In my last post I suggested some questions for every new locum tenens Nurse Practitioner to ask their recruiter. In this post, I will share some responses I received from my recruiters based on those questions.
- What type of lodging would I be provided with?
As I mentioned in my last post, most agencies said they normally set up an extended stay hotel for their providers during assignments. They gave examples such as Holiday Inns, Best Westerns, or bed and breakfasts. I did have one agency ask me if I would be okay staying in a motel 8, in which I kindly declined. I was offered an assignment with an Indian Health Services facility, in which they would arrange a house for me to live in.
- How will I get to my assignment?
My recruiters stated that locum providers usually fly to their site and are provided with a rental car. This is different in comparison to RN travel because the majority of them drive their own car to the site. If they were to fly, they would not have a rental car paid for. They are usually reimbursed in the form of mileage, in comparison to nurse practitioners that have their travel paid for upfront. When I was interested in going to D.C. for one of my assignments, I asked if I could possibly bring my car with me via the Auto Train that runs from Florida to Virginia. They actually agreed to do it since it was the cheapest option (only cost $250). They are consistently opposed to shipping your car. However, if you manage to convince them that you will drive your car, you can use the mileage reimbursement to cover the shipping costs.
- What is the pay rate for family nurse practitioners?
Each time I asked this, they tried to ask me what I was expecting to make hourly. I deferred the question back to them asking for a range. Some agencies told me family nurse practitioners can make $40-50/h, which I thought was very low, especially for locum tenens work. My hourly rate back home was $60/h and I was comfortable making the same rate or more. So when I told these agencies my minimum was $60/h, they thought I was crazy. Meanwhile, other agencies told me family nurse practitioners can make anywhere form $50 to $80/h depending on the site. The rate depends on your experience, location of the site, and the agency.
- How does the licensing process work?
Coming from Florida, one of my main concerns was obtaining a DEA license. Florida doesn’t allow nurse practitioners to obtain one (boo I know), so I have never had one before doing locum tenens work. When looking up the cost of applying for a DEA, I noticed it was $700+. That’s a good sum of money I did not want to be responsible for. So when speaking with my recruiters, I inquired if they would cover the cost of a DEA. Many agencies said absolutely, while others said they could not. I am grateful that when the time came, my agency applied and paid for my DEA license.