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One of the biggest concerns many travel nurses have is if they will work as many hours they are contracted for when the hospital has changing needs due to low census. After all, travel nurses are needed most in times of high population and increased staffing needs, but what happens to travel nurses when there are too many nurses to provide adequate care to the patient population?
Many travel agencies have some kind of policy that allows nurses to still be paid due to a hospital experiencing low census, such as “guaranteed pay.” At Travel Nurse Across America, we are always striving to create the best benefits package in the industry for our nurses. As a part of our new benefits program, we introduced Low Census Protection™.
So, what exactly is “Low Census Protection™?” With Low Census Protection™, you are guaranteed to be paid for the hours in your contract, even if the hospital calls you off due to low population. When you are called off from your shift, you simply need to submit a report to TNAA payroll, and your earnings for that week will be protected. Your weekly paycheck will reflect the number of hours you were scheduled to work. However, it is important to keep in mind that you will not be paid for hours if you volunteered not to work.
It’s important to consider the impact of Low Census Protection™ when deciding which travel agency to use. For example, take the calculations between these two 13 week long assignments with 36 hours of work per week.
Without Low Census Protection™
One shift per month canceled:
(468 hours – 36 hours = 432 hours) at a rate of $35/hour = $15,120
Two shifts per two weeks canceled:
(468 hours – 72 hours = 396 hours) at a rate of $35/hour = $13,860
With Low Census Protection™ $33/hour
(468 hours x $33/hr) =$`15,444
If just one shift is canceled per month, you’d still be better off going with the lower pay rate + Low Census Protection™.
You’d earn $324 more if one shift was canceled, and you would have made an extra $1,584 during your assignment with Low Census Protection™.
Whenever you are taking a new travel assignment, be sure to ask your recruiter to clarify benefits so you can find the right fit and maximize your earning potential. You can also inquire about the frequency of canceled shifts when you interview with the hospital. Finally, think of your weekly take-home pay and be aware of how Low Census Protection™ can protect your finances on a weekly basis, not just the length of the entire assignment.