I am currently shopping agencies for my first travel assignment ever. One of the agencies just quoted me 1600 gross for Cape Cod. I know the cost of living in the area is rather high. What would be considered a "good" rate for the area?
I'm afraid this one agency has been low balling me. They quotes me about the same for New Orleans and NYC.
Good rate compared with what? Specialty matters. Cape Cod is very off season right now, but you should go to Craigslist for a quick reality check.
In any case, you are not asking the right questions. Money and location are not important for your first assignment. Your priority should be getting a traveler friendly assignment, one you can complete successfully with a minimum of stress. For that to happen, you need to find recruiters that put your best interests first and focus on those assignments. Once you have a successful assignment on your work history, and know how readily you adapt to a new work environment, software, pt flow, staffing ratio, acuity, pt population, and work and local culture, then you can start chasing money and your location bucket list.
Probably better to let the agency to provide housing for you for your first assignment to further lower stress.
Well, Im not a novice nurse, Ive been in the ICU for almost 5 years, and my current hourly rate is pretty decent. I would not want to uproot and leave everything behind for a pay cut. Money and location are important to me, the reason why I want to do travel is because of the experience of living in different places where I can pursue some of my interests, and making more money.
So I am asking the right questions for myself.
Thanks your your input though
Travel may not be for you then. If you come from a high pay rate area, you are going to be disappointed with the money, especially when you factor in the loss of staff benefits. In any case, you still want your first assignment to be successful, and if you have never worked at another facility, you have no idea how difficult the transition can be. Might be easy for you, might be difficult. But if you chase the money on your first assignment, chances are much higher that it could be terrible. Often higher paying assignments have to pay more to get a warm body. Five years is a good amount of experience, but some hospitals require prior travel experience for a reason, and even if they don't, you might wonder why they would pay high and pick a new traveler over someone with proven success as a traveler. Travel assignments have minimal orientation and expect you to hit the ground running. Even more so with better paying assignments.
1600 sounds low to me, my last contract in southern New Hampshire was just under 1800/week for med-surg/tele, and not a crisis rate or anything, that was standard for other travelers I spoke with... I'd think Mass would be similar. Good luck! I'm looking to go to Mass next as well.
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