First travel offer, is it good enough???

  1. I'm a new into the world of traveling (RN) and have received my 1st offer doing medsurg on the east coast with American Mobile. The pay i kinda figured is not enough (about $1200 take home weekly including housing stipend) with housing stiped the pay would be about $400 less weekly. All other qoutes i have received have been about the same pay range. Any suggestons, tips, higher paying companies? I have a compact license.
  2. Visit bobs201 profile page

    About bobs201

    Joined: Apr '08; Posts: 93; Likes: 22
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience


  3. by   truejewel82
    I honestly haven't heard the best things about AM. They don't have the highest pay rate but they are a big company and they have lots of assignments. My friend used them and said she had to really spend alot of time fighting and negotiating....faststaff pays alot but they don't take care of you except pay you well, and they may have you work some crazy hours.

    I've heard stellar reviews of Flexcare and Healthcare Specialists ...I'm thinking of signing up with them.

    I am thinking to travel sometime in the next doing my research will probably sign up to 2-3 agencies before I hit the road so I can atleast have more chances of getting the type of assignments I want. I might even sign up with AM just becuase I know they have jobs where I want to work, even if they don't neccessarily pay that great or aren't the best in regards to customer service, which they def aren't.
  4. by   BluntForceTrauma
    I've done 3 assignments with Fastaff and don't have any complaints. Housing is not as good as other will get an extended stay rather than a hotel. I work 48/hrs a week.

    My main reasons for traveling were to get additional experience and pay off as much as I can for CRNA school. So all the OT and housing doesn't bother me at all. I'm currently bringing home around $1400 a week after insurance and taxes. If I would have taken the stipend, I would receive an additional $290 a week untaxed without a change in pay.
  5. by   BluntForceTrauma
    $1200 a week and you have to find your own housing?? What city is this?
  6. by   NedRN
    Here are two general rules that may help you. Large agencies don't pay as well as smaller agencies. Compact states don't pay as well as non-compact states. Those are broad generalizations and are not always true, but often they are. You will have to work harder with small agencies, and getting non compact licenses are expensive and the better ones to have may not be easy either. The ones to think about getting would be California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, NY, and NJ. Get any assignment under your belt first (you may not even like traveling) which will help you get better assignments. Then think about proactively getting licenses in those states listed.

    I'm not going to recommend specific agencies, but I wouldn't recommend Fastaff until you have some experience. By the way, money shouldn't be your first reason to want to travel. Your nursing license enables a great lifestyle, enjoy it for a while before you worry about money. The early years I traveled were the best for that very reason. I only picked location and worked for the largest agency at the time. Large agencies are not a bad way to go for a first timer.
  7. by   TravelNewbie
    I am a first time traveler, I said to myself, location wise, I'll take the first job offer. Not a state I thought I would be but it's on my check off list...not only for first assignment under my belt but I would like to see all 50 states on my bucket list (not all with travel nursing but before I die type of thing). The state that I landed is not one where I would sit back and say "I think I want to take a vacation in a few months...maybe I should go "here". My reason for travel nursing may be different from yours...I want to gain experience in different atmospheres and I want to see the country. When I look at pay, I pretty much look at 1) can I pay my bills? 2) do I have enough play money? And finally 3) can I save for a cushion day? With my first assignment all those answers were yes

    I also know it is good to get a first travel assignment under your belt...the 2nd would be easier, etc. Honestly I basically had one interview, followed by another (literally, I hung up the phone and another hospital was calling). I took the first one that was offered. We will see how, in the end, it goes. With every assignment I'm sure is a learning experience for the next one.
  8. by   samadams8
    Quote from bobs201
    I'm a new into the world of traveling (RN) and have received my 1st offer doing medsurg on the east coast with American Mobile. The pay i kinda figured is not enough (about $1200 take home weekly including housing stipend) with housing stiped the pay would be about $400 less weekly. All other qoutes i have received have been about the same pay range. Any suggestons, tips, higher paying companies? I have a compact license.

    No offense, but I would not accept that amount. It's too low in my opinion. Darn, $800 per week divided by 36 hours is $22/ hour. Ouch! Housing stipend should be calculated separately from earnings per hour or per week or per term of contract. I mean that can pull all together in the end, but figuring your work income should be a different calculus.
  9. by   Traveldee
    NedRN - why would you not recommend Fastaff until you have some experience? Is it because of the shorter assignments? Are they less supportive of new people than some agencies? Just curious since they are an agency I am interested in traveling with. Appreciate any more feedback you might have. Thanks!!
  10. by   NedRN
    Fastaff specializes in so-called rapid response jobs. Not always, but typically these jobs are at troubled hospitals that cannot get regular travelers. A lot of post strike hospitals with really bad morale and poor management/staff relations. Why else would hospitals pay more for Fastaff? So the assignments are not really new traveler friendly. On top of that, short assignments means that even more than regular travel assignments, hospitals expect you to hit the ground running with little to no orientation. For most nurses new to traveling, that is a recipe for failure. You may not have an option anyway as many of these kind of jobs will not accept a first time traveler. Warm up first with regular agencies and assignments.

    As far as an agency goes, Fastaff is OK as long as you understand that (great recruiter attitude aside if you get lucky), you are really just a number to them. I think once you are in with them, things go OK, but at least for the last few years, I have heard complaints that it is hard to get them to call you back or follow through. I can understand that as it fits their business model - if they don't have anything for you or the assignment falls through, why would they waste their time? That happened to me 10 years ago with them as well. That's business!

    I am also opposed to working for strike companies, but that is personal. Just know what you are getting into. Since you have never traveled, you don't. I would recommend working for a traditional agency first so you can see how you handle new environments and how quickly you adapt. Getting that first assignment will allow you to access a much wider choice of assignments.
  11. by   Traveldee
    Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed feedback. Much appreciated!
  12. by   NedRN
    By the way, one of the pleasures that travel nursing brings is essentially living in a community rather than being a tourist. I've done extensive traveling before I became a nurse (we called ourselves travelers too), and I can tell you that it just becomes a blur and meeting locals is difficult. I had another sort of travel job before I became a nurse, working construction. Most of our jobs were 3 or 4 weeks as well. Very tiring to live out of a hotel room and while you stayed in a place a few weeks, you didn't really learn much about the area. Staying in one place for three months is a sweet spot between moving to a place and not zooming through. You make friends and see most of the sights. And can usually stay for another three months if there is unfinished business, like a romance, or an unvisited national park.

    It is hard for me to picture much enjoyment in a 2 week assignment, at the hospital with no orientation or really getting to know your co-workers, learning local clinical practices, or getting involved with the local scene. Seems to me that if your life at home is that demanding, local per diem (depending on availability) would be better.