Because these additional stipends are classified as refunds rather than income, they are not taxable, so a travel nurse can bring home a higher total salary compared to a staff nurse, who pays taxes on all the income she brings home. Compensation for nurses traveling at UPMC remains higher than full-time employees because work comes with its own challenges. While full-time nurses know their facilities and have a more regular schedule, travel nurses are constantly on the move. A particular factor that can increase profits in the pockets of travel nurses is tax-free stipends.
A nurse may receive a large stipend for housing, but choose low-cost options such as camping, traveling in a motorhome, or sharing the house, so the leftover money adds to the accumulated income. Travelers can also receive a daily fee to cover meals, transportation, and other expenses, and a frugal nurse can also pocket a good amount of this money and further increase their earnings. A nurse who left her job at the hospital for much higher salaries as a traveling nurse found the lifestyle difficult in her family. But permanent jobs, but those don't pay much better than they paid before the pandemic.
Different travel nursing jobs have different compensation packages. This is because different hospitals have different billing rates. Billing rates are the hourly rates that agencies can charge hospitals for the working time of a travel nurse. Therefore, billing rates serve as the fundamental basis of travel nursing payment packages.
The truth is that you will need to show some level of flexibility to stay employed continuously as a travel nurse. Resentment and frustration can sometimes arise when the nurse encounters a traveler who attracts thousands a week doing the same job, but who still needs to be trained to fully function in a foreign unit. The hospital can decide they no longer need it and cancel a nursing travel contract before it starts or even during the contract. When nursing travel agencies offer bonuses, it's important to evaluate that bonus as part of the overall salary package.
Sanford recalls first using local agencies and travel nurses in the 1980s as a cost-effective staffing strategy for periods when the patient census fluctuates, such as during influenza epidemics. The situation is multifaceted and there are many explanations, whether satisfactory or not, for the shocking wage disparities between nurses and travelers. It's important to know the pros and cons of travel nursing before making the leap into this challenging but rewarding career. While travel nursing jobs exist in almost every part of the country, a disproportionate number of jobs are available in underserved communities.
It's not uncommon for a hospital to provide 4 to 8 hours of orientation before leaving a traveling nurse loose on the floor. Because of that, many nurses, who may have never considered traveling before, are now choosing to do so and are leaving hospitals in areas of the country with a lower wage rate, she said. Tax-free money for room and board & Incidental expenses comprise a significant percentage of travel nursing payment packages. And worst of all, it's rare for hospitals to offer any compensation for this travel nursing paperwork.
As a result, a significant percentage of travel nurses do their taxes for a licensed professional. However, it's important to remember that many travel nurses offer more than enough reward to overcome the disadvantages. Last year's average wage increase for full-time nurses was only marginally more than usual, which is why travelers with a pandemic face such a difficult transition. .