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by Redvet371 Redvet371 (New) New

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SO I am confused by the travel offers I have seen so far and was wanting some input. I live in Texas. The few travel assignments I have checked on both inside and outside the state have offered a lowered hourly rate but the stipend would cover the cost of housing in the area. Is this normal? I wasn't aware I would be required to take a cut in my normal hourly rate by $3-4 an hr if I wanted to travel. Thank you for your input

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 5,399 Posts; 45,666 Profile Views

Your best bet is to collect full offers and plug them into the traveler's calculator on PanTravelers. That boils them down to one number you can compare on a level playing field with other offers and even your staff pay.

Difficult to compare staff pay to travel pay so I should just start with your primary reason to travel should be for the lifestyle, not pay.

Some of the variables is that a good bit of travel pay is tax free (as long as you maintain a primary residence), so your net after expenses may well be higher than staff pay even though the hourly is lower. Consider per diem pay at your hospital without benefits. Higher pay per hour than the benefited full time pay, right? Think about travel in a similar manner to the per diem pool at your hospital: higher pay, less benefits.

One other tip here is that coming from a compact state, you may only be looking at other compact states. Their compensation is generally lower, far more than the extra expense of obtaining a single state license. The best states for pay are those states that are heavily unionized: west coast states and the NE. Also parts of the upper midwest and midatlantic. The only compact state that meets that criteria I believe is MA. Maybe ME too, been a while since I looked at the list of compact states.

If you are chasing pay, rapid response jobs pay considerably more. One agency keeps filling my inbox with jobs whose total compensation comes in at $100 an hour (average travel assignment is closer to $60 an hour total compensation). And since a large portion of that amount is tax free, the net is higher than a staff job paying $60 an hour (but of course you have to pay for housing).

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ICUman has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

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45 minutes ago, NedRN said:

 

If you are chasing pay, rapid response jobs pay considerably more. One agency keeps filling my inbox with jobs whose total compensation comes in at $100 an hour (average travel assignment is closer to $60 an hour total compensation). And since a large portion of that amount is tax free, the net is higher than a staff job paying $60 an hour (but of course you have to pay for housing).

Is the $100/hr only for OR, though? Any idea if ICU or Cath Lab could ever fetch a similar rate?

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Cath lab for sure. But anything is possible with rapid response - especially if CMS is breathing down a hospital's neck and threatening to shut them down, even medsurg. On a regular basis? Probably not.

The general difference in specialty value is that most nurses are a cost center. Certain specialties like OR are vital to a hospital financial bottom line: procedures done, patient stays, happy surgeons bringing additional business and so on. "Got to have them, pay whatever bill rate". Medsurg, ED, even the ICU: "Lets just increase the pt load per nurse before adding contingent staff".

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Swellz has 6 years experience and specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown.

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On 2/13/2020 at 10:56 PM, NedRN said:

The general difference in specialty value is that most nurses are a cost center. Certain specialties like OR are vital to a hospital financial bottom line: procedures done, patient stays, happy surgeons bringing additional business and so on. "Got to have them, pay whatever bill rate". Medsurg, ED, even the ICU: "Lets just increase the pt load per nurse before adding contingent staff".

So real!

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Cisl4him has 12 years experience as a RN and specializes in RN/Hematology/Oncology/Long-termcare/SNF.

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WOW!! Awesome info NedRN. I live in Mass I am a per diem local travel nurse. I make between 38 and $42 an hour. I have a residence here in Massachusetts. I recently filled out an application for NurseFly have you heard of them?

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 5,399 Posts; 45,666 Profile Views

Nope. Just go with all agencies bad, and try to find a recruiter you communicate well with regardless of agency brand. If you can't communicate with your recruiter, and you must have that agency, request a change of recruiters. Ideally the way to start travel (my standard recommendation anyway) is to interview a bunch of recruiters, and pick the best three to five before you do any paperwork - even avoid giving contact information until you have chosen your best picks. Why more than one? Because you need a plan B when plan A falls through for whatever reason - assignments can cancel or go dark on you. A good recruiter with a bad agency is far superior to the reverse arrangement.

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Cisl4him has 12 years experience as a RN and specializes in RN/Hematology/Oncology/Long-termcare/SNF.

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I currently work for three separate  travel agencies in Cape Cod. As you have said, it’s good to have a back up if one agency cancels me. 
 

I filled out an application for Nursfly and I see several other agencies listed.  You are saying to contact one or two others working with the same facility? 
 

Is it cost effective to maintain my primary residence? This is the only thing keeping me from leaving local agencies to travel the world as a nurse.   I only work in LTC and skilled nursing. 
 

thank you for your insight! 
 

 

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 5,399 Posts; 45,666 Profile Views

Several other agencies? There are around 400 travel nurse agencies. Probably for LTC you will need to use larger ones. Many will have the same exact assignment which allows you to compare compensation.

Depends on cost. If the cost exceeds your tax savings, then no.

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