By May 1, 2009 3 Comments

A penny earned is a penny earned when you ask the right questions

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So far in the Ultimate Travel Nursing Questions series we have covered questions for you to ask a travel nursing company about themselves, what your travel nursing job will be like and questions to ensure you get the travel nursing housing that meets your needs. Now in this installment we are going to cover questions about travel nursing pay, costs and expenses. These questions should help eliminate any surprises in your travel nursing pay package:

  • Who pays me? The hospital or the travel nursing agency?
  • Who will pay for my move to my travel nursing assignment?
  • Do you offer Per Diem?
  • Who will pay for things such as my utilities, while I am on assignment? 
  • If the travel nursing company offers a stipend to pay utilities, when is it paid and is it taxed?
  • What will benefits will be deducted from my paycheck?
  • Do I get meal allowances during my travel nursing job?
  • How much does each type of insurance (maximum out-of-pocket expense, date of eligibility, premiums, and deductibles) cost?
  • How much does it cost for me the nurse? For my family?
  • How often will I get paid? Do you offer direct deposit?
  • If I live at my own home, or out of town with friends or relatives, or rent an apartment on my own while on assignment can I get a travel nursing stipend?
  • Will you still get paid for your travel nursing assignment if the census becomes real low and I get called off?
  • If I’m required to be on call, what is the on-call pay?
  • What will I get paid? Base pay rate per hour? Overtime pay rate? Holiday pay?
  • Does the travel nursing company have any holidays that are paid?
  • Will you be a Charge RN? If so, how often? Is there Charge Pay? What is it?
  • Do I have to pay any deposits such as my apartment or having a pet?
  • Do we get any money back for having our own insurance such as health or dental? How much would it be if so?
  • Does your company offer any money back for me continuing my education or getting licensed? Is there a limit on how much you would reimburse?
  • Does your company allow its travel nurses to be a part of profit sharing?

Next installment look for questions to ask a travel nursing company about their travel nursing benefits.

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About the Author:

My name is Jeff Long. I’m the Marketing Manager at Medical Solutions, one of the leading travel nursing companies. I have never been a nurse and am not a recruiter. I have worked at Medical Solutions for four years and think it is a great company that has a lot to offer nurses and allied health professionals interested in a travel career. I do post just a small sampling of travel nursing jobs from Medical Solutions, but mostly I write about travel nursing. On this site you will not be recruited on this blog (unless you specifically inquire about traveling with Medical Solutions then I will forward your info to a Recruiter). I understand that you are reading and/or commenting on this blog purely for informational purposes and I want you to enjoy that experience My job is to help you meet your career goals by sharing information, advice and the benefits of travel nursing with you.

3 Comments on "A penny earned is a penny earned when you ask the right questions"

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  1. Jeni says:

    I found these questions to be a great beginning. I am about to travel for the first time in July to pay down my awful but necessary student loans.

    I was interested in finding out more about travel nursing while I was still in nursing school. I looked online and the only way to get more information was to give out contact information. My contact information must have been shared, I was then inundated with voicemails and emails for many months – even after telling the companies I was not a nurse grad yet.

    There are so many travel nursing sites. How do I select an agency without repeating history of having my cell phone and email being “blown up”? Do all agencies have about the same number of positions? Are they all competitively priced? I want to start planning for July and would like some assistance getting introduced to a reputable company. Can you suggest a blog of nurse travelers unaffiliated with a traveling agency?

  2. Jeff says:

    Jeni,

    Sorry to hear about your first experience, depending on where you gave your contact info it may have gotten shared, paritcularly if you were actually on a travel nursing service like RNVIP.com or TravelNursingUSA.com, which are good services if you are wanting to apply to a bunch of companies at once, but they could be annoying if you weren’t prepared for it. As far as your questions about travel nursing:

    Do all agencies have about the same number of positions?

    No, the bigger companies like American Mobile or Cross Country will have more positions, but with their size you may not get the customer service that you would at smaller companies that do not have as many jobs necessarily. But good companies can usually always find good nurses a job in areas they want to go.

    Are they all competitively priced?

    Yes, most companies pay is basically the same, it is usually just a matter of where it is allocated. Some may load it into “bonuses” but pay less per hour, some may pay more per hour, but not offer as good of housing it really just depends on what you value. The best companies will offer customized or personalized pay packages that let you choose how you want to be paid.

    I want to start planning for July and would like some assistance getting introduced to a reputable company. Can you suggest a blog of nurse travelers unaffiliated with a traveling agency?

    Some good ones are Highway Hypodermics, TravelNursingCentral, TravelRNGab and the forums on Delphi and UltimateNurse.com are also places where you can find a lot of information on companies. When reading them though remember that nurses can be fiercely loyal to a company and can be overly critical of companies that they may have had a bad experience (rightfully so in many cases, but everyone’s ex[experiences are different), that is why i think sites like Highway Hypodermics and TravelNursingCentral are great because they have very unbiased review systems.

    Good luck.

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