Pay Packages: Overview for Traveling Medical Professionals (Part 3)

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In Part 2 of this series we provided an example of a “blended hourly” rate comparison for travel nursing pay packages. In this blog post we’ll provide an example of a “total value” comparison for travel nursing pay packages.  The total value comparison is bit more straightforward. Our goal here is determine the total value of the entire contract. To do so, we again begin with the number of weeks and hours per week to determine the total number of hours in the contract.

 

Travel nursing pay calculation: start with time

13 weeks

36 hours per week

3 months (13 weeks = 3 months)

468 total hours (13 weeks * 36 hours)

We also need to determine the total number of regular hours and the total number of overtime hours for the contract. Again, for the vast majority of contracts there will not be any contracted overtime hours.

However, in our example we do have contracted overtime hours because the contract is in California which mandates overtime to be paid after 8 hours in a day. The contract is for 3 12 hour shifts per week, totaling 36 hours per week.

Therefore, each week has 24 regular hours and 12 overtime hours. Multiply each figure by 13 weeks and we get a total of 312 regular hours, and 156 overtime hours for the entire contract. We are now ready to compute the total value of each contract.

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Agency 1’s offer:

1)      Taxable Base Rate: $20/hour

2)      Taxable Overtime Rate: $30/hour

3)      Lodging Stipend (instead of company provided lodging): $2800/month

4)      Meals and Incidental Expense Stipend: $350/week

5)      Travel Stipend: $700

6)      License Reimbursement of $250 for new state license: $250

7)      Overtime is paid after 8 regular hours in a day and 40 regular hours in a week.

 

Taxable Base Rate Total: ($20)*(312 regular hours) = $6240

Taxable Overtime Rate Total: ($30)*(156 overtime hours) = $4680

Lodging Stipend Total: ($2800)*(3 months) = $8400

M&IE Stipend Total: ($350)*(13 weeks) = $4550

Travel Stipend Total: $700

License Reimbursement Total:  $250

Total Value of the Contract: $6260+$4680+$8400+$4550+$700+$250 = $24,840


 

Agency 2’s offer:

1)      Taxable Base Rate: $30/hour

2)      Taxable Overtime Rate: $45/hour

3)      Lodging Stipend (instead of company provided lodging): $1500/month

4)      Meals and Incidental Expense Stipend: $250/week

5)      Travel Stipend: $500

6)      License Reimbursement of $250 for new state license: $250

7)      Overtime is paid after 8 regular hours in a day and 40 regular hours in a week.

 

Taxable Base Rate Total: ($30)*(312 regular hours) = $9360

Taxable Overtime Rate Total: ($45)*(156 overtime hours) = $7020

Lodging Stipend Total: ($1500)*(3 months) = $4500

M&IE Stipend Total: ($250)*(13 weeks) = $3250

Travel Stipend Total: $700

License Reimbursement Total:  $250

Total Value of the Contract: $9360+$7020+$4500+$3250+$+$700+$250 = $25,080


 

Agency 3’s offer:

1)      Taxable Base Rate: $24/hour

2)      Taxable Overtime Rate: $36/hour

3)      Lodging Stipend (instead of company provided lodging): $16/hour

4)      Meals and Incidental Expense Stipend: $8/hour

5)      Travel Stipend: $800

6)      License Reimbursement of $250 for new state license: $250

7)      Overtime is paid after 8 regular hours in a day and 40 regular hours in a week.

 

Taxable Base Rate Total: ($24)*(312 regular hours) = $7488

Taxable Overtime Rate Total: ($36)*(156 overtime hours) = $5616

Lodging Stipend Total: ($16)*(468 hours) = $7488

M&IE Stipend Total: ($8)*(468 hours) = $3744

Travel Stipend Total: $700

License Reimbursement Total:  $250

Total Value of the Contract: $7488+$5616+$7488+$3744+$+$700+$250 = $25,286


 

Surveying your calculations

As you can see, the Blended Hourly Rate and Total Value methods are the best ways to compare pay packages for the same hospital, or multiple hospitals within the same region. These methods allow you to make apples to apples comparisons by breaking every aspect of the pay package down to common denominators.

But what if you’re comparing pay packages for jobs that are in remotely different regions of the country? For example, let’s say you’re currently in Miami, Florida and you’re deciding between a travel nursing job in Tallahassee, Florida and a travel nursing job in Los Angeles, California. It’s going to cost you more to get to California. Housing may be more expensive in California, and the cost of living may be higher depending on your lifestyle choices.

In this situation, many travel nurses rely simply on the weekly net pay offered by each job in an effort to determine which opportunity would be the most lucrative. The idea is that the costs involved are actually costs that you will truly incur. For example, traveling to California is going to be more expensive than traveling to Tallahassee from Miami. Therefore, who cares what the travel stipend is because it’s going to get soaked up by the cost of travel expenses.

Unfortunately, this logic is not sound. It’s true that it may work in some circumstances, but it’s still not the best way to determine which pay package is going to net you more money by the end of the contract. I still recommend breaking everything down with the Blended Hourly Rate or Total value method. A agency may provide a larger travel stipend than is required, or they may be offering something else that another agency is not offering. In any case, if you stick to your list of desired compensation components, and stick to the methods outlined here, you’ll ensure that you’re able to make true comparisons that will result in more pay for you.

 

Original.

Pay Packages: Strategy Overview for Traveling Medical Professionals (Part 1)

Pay Packages: Strategy Overview for Traveling Medical Professionals (Part 2)

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