Can I go to work for the facility at the end of my travel assignment?
Health Providers Choice is dedicated to providing a mutually beneficial employment relationship with all the nurses we place. This being said, it is expected that disclosure of the intent to go permanent occurs prior to contracting with the facility as a traveler. Health Providers Choice can contract travelers on a temp-to-perm assignment. If the assignment is a temporary, the expectation is that permanent placement will only be an option following 90 days after the end of the assignment. Please discuss options for permanent placement with your Recruiter.
Can I cancel or quit an assignment?
Not without incurring costs for yourself. If you cancel a scheduled work assignment prematurely or the facility cancels based on your failure to meet the screening, credentialing, or performance requirements, you may be responsible for costs incurred by Health Providers Choice as a result of cancellation.
What should I wear to work on my travel assignment?
If you are unsure of what to wear you are always safe in a white uniform with a white lab jacket. Scrubs are always acceptable; however, some facilities require a specific color. Check with your recruiter for specific details.
You must bathe and observe proper hygiene. Present a neat appearance. Go to work in a clean, well-fitting uniform, with a groomed appearance. Remember to keep your hair brushed and pulled back if it is long. Clean shoes are a must. Wear socks of hose and low-heeled shoes with rubber soles and a heel. All visible body piercing and tattoos should be covered. You may only wear one earring per ear.
State law requires that all persons working in the medical field must wear a name badge or insignia while on duty. The badge must identify the classification that each person holds. You must wear Health Providers Choice or the facility name badge to work. Many of the facilities will require that you wear their badge and use it to punch in and out.
Can I take time off during the assignment?
Yes, provided both HPC and the facility have granted approval in advance. Please check with your recruiter for specific details concerning your schedule, hourly requirements, and housing arrangements.
Do I have to float?
As a contract professional you are required to float to any floor that needs help in a capacity in which you are proficient and qualified to work. A contract professional is considered to be of a higher caliber and quality, with the ability to work with confidence and efficiency when needed. Being flexible and considerate is critical to the success of your contract. Never take on an assignment that you feel is outside the scope of your practice. If you are asked to do something you are uncomfortable with, step away and contact the Chief Nursing Officer at Health Providers Choice. The CNO is available 24/7 to assist you with clinical issues that may arise and advocate on your behalf when needed.
What if I need to make schedule changes?
Should you desire to change the agreed upon schedule, you request it writing to the facility and Health Providers Choice no less than seven (7) days prior to such change. The facility has the final decision regarding approval.
How do I get my out-of-state license for travel assignments?
One of the benefits of traveling for Health Providers Choice is that we reimburse the full amount for your license. You must supply us with an accurate receipt for reimbursement, either a receipt with the state board seal of the cancelled check, and you must supply us with a copy of the license. You must maintain you license as current, active and in good-standing status prior to being and during any work assignment.
Before you begin your assignment, we will need an update on the status of your license. You must have a current, valid license and current certificates (CPA, ACLS, etc.) in order to work. All this information will be kept in your file and must be complete prior to beginning any assignment. If you have any problems obtaining a license, please call us. We’ll be glad to help! Processing the license will vary from state to state and can take up to eight (8) weeks. To avoid delays, it is very important that you complete the application for endorsement immediately upon assignment consideration.
State law requires that you do not present yourself as a registered nurse (RN), graduate nurse, trained nurse or nurse anesthetist until you have the state license endorsement. This means you cannot use any title, sign, card, or device to indicate that you are qualified to practice nursing, unless you have been licensed or certified by endorsement in that particular state. For example, do not wear your name badge when you are turning in your application to the state licensing board in a state in which you are not licensed because you could be in violation of that state’s law.
NOTE: Health Providers Choice will reimburse you for the license and assist you, but you are ultimately responsible for all your licensing requirements and for maintaining all necessary licenses.
Pay and Benefits
Am I an employee or independent contractor?
Agency personnel employed by Health Providers Choice are classified as employees not individual contactors or self-employed individuals. It is the responsibility of the employee to contact HPC at the conclusion of every travel contract for reassignment. Health Providers Choice prepares and mails employees’ Federal W-2 forms on or before January 31 of each year.
As an employee of Health Providers Choice you cannot accept fees or other payment from patients or facilities. You cannot accept compensation directly from the facility unless specified in the terms between you and Health Providers Choice.
What is taxable income?
W-4’s are issued at hire and when a change is requested. We will deduct the appropriate taxed according to the number of deductions identified on your W-4 form. Any changes in your W-4 are to be communicated to us.
In addition to the W-4 taxes, a state tax for the state in which you are working will be deducted if appropriate. Depending on the city and state, the tax rate may vary. Please make sure you verify your rate.
Health Providers Choice does multi-state and multi-jurisdiction tax deductions.
Sign-on, completion, and referral bonuses, when issued, will be taxed, since this is considered additional income.
What is non-taxable income?
Approved reimbursements for some types of expenses are not taxed provided a receipt or cancelled check is sent to us. If proof of a permanent tax residency form is on file with Health Providers Choice, subsidy/housing allowance will not be taxed per IRS guidelines and will be reimbursed as duplicate expenses incurred while on assignment per your assignment terms.
How do I cash my check?
You have two options for receiving your paycheck: regular mail, and direct deposit. Typically, checks are sent out via regular postal mail every Thursday. Health Providers Choice will not be responsible for delays in the delivery service. The second option is to have your check deposited directly into your account with the respective pay stub being sent to an address of your choice via regular mail. The most effective mode of payroll delivery is direct deposit.
If you open a bank account in the area of your new assignment, please check with the institution to determine the availability of your funds. If the payroll check is from out of state, banks often require a grace period (typically up to 5 days) before the check will clear or the direct deposit funds are available. Always be prepared with two (2) forms of identification (driver’s license and major credit card).
What is the pay period?
Health Providers Choice operates on a weekly pay period. The week starts 7:00 a.m. shift on Sunday and ends at the end of 11:00 p.m. shift on the following Saturday. Some facilities require the traveler to adhere to their pay period schedule however your payroll will always be based on Health Providers Choice’s pay period. Ask your recruiter when in doubt.
When are time sheets due?
Time sheets are due every Monday before 4:00 p.m. for the previous pay period. Time sheets turned in after the Monday 4:00 p.m. deadline are considered late. These will be processed with the following weeks’ time sheets. Please turn in your time sheets on time. Do not wait until last minute. Time sheets are considered legal documents and should be treated like legal documents. Make sure that your timecard is legible and accurate. Never modify an old timecard with an existing signature.
When will pay checks be distributed?
Direct Deposit checks should reach your account on Friday. Funds should be available at this time. If you choose to have your checks mailed they will be mailed out on Thursday.
What can delay my pay check?
Your paycheck may be delayed for several reasons:
- Time sheet not turned in on time.
- Time sheet filled out incompletely, inaccurately, or illegibly.
- Time sheet discrepancy with facility system of record.
- Time sheets not signed by yourself or facility.
- Required credentials not properly documented with Health Providers Choice.
Whenever possible, Health Providers Choice will contact you to inform you of the reason(s) your paycheck will be delayed. However, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to correct the circumstances delaying your paycheck before you can be paid.
How do I distribute my time sheets?
Time sheets consist of a sheet of paper that must be completed and signed for each work week assignment. It is important to remember, even if A copy is to be turned into Health Providers Choice, another copy must be left at the facility, and you must keep a copy for your personal records. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR COPY! It is your responsibility to produce your personal copy if the payroll department cannot find a time sheet. Time sheets may be dropped off at any of the Health Providers Choice offices (between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). Time sheets must be faxed to payroll department at 888-472-2329. Faxed copies of your time sheets will be accepted as originals if they are legible. If you fax your time sheets PLEASE make sure that your time sheets are received. You must call and ask for the payroll department at 888-299-9800 for verification. Time sheets may not be faxed to any other number.
How do I fill out time sheets?
You must take your time sheet with you when reporting to work. At the end of each shift worked, fill out the time sheet completely and accurately, and then have a shift supervisor sign the time sheet. A valid, signed time sheet is your proof that you did in fact work the assigned shift, at the assigned facility, on the assigned date. The time sheet is the document that determines your pay. Make sure it is properly filled out and signed. Use a new time sheet for each facility. You may use one time sheet for each specialty/floor at each facility worked. Please take the time to fill out your time sheets completely and accurately. The following explanation may help.
DO NOT OMIT ANYTHING!
|1. Employee Name||Your full, legal name.|
|2. Week Ending Date||The pay period ending day (this should always be a Saturday).|
|3. Client's Name||The full name of the facility where you worked.|
|4. Job Title||Circle the job title that is appropriate:RN, LPN, ST. Write in titles not available for selection.|
|5. Assignment Type||Circle the appropriate assignment type:Contract, Per-diem|
|6. Month / Day||Please the month and day worked under the title of the day.|
|7. Unit||The unit floor in which you worked.|
|8. Start Time||The exact military time.|
|9. Meal Break||The exact amount of time you took for a break. If no break was taken (No lunch or “0”) must be entered and initialed by a supervisor. Do not assume a lunch not taken will be paid. You must have authorization to receive payment.|
|10. Finish Time||The exact military time of your shift end.|
|11. Employee Signature||You must sign your time sheet.|
|12. Authorized Client Approval||Signature of person authorized to approve shift worked. This should be done at the end of each shift.|
|13. Total Hours||You must make sure that you total the hours daily and also at the end of the work week.|
|14. Authorized Client Signature||The supervisor or charge person must verify that the time is correct and that you are the person who worked. An unsigned time sheet will not be paid. Call the office if you are unable to obtain the facility signature.|
If you need help filling out your time sheets, call the office 888-299-9800 for assistance.
What if there is an error in my paycheck?
It is Health Providers Choice policy that you are paid fairly, accurately, and timely. If you believe that your paycheck has an error, please contact the payroll department immediately. The payroll staff will immediately investigate and make a determination as to what action to take. If the error is the fault of Health Providers Choice, we will remedy it as soon as possible (in most cases immediately). If Health Providers Choice did not cause the error, it may be corrected on the next paycheck after the issue is resolved. Payroll issues or questions may be discussed only with the payroll department. Recruiters cannot assist you with specific payroll issues.
What is the housing allowance program?
The Internal Revenue Service has identified specific requirements for a taxpayer to qualify for the Housing Allowance Program. To be eligible for the program, two conditions must be met:
- The assignment must be considered temporary: a job that has both an anticipated and actual duration of less than one year. To further clarify, you are expected to return to your permanent residence within one year of assignment start.
- A permanent tax residence must be identified. The travel assignment (principle place of work) must be in a separate location from the permanent residence and require travel to and from, plus living expenses. The traveler must maintain (financially contribute to) the permanent residence. Reimbursement is for duplicate expenses only.
After consulting with your tax advisor and clarifying the above requirements, you will complete a form to notify HPC that you are eligible and wish to participate in the plan.
What are my options for housing while on an assignment with Health Providers Choice?
You may wish to utilize HPC tax advantage plan where you receive a tax-free housing allowance for you to provide your own housing during your assignment. Or, you may opt to have Health Providers Choice provide you with the best housing options for the best costs in the location you desire. We do the research for you! You NEVER have to find the apartment, utilities, and furniture all by yourself. We strive to meet every request you present. However, due to limited housing in some areas, your options may be limited.
To obtain more information on the Federal Tax Per-diem please visit:
What am I responsible for when utilizing HPC’s housing options?
Be sure to report housing damages! Prior to accepting a housing arrangement, you will be required to perform a walk through with the housing representative at the site. It is very important to document any damages identified. Upon completion of your assignment and prior to your departure, you will be required to perform another inspection with the housing representative. The purpose of this is to protect you from damage liability. A move-in checklist form will be provided to be used for these inspections. We trust you will respect the property. If damage occurs, please notify Health Providers Choice immediately.
You will receive a full lease and the housing site’s regulations prior to move-in. It is your responsibility to follow them. Any maintenance requests should go through the housing management. If he/she is unable to resolve your issues, feel free to get our Housing Department involved.
Will I be responsible for paying for my utilities?
We will at your request attempt to find an apartment where all utilities are included but cannot guarantee that this will be possible. If this is not possible, Health Providers Choice can set-up your utilities and provide them for you as part of your housing package.
When do I have to vacate the provided housing?
You will have 48 hours to vacate housing following the last day listed on your contact. Apartment complexes are not like hotels. They will charge you for trash removal and cleaning. Please make sure that you always leave the provided housing in the same condition as you found it. You will also need to return all keys and passes to the housing management. Failure to comply with apartment complex vacancy policies may result in a forfeiture of some of all of your security deposit as well as your final travel reimbursement or completion bonus. It will be your responsibility to pay for any charges for damage, missing items, or cleaning fees. These additional charges may be deducted from your final paycheck.
What should I bring for my home away from home?
Every housing situation will require you to bring different items. Some apartments will include only major appliances, while other apartments will offer you everything from dishes to linens. Our Housing Department will find out what is offered for you in the apartment and provide you with a detailed list. It is always a good idea to bring some things with you that give you that comfortable feeling of being home.
If I do not like the housing provided can I upgrade my housing?
Since you have housing of your choice, you also have the choice to upgrade any of the products or services you rent. It will be your responsibility to pay any and all additional costs for upgrading.
Can I bring my pet?
This will depend on the assignment. Some housing complexes allow pets and others do not. The housing complexes that do allow pets usually impose size and weight restrictions. A pet deposit is usually required and at all times an additional monthly pet fee is charged. You will be responsible for payment of pet deposit and any pet related fee. No pets are allowed unless prior arrangements are made with Health Providers Choice and the housing manager. Make sure if you are traveling with a pet that the arrangements are made well in advance. If the housing department is aware that you have a pet there will be special consideration given so it will be a good experience for you and your pet.
Can my family travel with me?
Yes. Your family may travel with you but you will be responsible for any additional costs. Every family is different, but these are a few simple guidelines that have worked for other nurses:
- If needed and possible for you, travel with a child care provider- take along someone to care for the children if they are small and in need of constant care- a spouse, sister, mother or friend who would like to see the country with you.
- Home school works- take your children to see the country!
- Ask your recruiter to assist you in making arrangements for schooling in the location of your contract. Contracts can be arranged for an entire semester or any length of time you desire.
- Travel to locations where you have family to help you with the children.
What do I need to do at home prior to travel?
- Arrange for a forwarding address at the post office.
- Cancel existing accounts that you will no longer utilize (i.e. utilities, telephone, and cable TV). Have bills forwarded to your new address.
- Consider purchasing a cell phone with nationwide minutes for use to your travel assignment.
- Inform your family of your travel route and expected arrival time.
- Start a “receipt travel folder” including all receipts (i.e. professional license, CEU’s, magazine invoices, uniforms, travel receipts for gas and airfare, food and lodging). These receipts may be helpful at tax time.
- Make sure you have enough money for three weeks or until you receive your paycheck
What do I do when traveling to an assignment?
- When traveling long distances, notify us of your departure and keep us posted during your journey.
- Follow a planned route. We can provide you with directions and detailed maps for review before your journey begins.
- Keep you gas tank full when anticipating long drives through barren country. Flares, extra water, and antifreeze are helpful.
- Drive during the day as much as possible. Take frequent rest stops. IF YOU FEEL TIRED, DO NOT DRIVE!
- Plane to arrive at your housing during business hours, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. If you foresee a late arrival, call the office in advance so arrangements can be made.
- For safety purposes, carry a cellular phone with you during your trip. Use of a cell phone will allow you to remain in contact with your recruiter. Always provide your recruiter with your cell phone number.
What do I do when I arrive at my assignment?
- Unpack your vehicle right away.
- Call your recruiter to let us know you arrived safely and give you recruiter your new phone number so that you can be reached in case of an emergency.
- Notify the local post office of your new address.
- Prior to your first workday, preform a test drive to the hospital so that you feel comfortable with the route and time allocation.
- Arrange for connection of any services (phone, electric, cable TV) that were not connected prior to your arrival.
- Open a small local bank account to alleviate out of state banking problems.