There is no doubt nurses are in high demand. As the population ages and many nurses retire or leave the profession altogether, healthcare systems are looking for creative ways to fill the gaps. Travel nurses have become an effective way for hospitals to continue providing care to patients and offer their permanent staff some relief.
So how much do travel nurses make, exactly? The answer depends on a number of factors, including the nurse’s experience, specialty, and the location of the assignment. Traveling nurses can often earn 2 to 3 times more than their staff counterparts.
The actual amount of money that a travel nurse makes can vary widely. For example, travel nurses who work in high-demand specialties, such as critical care or emergency nursing, can earn even more. Additionally, travel nurses who are willing to work in remote or underserved areas can often command higher salaries.
Factors That Affect Travel Nurse Salaries:
- Experience: Travel nurses with more experience typically earn more than those with less experience.
- Specialty: Travel nurses in high-demand specialties, such as critical care or emergency nursing, typically earn more than those in less-demanding specialties.
- Location: Travel nurses who are willing to work in remote or underserved areas can often command higher salaries. Traveling to cities in the North will also pay better than jobs in Florida or California, especially during Winter months.
- Shift Differential: Travel nurses who work night shifts or weekends may receive a shift differential, which is an additional payment for working less desirable hours.
- Bonus Opportunities: Many travel nursing agencies offer bonuses to travel nurses who meet certain criteria, such as completing a contract or working a certain number of hours.
Travel Nursing Benefits
- Health insurance: Travel nurses are typically eligible for health insurance from their travel nursing agency.
- Malpractice insurance: Travel nurses are typically covered by malpractice insurance from their travel nursing agency.
- Housing stipend: Travel nurses typically receive a housing stipend to help cover the cost of living in the area where they are working – this is tax free income!
- Travel stipend: Travel nurses typically receive a travel stipend to help cover the cost of traveling to and from their assignment – more tax free income!
- Paid time off: Travel nurses typically receive paid time off, such as vacation and sick leave.
Increase Your Salary As A Travel Nurse
If you are interested in becoming a travel nurse, there are a few things you can do to increase your earnings:
- Gain experience: The more experience you have, the more valuable you will be to potential employers.
- Specialize in a high-demand area: If you specialize in a high-demand area, such as critical care or emergency nursing, you will be able to command a higher salary.
- Be willing to work in remote or underserved areas: Travel nurses who are willing to work in remote or underserved areas can often command higher salaries.
- Negotiate your contract: When you are negotiating your contract with a travel nursing agency, be sure to negotiate for the highest possible salary and benefits package.
Travel nursing is a great way to maximize your income as a nurse, and see the country while you’re at it. If you are a registered nurse who is looking for a challenging and rewarding career, apply for one of our jobs or contact a recruiter today!