I’m Not Putting My Nursing License on the Line

As Fidelity On Call celebrates 25 years in business, we have heard “I’m not putting my license on the line” from more nurses than we can count. As a matter of fact, if we had just a dollar for every time, we think we would be millionaires!

Most often this comment comes with a phone call on what is happening at a facility our nurse is assigned to. Of course, our nurse is upset as something is not right – could be inadequate staffing, or the quality of care given to the patients, safety issues or problems with the nursing team or supervisors at the facility or even more critical issues.

Because we only hire top-notches nurses, we know their concerns are valid and we will work to get it corrected. But it is important to remember that a facility problem is not a reflection on the nurse’s license.

So what is it that truly “puts your license on the line?”

– A hospital has a nurse who is working in an “alerted” state – slurred speech, eyes dilated, weaving when walking. A drug test is conducted and is returned “positive” for opioids. The nurse does not have a prescription to support what was in her system. There was also sufficient evidence to show that what was in her system came should have administered to a patient. That hospital – just like Fidelity On Call – is required to report any such occurrences to the State of Illinois for investigation. In many instances, the nurse’s license will be disciplined but she will be able to keep her license. That is, unless the nurse continues to positively test for drugs and fails to do what was directed in the disciplinary hearing.

– A nurse is caught diverting hydrocodone and alprazolam (Xanax) from the hospital where she works. The pharmacy calculated she diverted almost $10,000 worth of prescription drugs over a 12-month period. She was reported. Since she failed to even appear for the hearing where her case was to be discussed, her license was revoked.

– A registered nurse, who was the director of nursing (DON), falsified documents, fabricated information, and failed to put serious issues on care plans. Upon survey, the facility received multiple citations and the DON was terminated by the facility. Her license was revoked by default when she failed to come to the hearing where the formal charges were to be discussed.

It is extremely rare to revoke a nurse’s license over a medication error, unintentional harm or deviations from standard care. Statistically, licenses get revoked due to issues revolving around addiction, impaired practice, theft, diversion, and/or failure to complete the terms of an impaired nurse program as contractually agreed at a disciplinary hearing.

You can also see from our examples that failure to show for your disciplinary hearing most likely will result in your license being revoked.

Travel Nurse Stories: Tax-Free Allowances

“How could this happen. I owe thousands of dollars in taxes!”

By January 31 of every year, your W-2 is in the mail. And, every year we hear and read about travel nurses who are in panic mode because the taxes taken out of their wages are not enough to cover what is owed.

Some are short thousands of dollars.

They accepted contracts with low hourly pay rates so they could get a lot of “tax-free” money, but now their accountant is telling them that they will have to pay taxes on what they thought was tax-free money.

How is this possible?

Simply put, there is a limit to what a company can pay in tax-free allowances. The federal government sets guidelines for travel, meals, etc. and anything that is over those guidelines will be taxed.

That is why when Fidelity On Call calculates a contract, we are extremely careful to make sure we are doing the best we can for our nurse – hourly rate, tax-free allowance, bonus – but also taking care of them in the long run when it comes to their taxes. No one wants to owe the tax man a bundle of money!

So, we just caution you . . . if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

For more truth telling for travel nurses, download our free guide: 10 Top Myths of Travel Nursing.

25 Reasons to Love Travel Nursing

We asked our team of travel nurses what they liked best about Travel Nursing. Here are some of their responses.

1 I think the main thing I love about travel nursing is diversity. I get the opportunity to work with different people, in different settings, and with different policies and protocols every few months! It keeps things fresh, and it has helped me develop a wider scope of experiences and learning. I love it! – Gillian

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2 I love travel nursing because I get to see how different hospitals, units and team members approach patient care. – Brittany

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3 The thing that I love most about travel nursing is the flexibility to make the best choices that balance my work and personal life. – Adrianne

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4 The flexible schedules, endless experience, and frequent changes prevent the “burnout” feeling! Coming from a mother of two young children, it is the best decision I made. I am home every night and never miss a school function! – Natasha

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5 I love the challenges and friendships that travel nursing brings! – Amanda

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6 What I love about travel nursing for Fidelity On Call is that I am driven to be a beacon of excellence for myself, my peers, and most importantly, my patients. – Lambert

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7 I love collaborating with different healthcare teams from the various facilities I contract with. They are able to utilize my knowledge and expertise to streamline a process or policy. – Leslie

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8 I love the freedom and flexibility of travel nursing. Traveling has allowed me to work while pursuing my educational goals. I love travel nursing because of the professional growth I’ve experienced. Adapting in each experience has added to my skill sets. I have learned so much since becoming a travel nurse. – Amy

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9 One of the things I love about travel nursing is the ability to simply take care of my patients without all the drama of the politics that interfere with nursing care from staff nurses! – Kayleigh

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10 I love the flexibility of travel nursing . I am able to choose contracts that allow me to maximize the time I can spend with my family. I also love getting to work with so many different people. – Chad

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11 I have been traveling now for over 18 years. What I love about my job is all the places I have seen, the people I have met and the different ways to do the same things medically that I have learned. I have worked in a total of 8 different states with multiple assignments in most of them. I have met world renowned doctors and wonderful nurses and support staff. I have many friends all across this wonderful national of ours. What I love about working for Fidelity is the personal treatment I receive from all the staff. I have never had a problem or concern my recruiter or support staff hasn’t taken care of. I truly love being an RN, further I know I work for the best company ever. Thank you for coming along with me on my journey. – Lonna

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12 Travel nursing to me means being in control of my nursing journey. Working with Fidelity has allowed me to grow not only as a nurse, but as a person. Although I don’t travel far in mileage, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and it has been amazing. I look forward to many more adventures with Fidelity. – Mary

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13 Working for Fidelity On Call allows me to love what I do. I get to take care of my patients and give the best possible care. I also can make an income capable of supporting my family of five and not have to work enormous amounts of overtime doing so. – Natalie

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14 Travel nursing is a great way for nurses to expand their professional resumes while they enjoy exciting new experiences around the country. The thing I love is that I am given the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques that each different hospital uses as well as meet amazing staff members. – Chelsie

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15 What I love about travel nursing is the opportunity to experience life beyond the hospital, meeting new people, and let’s not forget that the pay is great also . . . #IAmANurse – Tamika

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16 Being a nurse has impacted my life on so many levels. As a travel RN, the constant diversity has me learning, changing and growing on a daily basis. Travel nursing brings it all together and opens opportunity to grow. The knowledge, skills and life experiences I have gained through my journey have shaped the nurse I am today. Travel nursing pushes you outside your comfort zone making you a jack of all trades. Professionally, I have never felt stronger and more proficient than I do now. – Jess

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17 I love travel nursing because I get to meet new people and see new places. I also get to see a variety of different diagnoses and that helps keep my skills up to date. – Michelle

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18 True love is not an emotion. It’s a decision, sometimes hourly, to stay. – Christine

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19 I love the opportunity to explore a different facility, work with new people, and care for patients from different aspects of nursing. – Morgan

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20 What I love about travel nursing is it allows me to travel the world! – Bronwyn

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21 I enjoy travel nursing because of the opportunity to build so many wonderful friendships! – Charis

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22 I love the challenge of being a travel nurse. It seems that there is always something new and exciting. – Lisa

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23 I love the freedom of traveling nursing – not tied down after one contract and you get to do what you want. – Gary

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24 I have been a travel nurse for many years and would never go back to working at just one hospital again. It is great to have someone who advocates for me – not only the assignment but they have my back if there is a question or problem that needs to be addressed. – Tammy

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25 I love travel nursing because I get to meet new people and learn new things/views instead of getting “stuck” in the same routines/treatments which allows me to better care and advocate for my patients. – Jennifer

Bonus Answers to 25 Reasons to Love Travel Nursing

We received an overwhelming response from our team about why they love travel nursing. Here are some bonus comments:

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I like meeting new people. – Kole; I like to meet new people. – Abbi; I love the different people I meet. – Diana

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My absolute favorite thing about travel nursing is the flexibility it allows me in all aspects of my career. – Ben

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I love the scheduling flexibility. – Holly; I love the flexibility of travel nursing. – Lorna

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The things I love most are meeting new people and new patients to help out. – John

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I like that I can work three days and be home with my family for four days. – Lorena

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I love learning new things. – Tiffany

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I love travel nursing because it gives me the opportunity to work in a variety of places doing a variety of nursing jobs. – Beth

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I love the flexibility it allows me to have and meeting new people. – Ebony

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Travel nursing offers you much more experience because you get a wide diversity of patients. – Stephanie

Travel Nurse Stories: It Can Be a Money Game

“I can’t believe they reassigned a nurse that diverted drugs!”

There are many consequences to having recruiters that must beat quotas and, more than once, we have been made aware of a nurse not being terminated who made a serious mistake.

Now, that’s not to say their travel assignment at the hospital didn’t end, but rather that their travel company chose to keep them in their employ and to even reassign them.

Why would this ever happen?

The traveling nurse money game

Under the rules and regulations all travel nursing companies operate under, we are required to report a nurse who diverts drugs, makes a serious drug error, abuses a patient, falsifies a document, etc. to the proper agencies.

However, the turnaround time for investigation means that the nurse can work at least another contract before his/her license is disciplined.

Simply put, it is a money game and we don’t play it. Fidelity On Call would never reassign a nurse that was reported for one of the reasons outlined.

We do what is right for our company and for the customers. Ultimately, by doing this, we are continuing to provide the very best of care for those patients whose lives we impact.

We take a different angle

Our team at Fidelity On Call feels pressure, too. However, we look at it from a different angle.

Our customer has called us to fill a certain nursing position in their hospital. We are responsible for providing the best person possible to fill that opening – one who is a skills match and who has the right attitude to provide the best in patient care.

As a top-quality nurse, when you look around at the other members of your travel team, don’t you want to be proud of them and the company you represent?

Yes, we want to take care of our customers. But, it can never be at the expense of quality patient care.

Want to see how your recruiter stacks up? Download our free cheat sheet – Substandard Recruiters versus Good Recruiters: How to Spot the Difference

Travel Nurse Stories: I Think They Recruit Anyone

“When I arrived for my assignment, I was surprised at some of the other nurses that represented my company.”

Many travel nurse recruiters are mandated to recruit a certain number of nurses each month. Sometimes, this leads to a lack of quality.

Why?

Because, as a recruiter, they are pressured to fill positions or face losing their job.
Consequently, the focus is on the wrong thing.

At Fidelity On Call, we have received calls from our hospital customers telling us that they have been sent a nurse (from another travel company) with the wrong skill set or one who failed to show for their assignment or who has forged documentation and the list goes on.

When you think through to the end result of these examples, the patient could not have received the proper care. And, isn’t that what we should be there for?

Fidelity On Call carefully assigns our nurses to ensure they are a skills match. All documentation is complete and thoroughly checked. We check past history and what their supervisors have to say about their job performance. We won’t just “fill an assignment.”

Want to see how your recruiter stacks up? Download our free cheat sheet – Substandard Recruiters versus Good Recruiters: How to Spot the Difference