Every industry has specific jargon. Travel nursing is no different. Some of these terms can be confusing. You might have even received conflicting guidance to these terms. We are here to clear up some of these popular travel nurse terms. This travel nurse glossary should be your one-stop shop to learn the proper travel nurse terms. Be sure to bookmark this page and keep checking back as we will be updating this page frequently.

Travel Nurse Glossary: Contract Lingo

  • Travel Nurse: The basic travel nurse travel nurse contract is usually 13 weeks and includes an average pay scale and benefits.
  • Rapid Response Nursing: This refers to urgent needs contracts. They often pay higher but you must be ready to be there quickly and ready to hit the floor running. These contracts typically require a couple of years of travel experience. Rapid response assignments tend to vary in length more than a typical contract, usually ranging from 4-13 weeks.

Travel Nurse Glossary: Hours & Rotations

  • Guaranteed Hours: We prefer contracts that offer guaranteed hours but not all travel contracts are guaranteed hours. And even if they are, there will still be an allowance for the hospital to call you off up to a certain number of hours during your contract without pay. Make sure you understand the terms of your contract and hours.
  • Day/Night Rotate: Basic concept, but just be aware that it can vary greatly from facility to facility. If you see a D/N travel position listed, make sure to ask for clarification what type of rotation it requires. Some will do the first half of the contract is days and second half is nights or one week days one week nights, etc. But many times, in the travel world this can mean you could technically flip flop from days and nights within one week.

Travel Nurse Glossary: Pay Lingo

  • Stipend: There are two components to a stipend: meal and housing.
  • Housing Stipend: Your stipend is your housing allowance if you choose to find your own housing instead of taking their provided housing. It will be quoted in a monthly rate, or you can even ask for the daily/weekly breakdown rate. It is tax free and the rate will vary based on the housing costs of the area you will be living.
  • Meal Stipend: The daily meal stiped in broken down by tiers, plus the $5 incidental rate. The tiers are based on popular city destination and cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To learn more about tiers and the break down per meal click here.
  • Holiday Pay: Each company/contract pays holiday’s differently. It is important to understand what your holiday requirements are and how you will be compensated for them. As a traveler, holiday pay is not always a part of the deal.

Travel Nurse Glossary: Reimbursements

  • Travel Reimbursement: Each company offers a different amount of money that they will pay per mile travelled, and some will allow you to apply hotel stays, U-Haul rental, etc. towards your travel reimbursement funds as well. Again, travel reimbursements are tax free.

Travel Nurse Glossary: Benefits and Bonus

  • Sign-On/Completion/Extension Bonus: Some contracts that have an urgent need for nurses or therapists ASAP will offer a sign-on and/or completion or even extension bonuses that are typically paid out in your first and/or last paycheck.
  • Interim Benefits: Occasionally, if you are extending a contract and need to go home when one contract ends and before the next one begins, you can sometimes negotiate some sort of interim bonus or travel type reimbursement in the middle of that assignment. It is very important to know how long you have because each company’s requirements vary.

Travel Nurse Glossary: Shift Differential and Penalties

  • Shift Differential: This is a common term, but make sure you ask if there is and what is the shift differential on your assignment. It varies greatly, and doesn’t always exist in the travel world. Along the same lines, make sure you understand the state in which you will be working’s OT and DT laws – they vary from state to state.
  • Missed Hours Penalty: Your contract will likely include a missed hours penalty. If you call off a shift, not only will you not get paid, but they will also deduct a certain amount from your paycheck to cover benefits you have received. This can often be made back up and re-earned during a contract, but make sure you understand how that all works for each contract.

Travel Nurse Glossary: EMR Project

  • EMR Project: Electronic Medical Record conversion project contracts are quite common right now with so many facilities converting to electronic charting. Many hospitals bring in travelers for these projects. Some of these contracts do not require patient care, but most do. These contracts usually pay well and can be from a couple of weeks to a few months long. They require experience with the computer system they are implementing and often prior travel experience is required.

Host Healthcare Travel Nurse

Host Healthcare offers an extensive list of travel nurse jobs. Call one of our friendly recruiters at (800) 585-1299. We are here to help you to get started.