Travel nursing, like other professions, has a vocabulary that’s all its own. For new travel nurses especially, the travel nursing vocabulary can be a bit confusing at first. If you’re reading this, you may be in this same situation. Luckily, we’re here to help! With our handy guide to travel nursing vocabulary, you’ll be up to speed and speaking like a travel nurse in no time!
Travel Nursing Vocabulary
- Rapid Response Nursing: This refers to an urgent need contract. These positions typically need to be filled in two weeks or less. While these positions may have a higher pay rate, they tend to be more strenuous than other positions. Usually, it takes a nurse with a few years of experience under their belt to fill one of these.
- Per Diem Nursing: “Per diem” is a Latin phrase that literally translates to “per day” or “for each day.” Essentially, per diem nurses work as needed on temporary assignments. These positions don’t offer the best job security, but they’re a great option if you’re in between assignments or looking to make some extra money.
- Contract: Every travel nurse signs on to a contract. Contracts can be anywhere from four to 13 weeks. One a contract is up, travel nurses may be offered an extension, or they can choose to pursue another contract.
- EMR Conversion Project: The Electronic Medical Record conversion project is a contract that involves traveling to a hospital to assist with transferring medical records from paper to an electronic database. Since these positions are very technology-intensive, they sometimes don’t require patient care, although some do.
- Guaranteed Hours: This refers to the number of hours that a travel nurse is guaranteed to work each week within a contract period. Most travel nurses prefer contracts with guaranteed hours, but not all contracts have them. Be sure you know the terms of your contract and hours.
- Unit: On each assignment, travel nurses are assigned to a unit. However, the unit has the ability to move travel nurses to different floors, depending on the facility’s needs.
- Stipend: There are two primary components to a stipend: meal and housing.
- Meal Stipend: The amount of money travel nurses receive for daily meals and other incidentals.
- Housing Stipend: If travel nurses choose to find their own housing instead of using provided housing, they will receive a monthly housing stipend or allowance. However, the amount will vary depending on the surrounding area and the type of house you live in.
- Travel Reimbursement: This refers to the amount of money that an agency will use to cover a nurse’s travel expenses. Not all agencies offer travel reimbursements, and some are different from others. Make sure to talk to your agency about their guidelines for travel reimbursement.
- Tax Home: A tax home is a place you return to regularly, where you earned the most income throughout the course of a year. This is a place where you will incur regular expenses. Keep in mind that you must have strong legal and historical ties to your tax home.
- Missed Hours Penalty: Most travel nurse contracts include a missed hours penalty. If you miss one of your shifts, the agency will deduct a certain amount from your paycheck. Typically, this money will come out of your meal or housing stipends. The good news is, you can choose to pick up additional shifts to make up for this lost money
There you have it! Hopefully, you now have a better grasp on some common travel nursing vocabulary and terminology. While it can be intimidating for new nurses, it’s important to recognize all of these unique terms. Remember, if you’re new to travel nursing, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something!
Are there any other travel nurse terms you can think of? Let us know in the comments below!