My last day at my home job in Houston, TX was March 26. I was so excited to leave, to start traveling, something I’d always wanted to do but wasn’t brave enough to get started until now. I had fantasies of how I would go hiking in beautiful parks with my dogs everyday and meets lots of people in the night life. My first assignment was in Rosedale, Maryland. Sounds like a small quiet suburb town. The hospital was small and the pediatric ER was adjoined to their inpatient unit, which was all one floor. I thought how easy it will be to start here. Small and not like the huge free standing Magnet hospital I was used to in Houston.
The way travel nursing works is that I work with a travel nurse agency or to secure a contract with a hospital. Most contracts are 13 weeks long. The pay is divided into sections, here is what my first one looked like:
location: Pedi ER
shift: 12 hr nights
minimum required hours: 36
hourly rate: $23.59
Meals and Incidentals Per Diem Rate: $35/day
The income from the housing and per diem are tax exempt because I have a house with a mortgage that I claim as my homestead home in Houston. So my only taxable income is on the $23.59/ hr.
I’ll include another blog post my thoughts on why sharing pay between coworkers is healthy in the travel nurse community.
How do you pack for 3 months? I had my Toyota Rav4. To put things I would need for 3 months. Housing provided includes all furniture, but I still need to bring dinnerware, pots and pans, bedsheets and blankets, clothing, (for all those wildness hikes and city exploration days) …(so you know…everything I own, duh!) , shoes (again, all of them of course!), make up hair stuff, hair dryer, straightener, curler, dog toys, dog food, dog bowls. Scentsy warmers with wax, camping gear (cause I’m going adventuring, I can’t not bring that!), cleaning supplies, my Neatos (robot vacuums), mops, jewelry,
OK OK ok …. I brought everything I could fit into my car and my poor dogs and I fit into what space was left like sardines. The drive from Houston to Maryland was 21 hr and 41 minutes.
It wasn’t quite what I pictured.
It never is, is it? The glamour imagined never quite actualizes. Life is so full of surprises. Some too good to be true, some epic disasters. If I had a penny for all epic disasters…