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.

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.


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

Travel Nurse Stories: They Have Banks of Recruiters

“Every time I call my travel company, I get a different recruiter.”

Many travel nursing companies have banks of recruiters. They are mandated to make a certain number of calls per day and to recruit a designated number of nurses each month.

It’s a tough job and, if they don’t produce the right results, they don’t survive for long. That’s why you could be talking to someone different every time you call.

It is important for you to know your company’s policy regarding mandated calls and recruits. And, the easiest way to find out is to check out how long your recruiter has been with their company.

This insures that they will not only be with you through your current contract, but for future ones as well.

At Fidelity On Call, we have maintained the same senior staff since we started in 1994. Our recruiters are long-term employees and are here to stay!

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