Why Travel Pay Is NOT Tied to Your Performance

Why Travel Pay Is NOT Tied to Your Performance

The differences between travel healthcare pay and staff pay have long been discussed. But more so recently due to the rapid way travel pay went up and now is returning to a new normal range. Many travelers are upset as they feel the lowering of rates is a direct reflection of their work performance, skill set, etc. Nothing could be any further from the truth.

Travel healthcare pay has always been determined by contracted bill rates that are negotiated with either the Vendor Management company and hospital or the hospital directly. The rates are determined by supply and demand, industry standards, and geographic area.

They also vary based on specialties. How the travelers pay is then computed from the specific bill rate is: travel distance, meal allowance, mileage allowances, housing allowances and then the hourly rate. There are lots of factors involved as it is not a one size fits all approach. Rates are not determined by any specific nurse going into that position. The bill rate is determined prior to the need ever getting placed with the agency or vendor. Whether that traveler has been there for one contract or 13 contracts, that travelers pay is not an individually made decision.

Staff pay used to be based on seniority, tenure on the job, performance etc. Seemingly hospitals’ standards for pay packages have changed greatly as well. We have seen nurses with one year being offered staff job pay packages which are the same as a nurse with 15 years of experience on the same job. While in the past staff job performance and tenure would rate pay, that does not seem to be the case now.

Our best definition of a traveler’s success has never been defined by pay. In fact, we don’t believe you should determine your worth by money. In the travel nurse industry, money comes and goes and while we understand its importance at the end of the day, one’s pay does not determine who one is as a person or better yet how they are as a healthcare provider. After all, we have all worked with someone who has been paid higher than us, that was not as knowledgeable or as good. Being asked to extend, or being invited back to a facility to help again, are two ways healthcare providers can know they have been a successful traveler.

In addition, notes of appreciation from your employer of appreciation, or above expectation contract evaluations, are other ways, we at Fidelity On Call feel that our team is valued and appreciated. Moreover, you need to determine that your worth is not based on a dollar sign. Your worth is so much more than that.