So you want to be a Travel Nurse because you want to make the wage you know your hard-working-ass deserves!
Here are a few ways to make sure you get the most bang for your buck!
Get the highest paid gig!
To find the highest paid gig, you HAVE to talk to multiple agencies. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude or a horrible human to the recruiters. It just means that you can be honest about what you want. And if you have two agencies with pretty close paying gigs, let (clap hand emojis) them(clap hand emojis) know(clap hand emojis)! And see if they will match or beat out the price. Some agencies won’t be able to pay you more, that’s just how it goes, but it never hurts to ask. Look out for you and what you want to make as a nurse.
Make sure you can pick up that over time and that you get a bonus for every OT shift you pick up!
Most of the time, your base pay is pretty low for tax reasons, but when you pick up OT, this is the time to make sure it’s pretty high and/or that there is a bonus for coming into the hospital an extra day. But before you do all that work, also make sure that the hospitals will LET YOU pick up OT. Some are pretty strict about making sure you NEVER stay over even a minute. So check that out in our hospital reviews.
Make sure you have a tax home!
This allows you to get all those tax free stipends! Now you might be asking about taking a travel nurse position at your local hospital – it’s got a great paycheck! Isn’t there some kind of 50 mile rule? The IRS does not actually care about the miles, they care about the commute itself. So if your commute to work was such that you have to stop and rest, then it’s probably a travel contract. That being said! The agency or the hospital might have a rule about how far away you live from the hospital that might be 50 or 75 or even 100 miles away. At the end of the day, you can’t change or bend the rules that hospitals or agencies set up for themselves. Either way, get yourself a tax home that’s far away enough that maybe you don’t have to worry about all these rules and you can still take those juicy contracts with all the tax free stipends.
Get that BONUS!
We’re talking sign on bonus! Completion bonus! Retention bonus! Referral bonus! Being loyal to an agency should come with some perks. When you start with a new agency, ask about a sign-on bonus and see if they will give you a retention bonus if you were to sign up with them on your next contract! It never hurts to ask!
Get reimbursed from your agency for work related expenses!
Flights to go across the country? Getting your car to Alaska or Hawaii? Buying a new pair of scrubs? Or best one yet, getting a license for your next contract in a non-compact state? Your travel agency should be able to help you with that. Need to get all those continued education nurse credits for your license done? Ask your agency about what resources they have available for you.
Don’t just take the housing!
Do a little research and see if you can find yourself a place to stay instead of letting the agency find you something, because you’ll usually be wayyyy better at finding something affordable than they will. Different places to look for housing are going include FB groups, Airbnb, Furnished Finder, and VRBO to start!