Understanding travel nurse stipends helps Super Nurses save money!
Super Nurses often wonder how agencies come up with travel nurse stipends. But did you know there is a science (and federal regulations) behind these rates? Your recruiter and credentialing specialists will help you determine if you qualify for any travel nurse stipend. You’ll be required to complete a worksheet and attest to the fact that you do in fact qualify or not.
Many Super Nurses on assignment qualify for a per diem used for meals, incidentals and housing (if your agency is not paying the bill directly). The General Services Administration (GSA) establishes per diem rates for destinations within the Continental United States (CONUS). This system was initially used for federal government employees, but its use has expanded widely and is now the standard rates allowable for all types of non-government employees including healthcare travelers.
CONUS per diems can be for either non-standard or standard CONUS locations. Non-standard areas (NSAs) are frequently traveled by the federal community and are reviewed on an annual basis. Standard CONUS locations are less frequently traveled by the federal community and are not specifically listed on our web site. Currently, the standard CONUS per diem rate is $91 for lodging, $51 for meals and incidental expenses.
You can look up an area and determine the maximum per diem allowable online at the U.S. General Services Administration website.
Beware of Per Diem Pitfalls
Tailored Healthcare Staffing takes every step possible to comply with all federal regulations regarding pay and per diems. This protects our Super Nurses and our organization as well. In the past, healthcare travel agencies have provided extremely high per diems coupled with drastically low hour pay rates. This strategy has resulted in legal issues for the companies offending the regulations and exposes the healthcare traveler to tax audit and fines as well.
For example, RNs should not be paid $12 per hour and be paid more than the CONUS rates for the area in which their assignment is located. This strategy is sometimes used to win travelers over to an assignment but can have dire results in the end. Super Nurses, beware!
Rest assured Tailored Healthcare Staffing follow all the guidelines and will not put your long-term financial stability at risk for short term, tax-free gains.