Healthcare providers are increasingly getting into travel healthcare for the high earnings it offers. Yes, we do make more money than employees at most places, but going into travel nursing with wide-open financial eyes is vital.
Travel Healthcare Contracts Get Cancelled
The last year has witnessed a rise in cancellations, and it may not be so lucrative to start out with. With more frequent cancellations, travelers aren’t promised a great paycheck every week. There are also hospitals that cancel travelers for four to eight hours, if not the whole shift. With these circumstances, nurses have been doing more thinking and planning before jumping into the travel healthcare pool. It’s an unfortunate fact that hospitals cancel or postpone and do not pay anything to the agencies, who in turn cannot pay anything to the nurses.
I have been through plenty of postponed contracts and even a canceled contract, but it didn’t make too much of an impact on my everyday life, given that I had an emergency fund saved up for such times. Yes, you can do traveling healthcare on a hope and a prayer, but the smart way to do it is to be prepared for any cancellations.
5 Steps to Decrease Financial Stress as a Travel Healthcare Professional
- Licensure: Be prepared to pay for additional state licenses that are needed. The standard operating procedure is for you to purchase the license and then turn in your receipt for reimbursement.
- Savings: Have at least one month of expenses, preferably three months of expenses in the bank, just in case your assignment gets canceled or postponed.
- Travel: Staffing agencies do not pay for your travel before you leave home. Make sure that you have enough money to get you to your assignment.
- Tests: Be prepared to pay for some testing, drug testing, labs, x-rays, etc. Some companies have you pay for it or put it on your insurance, and then they reimburse you for what you paid for after coverage.
- Emergencies: Have enough money for emergencies along the road, especially if you are driving. Flat tires, hot cars, burning up a clutch, or having a minor accident can financially drain you. Since you are driving more miles than usual, your risk for these things is substantially increased.
Have Money and Enjoy Being a Travel Healthcare Professional
If you start out with a good base, then you can be well on your way to becoming a debt-free traveler who has money to REALLY enjoy life on the road. Healthcare professionals must have some money in the bank before heading out on the road; there are just too many things that can go wrong on the way to the assignment.
Your stress level will be significantly decreased when you have financial backup. This will also make it easier for you to get ahead in life and on your way to being able to have a fuller and more prosperous life. In fact, there are quite a few nurses that I have met that are entirely debt free! By using these tips, you will not be making phone calls to family or friends, or loading up your credit card.
Don’t be a healthcare professional stuck in the rut of an everyday staff job where you are barely making ends meet. Be a healthcare professional that is traveling the United States, or even the world, by making a great living and enjoying life to the fullest.
About the Author
Kay Slane, RN, BSEd, CGM has been a nurse for over 26 years and a traveler for 15 years. She is the author of the number one travel nursing book on Amazon, “Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2017.” Check out her website, which provides the roadmap for today’s traveling nurse, highwayhypodermics.com.