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Traveling for a PNR...

Travel   (593 Views 14 Comments)
by jjdd jjdd (New Member) New Member

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Is it a dumb move?

1) What is the likelihood of being canceled before starting - at the last min?

2) Is there a way (tricks/hacks) to make the possibility of being canceled equal to that of a travel nurse?

3) Is it possible to do PNR in CA for 6 months without no more than a week break in a month?

4) Is there a company that can guarantee that? (that being a continuous schedule and no cancellations)?

Obviously i don't know much about PNR and my concern is probably obvious from my question so please do feel free to give any additional info

Thanks a mill!

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40 Likes; 2 Followers; 44,042 Visitors; 5,236 Posts

Do you mean prn? As needed? Like per diem?

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by jjdd New Member

223 Visitors; 15 Posts

Yes NedRN...per diem.

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40 Likes; 2 Followers; 44,042 Visitors; 5,236 Posts

A travel company can guarantee that. It won't technically be per diem, it would be a travel contract. You could do the same thing through a local per diem company, but it won't pay as much in California, and it would still be a contract. No guarantees without a contract. I still don't know what PNR stands for. 

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Gary Mendoza works as a Registered Nurse.

5 Likes; 1,001 Visitors; 76 Posts

No guarantees with a contract either. I track traveler cancellations and a traveler can be canceled for any reason or no reason at all (shift or contract). Related to contracts, many times facilities will cancel a contract and give the reason as 'low census' so they don't have to pay a contract cancellation fee. Regarding shifts, often times they have a limit on how many times they can cancel your shifts. I usually see that they can cancel you 1 shift per two weeks. Always get guaranteed hours so if they don't cancel your contract your agency will still pay you.

Reported cancellations dropped approximately 56% from 2017 to 2018, which is very significant. Of course reports are dependent on travelers actually reporting their cancellations, but I do believe cancellations are actually down so while traveling is still risky, it's gotten much better within the past year.

If you want to learn more, check out my profile for the links to my website 'Gypsy Reports' and to the Facebook group that puts out traveler alerts to help travelers avoid bad situations.

Travel safely.

Edited by Gary Mendoza

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by jjdd New Member

223 Visitors; 15 Posts

Thanks for the info Gary. So traveling per diem vs 13 weeks traveler contract, as far as job security is concerned (or how much you could earn doing either 1 of them), for a period of 6 months, are they exactly similar?

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40 Likes; 2 Followers; 44,042 Visitors; 5,236 Posts

A contract is a guarantee and its sole purpose to put the parties to the contract on the same page with regard to expectations, compensation, penalties and so forth including conditions under which the contract may be cancelled (every good contract has a termination clause but sadly, many agency contract do not). The reality is that a contract is only as good as the integrity of the signatory parties, or the willingness of the party who believes they have been damaged to seek legal redress. This is complicated by the fact that there is a hospital to agency contract, and an agency to traveler contract, and sometimes these conflict (like in the area of do-not-competes). In addition, the agency lawyers write the agency to traveler contract with the agency's best interests at heart, resulting in a "contract of adhesion" leaving travelers at a disadvantage in any legal confrontation. If a hospital decides (as does happens) to terminate a traveler for a non-contractual reason such as low census immediately (failing to give notice if contract termination policy specifies), the agency typically folds as they not only do not want to lose a client more valuable to them than a single traveler, but cannot afford litigation. That's the end if it unfortunately in most cases (there are exceptions, I have sued a hospital successfully for a broken contract - but no, it wasn't worth it). Sometimes a bad acting hospital who believes otherwise in the sanctity of contracts will fabricate a clinical or performance reason to terminate. Some of these cases unfortunately end up jeopardizing nurses licenses with reports to the BON.

But that is boilerplate and need not concern travelers directly. It is important to understand an important industry statistic call the "fall-off" rate: one out of ten assignments industry-wide fail to complete for all reasons. That includes many initially agreed on contracts that never started. That has huge implications for how to manage a travel career (per diem or by-the-day, and short term contracts not so much) and leads directly to common advice to have several months of living expenses saved up for emergencies.

There are many ways to reduce even this risk (which evens out over time, and is primarily a first,second, or third assignment total disaster) and indeed I've met travelers with 20 plus years of travel who have never experienced a cancellation. You start by filtering recruiters to those you communicate well with and trust. Have a plan B (means signing up with several agencies). Don't chase the money, at least most new travelers should not. Ask the interviewing managers about the census, and why they need a traveler. Ask your recruiter about the agency experiences with the hospital - some are notorious for terminations. You might hit lightning and get good intel on social media about a particular hospital (it would be amazing if you got recent info on a specific unit you would be staffing and its manager), but hopefully anyone reading this will now understand the importance of a trustworthy industry insider on your side. The recruiter!

That is just half the picture for a successful career. The other half is to recognize that travelers (and per diem) are hired guns to fill a need, and can be replaced readily. We are not part of the hospital family and do not have staffers get out of jail free card for acting out. We are now directly involved in supply and demand economics, not the artificial environment of a large employer staff. Our professionalism is key. One wrong word to a housekeeper or family member can be enough to be terminated. Work hard, don't gossip, help others, positive can do attitude et cetera.

Job security requires picking the right job with a stable or growing census, and professionalism. That applies no matter staff, traveler, or per diem. 

I can't think of any difference between travel and a contract with a per diem agency, I've done both. But usually travel pays better, especially if you are working away from home. There is another modality to consider, that of working block shifts as a hospital employee, usually in-house per diem. There are a number of nurses working 30 days straight in California, and flying back home for a couple of months. Probably happens in other states too. Hard to find such opportunities, but most of these started as travel assignments and went from there. Pipe dream typically, but you can certainly do repeat seasonal work in states like Florida and Arizona (pay is average generally) as staff.

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Gary Mendoza works as a Registered Nurse.

5 Likes; 1,001 Visitors; 76 Posts

11 hours ago, jjdd said:

Thanks for the info Gary. So traveling per diem vs 13 weeks traveler contract, as far as job security is concerned (or how much you could earn doing either 1 of them), for a period of 6 months, are they exactly similar?

I've never seen a traveler that worked PRN, but if they did I would imagine you would be at a huge disadvantage because you wouldn't have guaranteed hours being PRN. They would have to fill the schedule with staff first, next with full-time travelers (with guaranteed hours) and then you. They could work you as little as they wanted and I don't imagine you'd get full-time hours. If I were going to travel , I wouldn't even consider PRN positions. However, if you were just going to be local per-diem with a local agency you could probably work multiple hospitals and get enough shifts.

Edited by Gary Mendoza

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Argo has 10 years experience and works as a OR RN - Traveler!.

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A contract is great as long as you hold them to paying it.  I got out of a 10 week contract at 5 weeks.  The hospital ended up paying me out for the  whole amount because of how they worded the separation. I didnt ask for it, i just kept getting payed and found out why a couple weeks later when it seemed fishy.  I had a solid contract, they worded it as if they broke it.  That let me realize that if a hospital actually did break the contract for no good legal reason, they have to pay.  It may have to go to court and not be worth it for a week or 2 worth of pay but for a few or more weeks at $3000 a week, worth it.

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This would generally be the agency enforcing the contract. So either the agency didn't care about continuing business with this hospital, and/or has a really good contract person who talked the hospital into honoring the contract. Either way, I think the agency deserves a shout out by name here.

Congrats on your luck! This kind of story doesn't happen often without some legal action. Technically, a wronged traveler can sue the agency, but travel contracts are written to protect the agency and even if a fair contract, it usually makes little financial sense to sue.

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On 2/14/2019 at 5:46 AM, Argo said:

A contract is great as long as you hold them to paying it.  I got out of a 10 week contract at 5 weeks.  The hospital ended up paying me out for the  whole amount because of how they worded the separation. I didnt ask for it, i just kept getting payed and found out why a couple weeks later when it seemed fishy.  I had a solid contract, they worded it as if they broke it.  That let me realize that if a hospital actually did break the contract for no good legal reason, they have to pay.  It may have to go to court and not be worth it for a week or 2 worth of pay but for a few or more weeks at $3000 a week, worth it.

Where can i find a list of local (per diem) agencies? 

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223 Visitors; 15 Posts

On 2/14/2019 at 5:46 AM, Argo said:

A contract is great as long as you hold them to paying it.  I got out of a 10 week contract at 5 weeks.  The hospital ended up paying me out for the  whole amount because of how they worded the separation. I didnt ask for it, i just kept getting payed and found out why a couple weeks later when it seemed fishy.  I had a solid contract, they worded it as if they broke it.  That let me realize that if a hospital actually did break the contract for no good legal reason, they have to pay.  It may have to go to court and not be worth it for a week or 2 worth of pay but for a few or more weeks at $3000 a week, worth it.

Argo. $3000/week?! What specialty is this and where???

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