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How Much Do Travel Nurses Make: 2023 Update

A nurse holding a stack of dollar bills, illustrating the question 'How Much Do Travel Nurses Make?

Travel nursing has become a joyful career choice as it offers attractive opportunities for healthcare professionals to explore new places while providing essential care to patients at a time. If you look forward to work balance, growth, and other facilities of this sector, it seems an absolutely unique and adventurous career for any of the nurses.

With the rising demand for healthcare services and a shortage of manpower in many areas, the career expansion of travel nurses can be seen frequently.

After completing the programs or courses that are required, particularly the question that often arises: “How much do travel nurses make?”

In this blog, we will delve into the world of travel nursing salaries, the average salary range based on the states and cities, the highest-paying specialties, and also about the factors that influence earnings for travel nurses.

Why are Travel Nurses in High Demand?

The demand for travel nurses increases from several factors. Sometimes healthcare facilities experience seasonal fluctuations in patient census, staff shortages, or increased patient admission caused by natural disasters or pandemics. Travel nurses help reduce these staffing challenges by offering their services on short-term contracts.

Additionally, travel nurses bring a wealth of experience, skills, and knowledge from their varied assignments, which can enhance the quality of patient care. As they are used to adapt new things within a short period of time, it is also quite easy for them to cope with new settings and work with different healthcare teams. These extraordinary abilities also make them valuable to the institutions and demandable in any emergency cases.

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make?

A nurse showing off her salary in her hand to answer the question "how much do travel nurses make?"

Travel nursing is a big part of the nursing industry with its amusing benefits and salary range. The unbound opportunity of traveling, growth, facilities, and the well-payment structure it offers are the biggest reason for its fame.

Let’s talk about how much they are getting paid!

Average Salary Range for Travel Nurses

The average salary of travel nurses depends on their experience, specialty, and geographic location. An experienced travel nurse has high demand than other varieties of nurses with experience. Some countries that belong higher living costs and good demand for healthcare professionals are ready to offer higher salaries.

On the basis of the data, the average salary for travel nurses ranges from $88,440 to $177,040 per year.

10 Highest Paying States for Travel Nurses

When choosing travel nursing as a career, it is another thing to think about your job location. It is essential to make the right decision about where you want to work, how much they are paying, and if that job suits you or not.

Here is the list of some states that are paying high:

StateHourlyAnnually
California$85.12$177,040
Hawaii$74.01$153,940
Massachusetts$67.95$141,340
Oregon$67.94$141,310
Alaska$67.26$139,900
Washington$64.46$134,080
New York$63.37$131,810
New Jersey$60.51$125,870
Maryland$57.60$119,810
Arizona$56.75$118,030

10 Highest Paying Cities for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses’ salaries also depend on where they live. Some nurses are taking the benefits of high pay by living in the following cities:

StateHourlyAnnually
New York$45.63$94,920
Los Angeles$54.38$113,120
Chicago$37.49$77,970
Houston$40.85$84,960
Phoenix$39.13$81,390
Philadelphia$38.45$79,980
San Antonio$36.11$75,110
San Diego$53.66$111,620
Dallas$37.50$77,990
San Jose$70.61$146,870

The 5 Most In-Demand Specialties of Travel Nurse Jobs

Different types of travel nurse specialists are standing with smiling face

Depending on travel nurses’ specialization, there are different types of responsibilities they maintain on duty. The types of specialization include Medical Surgical, Emergency Room, Intensive Care Unit, Operating Room, Cardiovascular Operating Room, Long-term acute care, Psychiatric mental health, Progressive Care Unit, Telemetry, Pediatric, Labor and Delivery, etc.

Among all of them, the list of 5 types of travel nurses that get the best scale of payment per week is given below:

Med Surg – $2,105 per week

Progressive Care Unit (PCU) – $2,277 per week

Telemetry – $2,124 per week

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) – $2,220 per week

Emergency Department (ER) – $2,278 per week

Factors Affecting Travel Nurse Salaries

Depending on some major factors, travel nurses get a different range of salary. They are given below:

1. Geographic location and cost of living adjustments: The geographic location of an assignment significantly influences a travel nurse’s salary. When an area demands higher living-cost and healthcare services, that particular location is ready to offer higher compensation.

Some Urban centers and regions that are experiencing a shortage of travel nurses offer high payment for them.

2. Experience and specialty: It is a common fact in all industries that experience has a strong connection to the salary you get. Similar to permanent nursing positions, experience plays a crucial role in determining travel nurse salaries.

In addition, if any of them acquire specialized certification, then it also helps them to increase their demand.

3. Education and certifications: Advanced education, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher, can positively impact a travel nurse’s earning potential. Furthermore, certifications in specialty areas, such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), often lead to higher pay rates. Travel nurses who continuously invest in their professional development and acquire additional certifications can enhance their marketability and command higher salaries.

D. Shift differentials, part time and overtime pay: Travel nurses often have the opportunity to work part time in different shifts, including evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. These non-standard shifts often come with shift differentials, which means higher pay rates compared to regular daytime shifts. Additionally, overtime pay is another factor that can significantly boost a travel nurse’s income, as they may have the option to work additional hours beyond their agreed-upon contract.

A busy travel nurse on her overtime duty in front of a pc and checking on some papers

4. Bonuses and benefits offered by travel nurse agencies: Many travel nurse agencies provide additional incentives and benefits that can contribute to overall compensation. These may include sign-on bonuses, completion bonuses, referral bonuses, health and retirement benefits, and reimbursement for continuing education expenses. It is important for travel nurses to carefully review the benefits package offered by agencies and consider how these factors can impact their total earnings.

Conclusion

After talking about the travel nurse compensation and related benefits they get, there is no doubt that travel nursing is an excellent career choice that calls for enormous opportunities. In addition to the high demand for travel nurses, the flexibility of short-term contracts makes travel nursing an attractive career choice for many people.

So, if you want adventure and professional growth at the same time in the field of healthcare, go for travel nursing and have a strong career with a higher income.

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