Benefits of a Travel Nurse
Alrighty then. You may be asking yourself: “Self, I know there is a need for travel nurses, but what’s in it for me?”
Excellent question! Let’s take a look at the benefits of being a traveler:
Imagine having a clean, comfortable, furnished apartment. Utilities Paid. No rent. And you’re NOT living at your parent’s home! As a traveler you’ll have a housing specialist arrange for you a safe, convenient dwelling close to your work assignment.
Most are ready to move in. Just bring your clothes and personables and you’re all set!
If you have friends/relatives you plan on staying with, or if you really go ‘nomadic’ and have your own RV, you are entitled to a housing subsidy. The subsidy amount depends on the area but it can be quite substantial.
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There are several housing factors that need to be discussed when actually conversing with your future recruiter. Not to worry. We’ll get you totally prepared for that conversation.
‘Hey, I heard that Travelers don’t receive health benefits, is this true’?
In a word - absolutelypositivelywrongamundo!
In the competitive travel agency world, the health benefit packages are getting better and better. Later, we’ll compare the various benefits offered by the travel agencies to help you narrow your choices down. But for now, take comfort knowing that you’ll be afforded free comprehensive health, life, and dental insurance along with prescription drug coverage on each and every assignment.
Your dependents can also be covered at an additional cost and you can receive supplemental insurance that provides income if you're unable to work as a result of a non-work-related illness. (Can you hear that TV Duck quacking --- ‘AFLAC’!!!)
Professional liability insurance should also be offered to you at no cost. Again, we’ll examine these various coverages when whittling down potential travel companies in our quest to find the best for you.
Bottom Line: You will never have to sacrifice any health benefits while on assignment. ‘You’re in good hands..’ (okay, enough with the insurance industry slogans!)
Pay & Bonuses Benefits - (‘Show me the Money!’)
In order to entice you (and who doesn’t like to be enticed), the money pot is sweetened with various financial incentives just waiting for you.
You and I both know you didn’t go into nursing to make the ‘big bucks’. You came into the profession because you have the caring, compassionate, healing gene in you! But hey, everyone knows that nurses are not close to being paid for what you contribute. So if these folks want to ‘throw’ money at you, simply accept, say ‘thank you’, and buy yourself something nice. You deserve it!
The number one reason nurses look into becoming a traveler is for the pay. And frankly it’s nice! Pay does vary from region to region and even from one contract to the next.
Lot’s of nurses like to head to Florida for the winter. (Say ‘hi’ to Mickey for me!’). Remember our earlier lesson on supply and demand? Well, the supply is better in the land of the Magic Kingdom so the pay is often a little less. (But if you’re in pursuit of a tan, it may be well worth a few less dollars!)
Quick run down on the hourly pay by region:
Northeast - $35-$38
Southeast and South - $26-$30
West Coast - $30-$35
Midwest and Central - $28-$31
Hawaii - $24-$30
Alaska - $35-$45
(DISCLAIMER: These amounts are not guaranteed. They’re included here to give you an idea of the hourly pay fluctuations across the country. If it where up to me, I'd give you double!)
If you’re curious to know where most nurses are heading, here are the Top Five Recruited Destinations:
The Top Five Recruited Specialties:
Intensive Care Unit
Here’s what you can expect in the way of bonuses:
Longevity Bonus and various Perks
It's always nice to receive a little extra "green" here and there, and the travel industry is a great place to find it. In addition to the top salaries you'll be earning, almost every travel company offers some type of completion bonus on a majority of their assignments. Some offer bonuses as high as $5,000.
Stay with one travel company long enough and you'll probably see some type of loyalty bonus too. (more Ka-ching!)
In the near future, you’ll see more perks being offered to you for staying with one agency. When we start exploring the various agencies, the unique bonuses and perks they offer will be highlighted.
By becoming a traveler, you are still afforded important benefit coverage you had as a permanent staff nurse. Maybe better! You’ll be staying in comfortable, safe, and convenient housing or receive a subsidy if prefer to find your own. And you’ll have additional financial incentives too like higher pay and a whole host of bonus programs available to you.
There’s just one more step we must cover before contacting a travel nurse agency. Let’s crystallize your travel assignment goals and needs to keep you and your future travel recruiter focused on the important issues that must be considered when tailoring an assignment just for you.