Pay Ain’t Everything

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He was one of my first RN recruits 9 years ago when I started as an Account Manager.  Andrew had two years of experience in a 400-bed level II trauma hospital in Arkansas, with no previous travel experience.  He was definitely a placeable candidate, as long as hospitals were ok with his two years of experience.  He was fairly open geographically and was talking with several companies.  Andrew was pretty high on himself, and his talents, and wanted to go where the cash money was the highest possible.

I had conversations cautioning him on high paying jobs, and going over the “reasons” they pay high. $50+ per hour and $10,000 bonuses were their way to lure in candidates.  After going back and forth, he took the highest paying job in the market with another company. The job paid $55/hour with a $2600 housing stipend/month, $500 travel, and $10,000 bonus. It was in a very large, very busy, level I trauma facility in one of the most highly populated cities in the U.S.  Andrew thanked me for the warning, but insisted he could do it, and that he could do anything for the money.

One week after his start date….Andrew called…

“You’re right Jeff. It’s not worth it.  I just quit, and need a job ASAP.  I can’t do this.” 

The ER Manager told him that she was shocked he lasted an entire week because most travelers don’t make it through their first day.  All of a sudden, Andrew was begging me to get him another job ASAP, and asked if this is what travel nursing was all about.  I told him that money wasn’t everything, and we found him a job that was a perfect fit for him and his experience, at $30/hour and provided fully furnished and private housing.  He thanked me a million times and told me he should have listened to my advice.  Andrew worked for Aureus for several years before settling down at a permanent position.

When you are searching for jobs, compensation aside, what is important to you?  Just remember, it’s not ALL about the money.  There is a reason some of these facilities are offering what they are offering.


Jeff West started with Aureus Medical Group as an Account Manager in the Nursing division in May 2005. He was promoted to Team Lead in 2008 before becoming a Branch Manager in 2012. Jeff earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 2004 and a Master’s degree from Bellevue University in 2011. He and his wife, Lacey, have two children, Taylor (2.5) and Kaitlyn (1). He is a huge sports fan and loves to hang out with his family and play golf in his free time.



One comment

  1. Money can certainly make life a lot easier, but you have to decide how much that money is really worth to you! Are you willing to be traveling 4 days a week, working 80 hours a week, or pulling double shifts to make that money? Some say yes, some say no. What do you say?

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