address. I don't know any of my travel friends who lets the company tax their benefits. Do your research on the companies and all of their requirements. The smaller ones tend to be harder to work with and have fewer assignments available. I have been with Cross Country Trav corp for many years and love them.

I guess i have babbled enough!! Good luck and feel free to PM me if you like!!

oh, and if it is a high paying job, there is a reason for that. Odds are the job really sucks and will be really hard.;) :balloons:

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

672 Posts; 6,502 Profile Views

As far as the previous posting about a tax home, there are ways around that. If you have family where you are now, use one of their addresses as your permanant address. I don't know any of my travel friends who lets the company tax their benefits.

Unless you are paying rent at your "permanent address", this would be tax fraud. Regardless of what company you are with, if you aren't paying rent or a mortgage somewhere, you do not qualify for tax-free housing. In order to use a friend or family member's address as your tax home, you would need to be able to prove that you are paying rent there, and they would then have to claim that rent as income on their tax return. You might be able to get away with using their address without paying them rent, but if you or your friend/family member get audited, you'll be screwed. Please see the following articles:

http://www.healthcaretraveler.com/healthcaretraveler/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=364671

http://www.healthcaretraveler.com/healthcaretraveler/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=368106

http://www.healthcaretraveler.com/healthcaretraveler/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=415500

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15 Posts; 958 Profile Views

I hear some of you talking about traveling, but most of you are mainly talking nationally. Anyone have lots of global experience? Honestly going to another state doesn't mean that much to me, i'm more talking other countries. To add to it, i really don't care as much about high pay for excursions. The whole reason for going would be to experience the people and cultures. Even going longer than 13 weeks. Afterall, I don't know if 13 weeks lets you truly grasp the language.

Anyone know of international agencies i can start reasearching?

Thanks for everyones feedback.

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

672 Posts; 6,502 Profile Views

I hear some of you talking about traveling, but most of you are mainly talking nationally. Anyone have lots of global experience? Honestly going to another state doesn't mean that much to me, i'm more talking other countries. To add to it, i really don't care as much about high pay for excursions. The whole reason for going would be to experience the people and cultures. Even going longer than 13 weeks. Afterall, I don't know if 13 weeks lets you truly grasp the language.

Anyone know of international agencies i can start reasearching?

Thanks for everyones feedback.

During nursing school, I spent 1 summer in Haiti & 1 summer in Romania, working with public health nurses in both countries, but it was strictly volunteer work- I wasn't paid, just had housing provided for me- but it was an awesome experience- I saw things there that I'll never see here in the states. There are several international volunteer medical organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders or Mercy Ships, but these would mostly be volunteer positions as well. Not sure how you would go about getting a paying international travel job, though. Try the travel nurse forum- I'm sure there are several agencies that specialize in international assignments. Good luck!

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