Are Short-Term Travel Nurse Contracts Right for You?
by Trusted Nurse Staffing | Apr 5, 2021 | News | 0 comments
Maybe you’re a registered nurse who is starting to feel bored working at the same hospital day after day.
You love what you do, but you could really use a change of scenery.
Your lifestyle is pretty flexible, you enjoy traveling, and you have a desire to help wherever there is a need.
Or maybe you’re already a travel nurse who is used to 13-week contracts and would like to move around a little more often.
In either case, short-term travel nurse contracts could be perfect for you.
This guide explains why travel nurses are so important, the major benefits of taking short-term nursing assignments, and how you can get started with your travel nurse career today.
Table of Contents
Why short-term nursing assignments are available.
- 3 Reasons Why Hospitals Need Short-Term Travel Nurses for Rapid Response
3 Big Benefits of Short-Term Nursing Assignments for Travel Nurses
Possible cons of short-term travel rn assignments , ready to look for short-term travel nurse jobs what staffing agencies need from you.
- How Trusted Nurse Staffing Can Offer You Short-Term Travel Nurse Assignments
Travel nurses are trained registered nurses who are sent to hospitals and facilities that have short-term staffing needs.
To qualify for short-term nursing assignments, you must:
- Hold a nursing degree and have passed the NCLEX exam
- Generally have a minimum of 12 months of recent acute care experience in your specialty of choice
- Provide references
- Obtain necessary certifications
- Obtain RN licensure in the state where you’ll work or use a multi-state license based on the Nurse Licensure Compact
Travel nurse contracts are typically about 13 weeks long, but they can vary depending on the job and facility.
Short-term travel nurse contacts are less than 13 weeks in length — anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 weeks.
Short-term travel nurse jobs may become available in the following circumstances:
- During medical crises when rapid response nurses are needed
- When nurses go on strike, leaving medical facilities with a nursing shortage
- Taking over for permanent nursing staff who are experiencing burnout
- When a nurse is out for short-term disability
- Nursing shortages in rural or smaller urban areas where resources can’t meet patient demand
If you’re a nurse who likes being on the go, meeting new people, and visiting new places, a short-term travel nurse assignment may be just what you’re looking for.
Trusted Nurse Staffing can help place you with a short-term travel nurse assignment across the nation when the demand is high and there is a need for nurses. Search for travel nurse jobs on Pronto today.
Rapid Response Travel Nurse
A rapid response travel nurse is the most common type of travel nurse because they are typically needed the most when there is a sudden increase in patients .
Rapid response nurses are usually:
- Able to start very quickly – typically within two days to two weeks.
- Good at working under pressure.
Flexible in their assignment length.
As a rapid response travel nurse, you might be able to negotiate for a better contract since you are usually needed quickly and on short notice. And you’ll likely have greater flexibility in the assignment length.
Travel Nurses Working During Nurse Strikes
Strike nurse travel jobs are usually available to help fill regular hospital staff positions while they are off of work due to a labor dispute.
In September 2019, nearly 6,500 nurses at 12 healthcare hospitals across four different states went on strike advocating for better patient care.
Then, around 2,000 nurses went on strike in Chicago.
Within one week, more than 8,000 nursing positions were left vacant, leaving hospitals across 5 different states in need of help caring for patients.
Later, in January 2023, 7,000 nurses went on strike at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai in Manhattan. The reasons for this strike had to do with too few nurses and improving work conditions.
As a strike nurse, you:
- Are probably needed very short-term, maybe a few days to a few weeks.
- Can receive high pay since hospitals are in dire need of nursing staff.
- Might have a few week’s notice (hospitals usually know a few weeks in advance if their staff will be striking).
3 Reasons Why Hospitals Need Short-Term Travel Nurses for Rapid Response
Short-term nursing assignments for rapid response happen quickly and are often an unexpected need.
There are three common reasons that hospitals tend to need short-term travel nurses for rapid response situations:
- When hospitals update medical software
- For filling remote positions
- An increased need for staff due to a crisis, natural disaster, etc.
Reason #1: Electronic Medical Records Conversions
Electronic medical records ( EMR ) conversion is when a hospital does an update on its medical software.
This means the hospital is having to pull staff members from the floor to do the necessary training, which leaves them with a need for nurses.
Nicole is an ICU nurse at a busy hospital. Every few months, she and her coworkers must undergo training to ensure they’re up-to-speed on how all of their medical software works.
These different training sessions can last hours, sometimes even the length of an entire shift, depending on the type of training.
Instead of operating understaffed, rapid-response travel nurses can be used to fill in during these times.
Reason #2: Remote Positions
Remote positions are considered “ hard to fill ” because they are not highly desired by nurses.
A remote position is a job at hospitals or clinics that are further away from civilization, like many travel nursing jobs in Montana .
They are often secluded and typically not as busy, so they can be hard to fill with steady full-time staff.
Because they’re hard to fill, they are often in need of extra staff.
As a short-term travel nurse, you can take on a remote position for a limited time and then be on your way to a new assignment in a matter of weeks — maybe another short-term assignment or a typical 13-week assignment.
Reason #3: Unexpected Fluctuation in Staffing or Patient Loads: 4 Crisis Scenarios
Sometimes hospitals experience an unexpected fluctuation in their staff or patients which leads to an increased need for more nurses. These fluctuations often happen when there is a crisis scenario, like:
- Natural disasters
- Man-made disasters
Trusted Staff Nursing works hard to help find your dream contracts across the country, whether they are rapid response contracts or not. Search jobs on Pronto today.
Scenario 1: Flu Season
Flu season generally begins around October and is most active between December and February. In many locations, flu season can last into the spring as late as May.
Although the flu mostly resolves on its own, it can also cause complications that can create an influx in hospitals .
Since the elderly are at greater risk for complications from the flu, states with higher populations of senior citizens — like Maine and Florida — may have a greater need for short-term travel nurses during flu season.
Scenario 2: Natural Disasters
Natural disasters can cause major injuries or illnesses that might cause an increase in patients at hospitals.
The following qualify as natural disasters:
- Landslides or mudslides
- Extreme heat
- Winter weather
In the event of a natural disaster, nurses can help with:
- Blood drives
- Health education (CPR, first aid)
- Staffing hospitals
- Providing extra resources
- Alleviating the strain of other care facilities like nursing homes
Scenario 3: Man-Made Disasters
A man-made disaster results from man-made hazards. They can be:
- Civil disturbances
- Terrorism attacks
- Biological or chemical threats
Scenario 4: Pandemics
A pandemic is a global illness that affects a large number of people, like COVID-19.
They typically cause hospitals to be at or over capacity, which creates a large demand for more nurses.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of travel nurses doubled as hospitals across the country responded to increased numbers of critically ill patients in their facilities. Travel nurses also saw an increase in salaries during the pandemic.
Short-term nursing assignments might not be for everyone.
Maybe you don’t do well being distanced from your friends and family for any length of time.
Maybe you get lonely or homesick.
Maybe the continual job searching is stressful and not as stable as you’d like to be.
But if you’re committed to taking on short-term travel nurse contracts, there are some big benefits that come along with the job.
Benefit #1: Shorter Assignments and Flexibility
If you like to travel and have flexibility in your schedule and your life, short-term travel nurse contracts might be right for you.
The short contract lengths allow you to work in different hospitals doing different types of care all the time. You get to travel, see new places, and make new friends.
It’s also a flexible job because when one contract ends, you can take the time you want or need before seeking out another contract. Sometimes you have the option to extend your current contract, too.
Benefit #2: Great Pay
Being a travel nurse comes with great pay .
During the COVID-19 pandemic, short-term travel nurses were earning weekly salaries well over the historical averages. Some travel nurses were making up to $5,000 a week during the height of the pandemic, while most were earning around $3,000 to $4,000 a week.
In normal situations post-pandemic, travel nurses can make around $2,500 per week . When there is a crisis, pay typically increases.
Travel nurses also receive:
- Travel accommodations
- Housing accommodations
- Food stipend
If the demand is there, travel nurses can earn anywhere from $78,000 to over $100,000 per year.
Travel nurses also often have the ability to negotiate contracts, so there is an increased potential to make more money with each new assignment.
Benefit #3: Travel More Often
Short-term travel nurse jobs allow you to see many different parts of the country or world.
If you love to travel , this is a great way to get paid to do it.
You could spend two weeks working in New York then travel to Miami for six weeks before finishing up with a four-week assignment in rural West Virginia. In just three months’ time, you could earn top dollar while enjoying the big city, the beach, and the mountains.
You can check out different parts of the world, learn what and where you like or don’t like, and spend your free time exploring your new areas.
While the benefits of short-term travel RN assignments are appealing, the job might not be for everyone.
Some cons to short-term travel nurse jobs include:
- Feelings of homesickness or loneliness
- Navigating the logistics of travel (time changes, language barriers, travel stress)
- The many new contracts you have to negotiate, which mean varying pay rates
- Always learning how to work with a team who already knows one another well
Do you think working a short-term travel nurse job is right for you? A staffing agency can help find you great contracts and get you to work.
To become a travel nurse, you must:
- Have a nursing degree (LPN, ADN, BSN)
- Pass the NCLEX exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing
- Have at least 12 months of experience in your specialty
- Choose your preferences (setting, location, assignment length)
- Keep records of your licenses, certifications, and clinical records
- Have a great resume
A staffing agency is likely looking for someone who is:
- Willing to go at a moment’s notice
- Holds multiple state licenses
- A team player
How Trusted Nurse Staffing Can Offer You Short-Term Travel Nurse Assignments
Working short-term travel nurse assignments can be a fun and rewarding job. You can travel, negotiate your contracts, make good money, and have some flexibility with work.
You’ll also have access to these amazing benefits and perks:
- Travel, housing, and meal stipends
- Referral and completion bonuses
- Dental, health, and vision benefits
- Sign-on bonuses
Trusted Nurse Staffing has flexible contracts in all 50 states and can help find your dream job opportunities across the country.
Our Trusted Nurse Staffing representatives listen to your job preferences and work hard to find you the job you’re looking for. They walk with you every step of the way. And when your contract comes to an end, they’ll help you renew it or find your next assignment in a new location.
You can be sure your recruiter has your back and will act as your advocate during your assignment, whether it’s for moral support or to negotiate between you and your assigned facility.
If you’re ready to take on short-term travel RN assignments, click here to get started.
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- The most jobs in the industry. We have the largest and most reliable job database, which means the jobs you see are open, updated in real time and ready for you!
- Competitive advantage over other agencies. Front-of-the-line access through our direct facility relationships — many with quick (even same-day) offers, giving you the best chance of securing your ideal opportunity.
- Expedited licensing and streamlined compliance. An industry-leading on-time start rate and strong relationships with boards of nursing across the country to accelerate the process in all 50 states.
- Expert career guidance. A dedicated recruiter to help you achieve your dream career. Travel, per diem, permanent — we have the reach and access to get you the jobs you want, and the expertise to help you realize your long-term goals.
- A best-in-class support system and an exceptional experience. Enjoy accurate, weekly pay, and an entire team dedicated to your happiness on assignment, 24/7.
Plus, you get everything you expect from the largest healthcare staffing company in the industry:
- Exceptional benefits, including premium medical, dental, vision and life insurance beginning day one of your assignment. Want to take time off? Keep insurance coverage for up to 24 days between assignments.
- A generous 401(k) match.
- Paid company housing (we'll help you bring your pets along, too!) or a generous housing stipend.
- Paid sick time in accordance with all applicable state, federal, and local laws. Aya's general sick leave policy is that employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. However, to the extent any provisions of the statement above conflict with any applicable paid sick leave laws, the applicable paid sick leave laws are controlling.
- The industry's only clinical ladder program for RNs on assignment.
- Access to unlimited continuing education units online.
- Licensure, relocation and other reimbursements, when applicable.
- Pay listed above includes taxable wages and tax-free expense reimbursements.
For all employees and employee applicants, Aya is an Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") Employer, including Disability/Vets, and welcomes all to apply. Please click here for our EEO policy.
- Bi-weekly weekend travel home.
- A rental car and paid housing.
With Aya Locums you get:
- Access to top hospitals and healthcare systems in diverse care settings.
- Highly competitive, transparent locum tenens pay.
- Dedicated application and assignment support.
- In-house credentialing and licensing teams.
- Full coverage of licensing costs.
- Travel and lodging coverage.
- Easy timekeeping and streamlined management of documents.
- Malpractice coverage and risk management support.
- Premium medical, dental, vision and life insurance beginning day one of your assignment.
- Paid sick time. Aya provides paid sick leave in accordance with all applicable state, federal, and local laws. Aya's general sick leave policy is that employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. However, to the extent any provisions of the statement above conflict with any applicable paid sick leave laws, the applicable paid sick leave laws are controlling.
- Generous 401k match.
- Aya may provide other benefits where required by applicable law, including but not limited to reimbursements.
- Aya coordinates all travel and lodging accommodations.
- Travel information is received the evening prior to your scheduled departure.
- Airfare is covered and, if driving to the assignment, reimbursement is available.
- Once notice is received, communication from our team is sent via email and text to ensure you are kept in the loop as soon as information becomes available.
- Your safety is Aya's top priority. We work closely with the facility to ensure additional security measures are taken onsite so you can focus on what really matters: patient care.
- Licensure, relocation and other reimbursements.
Experience the Aya difference today
- A dedicated recruiter who advocates for you every step of the way.
- We'll ensure the hiring manager prioritizes your interest and schedules an interview quickly.
- A streamlined hiring process means offers are often presented within 24-48 hours after an interview with a hiring leader.
- Flexible start dates that work around your availability.
- We make it simple with one point of contact the entire time.
- University of Washington (UW) offers a wide range of benefits as part of your total compensation package. Choose from top medical and dental insurance programs; plan for your future with tax-deferred investing through the UW retirement options; enjoy generous vacation and sick leave policies; and protect yourself and your family with life and long-term disability insurance. For more information, follow the links shown below or explore the Benefits website at http://hr.uw.edu/benefits/
With Aya, you get:
- Higher compensation - we negotiate on your behalf.
- Work-life balance - contracts are up to 40 hours per week, with workdays ending mid-late afternoon and weekends off!
- An employee advocate - our team ensures you have the support needed to be successful in your role.
- Options post contract - extend, convert to a permanent employee or find a new job.
- Paid company housing (pets are welcome to tag along) or a generous housing stipend.
- If qualified, continued insurance coverage over the summer.
- A generous 401k match.
- A robust team to support you every step of the way.
- A credentialing specialist to streamline the entire compliance process.
- Freedom and flexibility around your current schedule.
- The easy-to-use Shifts app. Select shifts anytime, anywhere.
- Premium medical, dental, vision and life insurance.
- Front-of-the-line access to exclusive jobs at thousands of healthcare facilities nationwide.
- A robust team to support you every step of the way to ensure you start on time, have accurate payroll and an exceptional experience.
- Certification and other reimbursements, when applicable.
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A Guide to Travel Nurse Assignments: Your FAQs Answered
Table of Contents
Whether you’re a new travel nurse or a seasoned traveler, travel nurse assignments can be confusing and sometimes difficult to understand the terms. Let’s review the advantages of working with a travel nursing agency and some FAQs below.
Find Travel Nursing opportunities all over the United States
Registered nurses have the opportunity to become travel nurses at any point during their nursing career. Most of the time, travel nursing agencies require at least two years of nursing experience before becoming a traveler. However, this varies by agency and specialty.
Just like a career in nursing offers a variety of specialties and job opportunities, so does the world of travel nursing. As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to work in your specialty while traveling the country. You get the opportunity to meet new people, work with a variety of patient populations, and expand your professional network.
If you’re interested in exploring what travel nursing opportunities are out there, many travel nurse agency websites offer job boards , including Health Carousel Travel Nursing. Most job board postings detail the location, start date, assignment length, weekly hours, and expected pay ranges. Due to most job boards’ transparency in this criteria, it’s easy to compare agencies and nursing jobs.
Advantages of working with a professional Travel Nurse Agency
There are several benefits of working with a professional travel nursing agency. Get to know your recruiter first. Your recruiter should understand your needs, wants, and preferences in an assignment. Once they understand your assignment preferences, they can help you with your travel nursing job search . Oftentimes, they can better filter nursing jobs and may offer new jobs that haven’t been made public yet.
Next, your travel nurse agency recruiter is your assignment advocate and liaison between you and the healthcare facility. They will prepare you for your interview by providing typical questions and prepping your responses. If you need any days off or a more flexible schedule, they will help you ask for these as well.
Once you have an offer, navigating a compensation package can be pretty difficult to understand. An advantage of working with an agency recruiter is that they will help you through every step of the process. This can include benefits, sick leave, stipend amounts, etc. If you don’t understand an area or amount, or would like more compensation, then ask. Your recruiter will help you negotiate Your recruiter will help you negotiate your travel nursing contract with the healthcare facility, depending on their company policy. Typically, no two contracts will look the same.
Now that we’ve reviewed the advantages of working with a travel nurse agency, let’s detail some frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.
How long are typical travel nurse assignments?
Travel nurse assignment lengths vary depending on the nursing demand, healthcare facility, unit, and season. Most assignments last 13 weeks but can be shorter or longer. Some crisis contracts are as little as two weeks. Other contracts start as 13-week assignments, but hospitals sometimes offer contract extensions of up to a year.
Do travel nurses get easy assignments?
Travel nurse assignments are based on nurse shortages and increased demands in the area and unit. Every travel nursing experience is different. There’s no way to determine beforehand if an assignment is going to be easy. We all know that one day at the hospital can be fairly easy and the next can be draining.
To prepare, ask about typical unit assignments, patient-to-nurse ratios, and patient populations during the interview process. If the patient-to-nurse ratio seems high for your specialty, consider this before accepting an offer.
How do I choose a travel nursing assignment?
Many travel nursing agencies offer nursing job boards for you to search for available assignments. Before beginning your search, write down a list of your preferences, including locations, units, and desired pay. This will help you filter your initial search.
Many states are transitioning to the nursing licensure compact agreement . If you hold a compact license, this means you can practice nursing in that state without applying for a new nursing license. It makes it easier for travel nurses especially since they work in different states. However, keep in mind that you may only obtain a compact license if you reside in a compact state.
What type of travel nurses are most needed?
Travel nurses are always needed. However, the demand for what specialty of travel nursing varies greatly, depending on the area, nursing shortages, and employers. Most of the time, there is a high demand for medical-surgical, intensive care, and emergency room nurses.
Is it hard to find jobs as a travel nurse?
Typically, it’s not hard to find travel nursing jobs. You may not get your first assignment choice, but there are always plenty of other options available. To make it easier during your job search, apply for several assignments and obtain your compact state nursing license if you haven’t already done so.
Is travel nursing risky?
Working as a travel nurse comes with the same risks as working as a staff registered nurse. You will need to understand the state regulations, the scope of practice, and the healthcare facility’s company policies as you would with any other new nursing job.
Is travel nursing worth the money?
Many registered nurses transition to travelers and make travel nursing their career. Most travel nurses find travel nursing worth the time and money. You get to travel the country, typically make higher pay than staff nurses, and make your schedule (for the most part). ZipRecruiter shows that the national average salary for travel nurses is $118,400, which is well beyond the average staff nurse salary.
Health Carousel Travel Nursing Boasts Travel Nursing Assignments To Advance Your Career
Health Carousel Travel Nursing has travel nursing jobs available for you throughout the country. Our recruiters work to understand your needs and want to keep you aligned with your career goals. We partner with top healthcare facilities throughout the United States, so you have many career options available. We also offer great benefits, including medical and dental insurance, and sick leave.
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Everything you need to know before accepting a travel nursing assignment.
Travel nurses and allied professionals go where the wind takes them. Or rather, where there is a shortage or immediate need for their skills. Travel nursing was created to address shortages of registered nurses in various parts of the country. There is always demand for qualified nurses anywhere you go, but there’s not always enough personnel to meet the demand. This is even more true in times of a medical crisis.
Because travel nursing and allied pro assignments are run as-needed, the length of time and the kind of work you can expect to do as a travel nurse will vary from post to post. You might find yourself filling in for a nurse on parental leave for 6 months on one job. Then turn around and help an overloaded ER for a week on your next assignment. What you need to take with you and how you prepare for each job will change with each assignment. In this article, we’ll go over need-to-know information to help you prepare for your next adventure as a travel nurse.
How Does Travel Nursing Work?
Before we jump in, let’s talk about what it takes to be a travel nurse. The basic qualifications to become a travel nurse are the same as standard nursing. Travel nurses must hold an associates or bachelor’s degree in nursing, be certified in BLS and ACLS, and hold an LVN or RN certification. Here at Medely we also require a minimum of one to two years working in the specialty of the specific assignment. Find out more about being a travel nurse with Medely here .
The most common length of travel nursing and allied pro assignments is around 13 weeks, although shifts can vary from 1 week to upwards of 26, depending on the need and your preferences. Many agencies, including Medely, allow travel nurses to search for assignments with specific time parameters. Getting travel assignments with Medely works essentially the same as any other job-hunting platform. Positions are posted by the facilities, allowing you to browse potential assignments. Urgent needs may be highlighted or promoted. Nurses and allied pros can apply for your ideal position with the click of a button, which will kick off an interview and approval process. Once the facility approves your application and you sign your contract, you’re off on your adventure!
But before you hop on a plane, there are a few things to get in order:
- Housing – Staying in a hotel gets old fast. The good news is, there’s better options.
- Pet/Plant Sitting – Do you have plants or animals that will need care, either with you or while you’re away?
- License – Travel nurses have to be licensed in the state they are working in. Make sure your license and other credentials are up-to-date for the state your assignment is in.?
- Travel – How are you getting to your new assignment? Does your agency offer reimbursement? (Medely does)
- Expenses – What is the cost of living in the new city? How much does your agency cover? (again, Medely has you covered with the maximum tax-free stipends available for your assignment)
In the next section, we’ll talk more about specific needs and top tips to follow, no matter the length of your assignment.
Nursing and Allied Pro Assignments by Length
1 week travel nursing assignment.
Shorter assignments, including week-long jobs, typically fall under the “rapid-response” category. This means nurses working these fast-turnaround positions will need to be ready to go in as little as two days.
These assignments are easy to pack for but the planning and financial aspect can be rough. Last-minute plane tickets get expensive fast. However most agencies reimburse travel costs, especially for rapid-response assignments.
Housing can also be a little tricky, but you might be able to get away with staying in a hotel for such a short duration.
If you have children or pets that need to stay home, longer assignments might be a better fit for you.
As with all short-term assignments, be prepared for a potential extension.
2 Week Travel Nursing Assignment
These assignments are rare. But if you’ve been bit by the travel bug and only have a small window of availability, you ask your agency to keep an eye out for these short assignments.
As with 1 week assignments, you might need to be ready to move fast as facilities will typically need you to start right away. We recommend finding housing through a travel-nursing specific website, for a more affordable and more amenity-filled home away from home during your stay.
3 Week Travel Nursing Assignment
The biggest considerations as nursing assignments lengthen are housing-related. It’s easy enough to pack everything you need for short-term assignments, but you want to start thinking about practical concerns as your job extends. Look for affordable, comfortable housing with proximity to your place of work, laundry facilities, and grocery stores or restaurants.
4-6 Week Travel Nursing Assignment
One month is the magic number for many nursing assignments. In fact, it’s the minimum length of assignment Medely offers. Additionally, many travel nurse housing sites also have a four week minimum.
Four week and longer assignments typically have time between application and orientation, giving you some breathing room when it comes to planning housing and travel. We recommend looking for locations you think you’ll enjoy when considering these longer assignments.
8+ Week Travel Nursing Assignment
Nurses on tour! Home and home-away-from-home begin to blend together when you’re working in a new location for this long. But they are often easier to budget and plan for and you can take your time in figuring out next steps. Longer assignments are often a good bet for travel nurses with families and animals. The assignment length means you have the time to make the necessary arrangements for your loved ones.
Last Thoughts: Travel Nurse Assignments
What you need for your next travel assignment will vary by length. There’s a world of difference between a 1-week stay and a 2 month job. But by planning and preparing ahead of time, you’ll be ready to go no matter what.
Not sure what to pack? Medely has the answers. Check out our post: The Nomad’s Packing Guide for Travel Nurses .
Travel Nursing RN State Licensing Resource
Obtaining a nursing license, whether initial or through endorsement can be confusing and overwhelming, especially since each state has its own set of individual requirements and timeframes.
With the expansion of the Enhanced Nursing Compact License (eNLC) , working in multiple states or accepting travel nursing assignments quickly is much easier. Nurses have the ability to obtain licensure in their state of residence, and also work in an additional 31 states with more pending legislation.
Pro tip: Timeframes for license processing can change without notice. It’s best to apply as soon as possible to ensure your license is issued in plenty of time.
There are two different types of temporary nursing licenses.
The first is a traditional temporary license . These are issued in some states, but only if an individual has a confirmed job offer and needs to start before a permanent license is issued. These licenses are valid for roughly one year. To obtain a temporary license there are additional fees and required paperwork. Temporary licenses can be a good option for travel nurses if they plan on working in a state for a brief period of time and not returning. A temporary license will simply expire, while a permanent license requires renewal fees.
The second type is a walkthrough temporary license and there are only a few states that issue this type of license. The state boards of nursing issue these licenses same-day, sometimes as quickly as an hour. Walkthrough temporary licenses are typically valid between 30 days and six months, depending on the issuing state.
It’s important to discuss with your travel nurse recruiter the different licensing options and which are the best for your current travel nurse assignment.
RNs can earn up to $2,300 a week as a travel nurse. Speak to a recruiter today!
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Two 13-week travel assignments, at once - feasible?
Published Jul 24, 2019
- by Sunnysandy
If I have a fixed schedule for the entire 13-weeks, guaranteed by the nurse manager and the director, 36 hours, 3 days a week...and another facility could take me in on a similar schedule but on the alternate days, would it be possible to do two assignments, with 2 different agencies?
Anyone ever done it?
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1 Article; 5,773 Posts
Nope, and it is nutty for several reasons. First, you are better off financially and sanity wise to take rapid response type of jobs where you can work seven days a week if you want. Overtime instead of 72 or 84 hours of straight time. Second, the logistics would be crazy. Schedules are seldom truly fixed for travelers, and all contracts allow changes. Finding two travel assignments that offer fixed and compatible schedules would be, umm, challenging. Third, many contracts have specific language requiring that it be your only job. Fourth, travelers who are working away from home have tax advantages. Your second contract would have to be fully taxed, reducing your take home pay. No double dipping.
Even if you find such compatible contracts, illness on your part or a staff member that requires you to step in may get you terminated from both jobs. If you must do something this bizarre, better to work in an area that has a lot of local agency per diem to fill in your days off. Those shift commitments are easy to cancel. That is doable, and I do meet travelers with so much excess energy that they do just this. Often they take several back to back contracts in the same area, because it would be a pain to sign up for per diem in a new area every three months. But generally, per diem will pay less than your total hourly compensation for travel contracts so it seems nutty to me. I've never been tempted to work more and take a pay cut (yes, your gross pay will still be more).
OK. Two question. Why would the 2nd contract be fully taxed if home is still working away from home? How do you find per diem agencies?
Why can't you double dip? Would it be legal to collect two person's welfare checks? The why is irrelevant anyway, it is the law. The workaround is to travel with an unrelated traveler and split things. If you are married, collecting two housing stipends would be disallowed in an audit because you already share housing.
How to find per diem agencies? Google. Yellow pages if they still exist. Ask around the hospital where you are working. Typically you need a large urban area. Los Angeles, the Bay area, Chicago, DC/VA/Baltimore all have healthy per diem that I know of personally.
Thanks NedRN. By why i meant "what's there reason behind it", not a "how come" complain. Thanks for explaining. Googling for information on this part of the law, but I can't find anything. I am sure I'm phrasing it wrong. Any idea how I should word it?
Are per diem agencies the the same as regular 13-week assignment agencies? Or are they agencies that specialize in per diem?
Seriously? Common sense will tell you you can't double dip. The underlying laws and regulations are complex. You can do a few hours of reading about them on PanTravelers and TravelTax. Irrelevant anyway as you will not be able to work two concurrent assignments.
But let me break it down a little here. The housing stipend is actually a "reimbursement" for an expense. If you take two reimbursements for the same exact expense... get the picture?
Agencies can do both. But you want a national agency for travel, and a local agency for per diem. The same agency for both will not employ you for both because of overtime laws, they would lose money on paying you 40 hours of overtime when they can only bill flat time.
3 minutes ago, NedRN said: Seriously? Common sense will tell you you can't double dip.
Wow. It's unfortunate that your knowledge is buried under that character.
Stipends are tax free because it pays for housing, the second stipend wouldn't be paying for your housing (since the housing is already paid for by the first stipend) which is why it isn't tax free.
9 hours ago, Sunnysandy said: Wow. It's unfortunate that your knowledge is buried under that character.
I take it you haven't traveled before based on your questions, repeated after I answered them thoroughly. I was nice (not sure why you would be offended at "common sense" and double dipping) and helpful and you have a surprise coming your way if you have never traveled before. You don't get coddled (typically) like you might be used to as a staff nurse, or even on this rather well behaved (typically) forum. It's harsh out here and expectations of travelers are high. Are you really ready? Even the internet has you ruffled. A single snide comment to anyone on a travel assignment can lead to termination.
On 7/26/2019 at 2:56 AM, WanderingWilder said: Stipends are tax free because it pays for housing, the second stipend wouldn't be paying for your housing (since the housing is already paid for by the first stipend) which is why it isn't tax free.
Aha! Got it now! Awesome! Thanks!
Would the 2nd assignment being a traveling distance from the first one make a difference?
If you have a tax home you haven't abandoned and are working away from home on business, and the nature of the job requires that you have local accommodation to rest between shifts (or other considerations like callback time), then that accommodation is tax deductible. There is no limit on how many such accommodations you might have (picture a sales person with multiple cities to visit), but they don't normally overlap.
In the almost impossible scenario where you take two concurrent travel assignments in which you cannot commute from one to the other, and you don't simply stay at hotels for the nights needed in the two locations, you might be able to justify having two apartments if the cost is less than the hotel rooms, but not if it is more. That is the only way you might be able to justify having two housing stipends and not paying tax on either. But your out of pocket will be significantly higher, erasing any benefits (the costs will be higher than the taxes would have been).
You do have to keep and hold housing receipts to prove in an audit that you do have duplicated costs at the remote site and your tax home.
Besides housing, the other major benefit of travel is tax free per diems (known as M&IE by the IRS). As the name suggests, these are paid daily like housing and are significant. Under no circumstances could these overlap between two concurrent assignments, again making this whole discussion an exercise in futility.
You do know you have to keep up a permanent residence as well? If not, this whole thing is moot as all compensation is taxable, not even tax free housing once.
RN/WI, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN
Why ?! It’s not possible and even if it was it would be illegal. But first of all you would make more working one and collecting overtime for more hours you would stick into the second job. Did you decide to travel?
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