Travel Nurse Stories: What Made You Switch to Travel?

Our Travel Nurse Stories series continues…

For this segment, we asked some members of our elite team of travel nurses what made them consider switching to travel vs working directly at a hospital? Here are their responses.

Charis says that while she enjoyed being in the float pool at the hospital, she didn’t always like that level of chaos. Traveling provides her the same opportunity of having lots of different experiences without the constant change.

Clayton says frustration over not being allowed to use his paid vacation days at a hospital pushed him to make the switch to travel nursing.

In this story, Dana says she wasn’t getting compensated for all the extra hours she was working while in management, and found the pay to be better through our agency.

Grace was 2 years in to working at a hospital and thought she needed more years of experience to move to traveling. Her interview with Fidelity On Call, made her realize she was very capable and gave her the confidence to make the change.

In this story, Holly says when she was working for a facility as a staff nurse, they were low census for several months and kept getting sent home. So it was very attractive to her to have guaranteed hours and not have to worry about getting called off.

Sue tells Carla that working for Fidelity On Call gives her the opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and have new experiences.

In this story, Tyler says he knew he had a skill set that he could provide to other hospitals, and traveling allowed him to share his knowledge.

Check back as we’ll be adding more nurse stories to this page.

What’s The Difference?

We are often asked, “What’s the difference when I work for Fidelity On Call vs. staying at the hospital?” Here is a quick glance that highlights some of these differences.

Working Directly at Hospital

Your shifts are posted. If the census goes low enough, you could be called off or laid off.
You become involved in the politics of the facility.
You take the job home with you.
You have to ask for time off and all vacations.
You don’t have the freedom to choose.
You could be on the same floor forever.

Working for Fidelity On Call

You have freedom and flexibility to choose the hospital you work at.
You leave at the end of the day knowing you made a difference in the lives of so many people.
You can leave the politics at the facility and not take them home.
You are guaranteed hours – you can’t be called off and you know when your contract ends.
You are never alone on an assignment – we are standing firmly with you and have your back.
You meet new people . . . make new friends.
You are part of a highly respected, elite team of nurses.
You continue to grow your nursing skills.
You can take time off between assignments for vacations or personal business.
You make more money.
You receive a tax-free allowances and bonuses.
You have excellent benefits.

If you have questions or are thinking about changing career paths, call us or message us today!

 

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.

We’ve Got Your Back

So often in life people are prone to state the negative vs saying something positive. How true in our business. Most customers don’t call to say – “Your nurses were amazing today;” or a nurse say, “I so appreciate what the office does for me.” So imagine our surprise when we recently received overwhelming praise from both our customers and our nurses on our office team within a matter of days. It felt wonderful . . . that is what we work for! But, it got us thinking. How important is it that we’ve got your back?

At Fidelity On Call, we do this for both our customers and our elite team of nurses. It is our mission in action.

If you are a facility and have any questions, we want to answer them. We also don’t just assign someone to your facility. We remain actively involved in the job they are doing.

If something is not right, we want to know. If we receive a negative comment or report, we don’t just file it. We call our nurse to discuss the situation with them. We need their input before we make a decision. Sometimes, we have to say that the nurse is not our quality (for whatever reason) and terminate them. If, however, there is more to the story, we will communicate back with the hospital and discuss the course of action. We never hear a negative without thoroughly checking it out – our customers and our nurses are always in the communication loop, because we’ve got your back.

We also don’t repeatedly have a nurse problem and just assign them to another facility. We know this is a standard practice with some companies – but not Fidelity. We will remain true to our mission and to our customers. It is counterproductive to simply put a problem nurse into another hospital.

Our employees know their attendance, willingness to work with our customers and be flexible, having a good attitude and showing off their abilities are all very important to our customers and their success, the success of your team and delivering the best in patient care. That is what we work for. When we receive a customer call that talks about our quality, what a great nurse we sent, or how they love (nurse name) and want them to stay for another contract, it energizes us.

Now, when it comes to our nurses, we work every day to make sure your know that we’ve got your back. Of course, we properly assign you – you know, in advance, exactly what you are agreeing to do at the hospital. More than likely, you have been interviewed by the hospital so you can ask any questions you might have regarding your assignment.

Your contract spells out exactly what we agreed to and we will not deviate from it. You will receive the rate of pay, tax-free allowance, bonus and days off we committed to and you accepted.

If you have a problem, we are on it for you. But, we don’t just stop there. Our internal team lets you know when you have a physical, TB, CPR or other documentation that is up for renewal. Our Accounting Department even calls if you don’t have your documentation in for a paycheck to be cut.

We can’t find another company that does that.

We send recognition cards with premiums for good reviews. We never forget a birthday or anniversary. We host contests to make participating fun! And, when it comes to benefits, we work hard to provide our team with the best health care around while working to make sure that the premiums don’t become unaffordable. We also strive to keep your deductible low. We are committed to making sure you know what a valuable part of our team you are.

So, when we had a series of appreciative comments, we were overjoyed. Here is one: “I want to thank the AMAZING support group that has hired, supported, and put up with me the last two years. Thank you all for your unending patience on every phone call, your lack of condemnation on consistently late time cards (I’m working on it, I promise), and for the simple fact I know if there is ever an issue in my professional career I have a group of powerful women who will support me no holds barred as long as I’m honest and returning the favor by supporting and correctly representing Fidelity On Call. Nursing is hard, it just is, but it is made so much easier by working for all of you.”

Yes, we’ve got your back. And, we really, really feel special when our customers and team members have a positive experience.

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.