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Travel Nursing Mythbusters

Do you have preconceived notions of what travel nursing is? In this new segment, Mythbusters with Travel Nurses, Inc., we are busting all the myths and misconceptions about the margin on bill rates, tax homes, age, insurance, and patient assignments. Often, nurses know what travel nursing entails, but the reality is not always clear. You deserve to start your dream job! Let us clear some things up for you!

Myth: Margin on Bill Rates are 5-7%

Busted: Agencies cannot run off 5-7%.The average travel nurse agency charges bill rate to a client hospital for their assigned nurses. We asked Associate Director of Nursing Shane Garner to give details on bill rates and he stated, “The average bill rate margin an agency runs operates on is around 20% to cover all expenses. The agency is probably earning more than they have disclosed to the nurse if they say they only keep 5-7%”.

Myth: Travel Nurses must pay taxes in their home state and in their assignment state.

usted: Travel Nurses are not required to pay taxes in multiple states. Associate Director of Nursing,Shane Garner, also helped us bust this myth. The topic of tax homes can be complicated to understand. Travel nurses are considered Per Diem employees, which means the IRS can not tax their wages. To qualify for tax-free reimbursements, you must work away from your tax-home. The IRS considers your tax-home to be the place where you do the most work. If you spend most of your time working in one place, then your tax-home will be that place. You do not pay double taxes. Maintaining your status as a Per Diem employee can become tedious in situation where you are working close to home. For example, you are taking an assignment in your home state only 100 miles away from your residence. You are considered a travel nurse and can receive money and not be taxed only if you have rental near your assignment. You cannot take the nontax money if you drive back to your permanent residence every day. In short, to maintain your “temporary status” and ensure that your tax-home doesn’t change, you need to move frequently.

Myth: Only “young” nurses become travel nurses.

Busted: Travel nursing has no age limit. There is this misconception that you must be “young,” unmarried, or childless. This is simply not true. The average amount of travel nurses’ are over 40. Nurses of all ages can bring their experiences and can adapt well with healthcare settings. Experienced nurses can train new nurses. You’re probably used to working in various healthcare environments, including in different types of facilities, with various team structures, and with all kinds of patients. The experience you have would benefit you in a career in travel nursing. What is great about travel nursing is the short commitment process. You commit to an average of 13 weeks and if you are ready for a break, you can go home as soon as the contract ends. You can also fund your travel dreams or RV lifestyle through sporadic temporary work assignments. Most empty nesters get into travel nursing to do exactly that. Spouses come along for the ride and have the opportunity to see new places and try new things together. If you are single, you can do all the things you dreamed of doing.

Myth: Travel Nurses Don’t Qualify for Health Insurance

Busted: Most agencies offer health insurance for their employees. Although, this varies from agency to agency. At Travel Nurses, Inc. we offer Day One Health Coverage. It includes Health, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance for employees working full time on contract. Your insurance is active while on contract and will end on the last day if you do not pick up a new contract or extend your current contact within 30 days before your end date.

Myth: Bad Patient Assignment

Busted: This is not necessarily true. When you first come to an assignment, the unit doesn’t know really anything about you. Your co-workers are testing your skills at first to see what you can and cannot handle. The “bad” patients may just need more attention and have more sever issues. You are simply there to help with the short staffing issue. They would have to do the work if you weren’t there, so it isn’t personal. They want to see what you are capable of. It is a learning process of getting comfortable and understanding your co-workers, communicating, and learning where you fit in. Before you know it, you will be working well with the other nurses on the unit. You may even gain some pretty great friends in the process.

Have more questions or “myths”? Contact us! We would love to bust them and tell you the reality of travel nursing. Don’t let those assumptions hender you from starting your new adventure.

About the Author

Hi my name is Ann Gavin. I am a pediatric travel nurse that has been a nurse for almost 3 years! Aside from nursing I love writing, fashion, and the outdoors!

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