What do you think? Is this a good deal?



I am looking into travel nursing and just recently offered a 13 wk contract in Kirkland, WA for a PCU RN position.

- They offered me $1650 for housing subsidy

- $24.50 per hr

- $500 one-time pay for gas mileage

- All will be PRE-tax as I was told my home location is less than 50 miles radius and do not qualified for tax benefits...

All as a package, my hourly wage will be approx $36 per hr.

Um. That is quite low for a rn with 6 years of experience and 1 year as a hospital administrator. What do you think?


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

Your experience only serves to make you more competitive over travelers with less experience. The bill rate remains the same, so effectively the maximum pay is the same as well. If you don't like the pay, don't take the assignment. If you are interested if the rate is competitive for the area you will need to check in with other agencies. Always amazing to me that folks will check the price of say gasoline for a three cent per gallon difference (which saves 50 cents on a fill up) but not check the competition for many thousands of dollars in compensation difference. Each dollar an hour is $2,000 a year.

Back to your offer, most travel contracts pay between $40 and $50 an hour (using PanTravelers calculator to crunch compensation details). Yours is very low paying. In fact, low enough in generally high paying WA state that I'm wondering if you missed a per diem payment. Some agencies lump housing and per diem (or M&IE) together but you only said housing.


3 Posts


Thanks for the reply. Appreciate your input.

That was the amount offer to me by this agency. Also, it was based on a "travel" status, not "per diem".


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

Sorry for the confusion, I was not referring to working by the day. Most agencies pay a per diem stipend for "meals and incidentals" as well as a housing stipend, both tax free if you qualify. These are separate expense items recorded and paid separately for IRS purposes. Typical per diems paid by travel companies are on the order of $210 a week in addition to the housing stipend. If that was missed, that amount would bring your quote into normal territory. Just ask the recruiter to clarify her quote: does the housing stipend include the per diem? She will understand the question.


98 Posts

Specializes in CVSICU.

It seems a bit low to me. I'm a very new nurse but from the WA area. Here is a contract for a hospital in Kirkland, WA to see the comparables. Since you would be a traveler, I would have expected the salary to be higher. Again, I'm a new nurse with no travel experience so that is all I will say.


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

Staff pay is not comparable to travel pay. Staff does not get paid housing and travel tax free. Yes, often travelers total compensation can be less than staff in strong union areas. If travelers wanted to move then staff is always the better option.

We travel so we don't have to be staff and deal with politics. It is exciting to travel, not a description often applied to staff jobs.


91 Posts

That is very low for the greater Seattle area. My contracts have included between $2 and $10/hr more in the hourly rate, the same or higher housing stipend, plus about $35/day non taxed meals and incidentals (aka per diems). Recommend checking with other agencies, as Ned suggested.


3 Posts

Thank you for all for the input. I appreciate them. It helps to hear others' perspectives.

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

I would not accept those wages for Seattle. Make a counter offer. A recruiter told me that the bill rates there are very high.

That is insulting. Try another company.