A travel nurse’s salary significantly affects their overall pay package. It will depend on various factors, including region, specialty, and location.
There are several ways to make more money as a travel nurse, such as taking high-demand assignments or working overtime. Also, consider the tax-free stipends offered by many travel nursing agencies.
Cost of Living
As in all industries, the economy influences the travel nurse salary. The cost of living in each city or region can affect the total pay, so it is essential to research and find travel nursing opportunities that fit your budget.
In addition, the number of hours worked each week can also impact a travel nurse’s salary. Some travel nurse agencies may offer per diem options, which allow nurses to earn additional money on their off days or pick up extra shifts. Depending on the agency, these other earnings can help boost your paycheck.
Another factor that impacts travel nurses’ salaries is the location of their job assignments. The higher demand for healthcare professionals and the high cost of living in certain areas often drive up travel nurses’ salaries. This can be an attractive career option for nurses looking to earn more while working in different locations nationwide.
As a bonus, travel nurses usually receive a housing stipend to cover their living expenses. This tax-free amount can help make up for the fact that they maintain their primary residence in one state while working in another. It is always best to consult with a certified tax specialist to learn more about the housing stipends offered by travel nursing companies and their specific contracts.
A travel nurse’s salary varies depending on the state and city where they work. Often, staffing agencies offer bonuses to entice nurses to take assignments with them. These can include sign-on bonuses, completion bonuses, and retention bonuses. Additionally, many of these companies will provide travel nurses with free housing. This can consist of a furnished apartment or a stipend to cover costs associated with accommodation in a new location.
Specialized travel nurses in high-demand fields like cardiac catheterization, oncology, and neonatal intensive care will receive more competitive wages. Adding additional certifications to your resume can boost your earning potential and help you access more travel nursing jobs.
Travel nurses often enjoy flexible benefits, including health insurance, short and long-term disability coverage, and a retirement plan option like the 401(k). Some agencies may even offer referral bonuses.
While the salary range of travel nurses varies by state, it is usually higher than the average for other RNs and LPNs. Additionally, it is easier for travel nurses to break out of their comfort zone and build a diverse skill set by working at various healthcare facilities nationwide. This flexibility helps avoid burnout and enables them to enjoy more freedom from the constraints of a traditional full-time job. This can be especially beneficial for those who are married or have children to care for.
As a travel nurse, you’ll have the opportunity to earn top salaries in high-demand specialty areas. These include the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Labor and Delivery. These positions require specialized nursing skills and a strong desire to work under pressure.
Other high-demand travel nursing specialties include the Operating Room (OR) and Med/Surg. These nurses must be able to perform crucial duties for patient safety before, during, and after surgical procedures. They also need to have a high level of critical-thinking skills and vast clinical understanding to be successful in this role.
The demand for travel nurses can fluctuate depending on seasonal variations and regional demographics. These trends can have a direct impact on travel nurse salary rates.
Travel nurses typically receive a housing stipend and other non-taxable reimbursements to help with living expenses during their assignments. This makes travel nursing one of the best options for those who want to pursue a career in healthcare while also pursuing other goals.
Some travel nurses take temporary assignments until they reach specific financial goals, such as paying off student loans or saving for a down payment on a home. Others may continue traveling until they’ve got their ideal location for a full-time job. In either case, knowing the latest travel nurse salary trends can help determine if this is your career path.
As with any job, a travel nurse’s salary can vary depending on the location of their contract. Travel nurses in higher-cost areas typically earn more than those in lower-cost places. Another factor that affects pay is whether the nurse chooses to work per diem or pick up extra shifts, which can increase their income significantly.
Sign-on, completion, and retention bonuses are also available for many travel nurses. These bonuses can help cover the costs of a new assignment, such as travel expenses or a housing stipend.
For many travel nurses, the ability to explore different parts of the country and avoid hospital politics are still big draws, says Steve Curtin, founder of The Gypsy Nurse website. But for most of them, the pay keeps them coming back.
Travel nurses specializing in the most in-demand nursing specialties — intensive care units, emergency departments, and medical-surgical units — are often paid the highest salaries. Their skills and expertise are needed to fill hospital staffing gaps, particularly in high-priority or “crisis” areas. The demand for their services is exceptionally high during the pandemic.