Travel Nurse Salary: How Much Do Travel RNs Get Paid?

Travel Nurse Salary: How Much Do Travel RNs Get Paid?

What is a Travel Nurse? How Much Do They Earn? Find Out!

Travel nurses are used by healthcare companies when they have a staffing shortage. They fill temporary nursing positions in places with high nursing needs as qualified experts and dash into clinics, hospitals, and other settings, providing top-notch medical attention to people all around the nation.

Travel nurses frequently work for healthcare staffing companies that are experts in placing temporary workers nationwide. In exchange for a portion of what a hospital would pay a travel nurse, agencies push for safe housing, competitive pay, and all-expenses-paid transportation for their travel nurses to new assignments.

Before being accepted, travel nurses must meet a few qualifications, including being a registered nurse with a current license and often two years of nursing experience. Other than the ones required for their particular specialty, they don’t need any other qualifications or credentials.

Travel Nurse Pay vs. Salary Nurse Pay- What’s the Difference?

  • In a hospital, staff nurses are typically paid a defined wage based on their education and experience. At periodic times, they often earn small pay raises.

  • Pay for travel nurses is entirely different and occasionally ambiguous. Hourly pay, non-taxable housing stipends, non-taxable per diems, travel reimbursements, and other benefits are standard parts of pay packages.

What are Travel Nurse Non-Taxable Stipends?

Both taxable hourly rates and stipends are paid to traveling nurses. In addition to non-taxable stipends, travel nurses are also paid hourly. Stipends that are not subject to taxes are used to cover living costs, food costs, and other incidentals.

What Factors Affect Your Travel Nurse Salary?

  1. Location, location, location. The location of the assignment has the most significant impact on travel nurse pay. In other words, pay rates frequently reflect the area’s cost of living and local trends.

  • Which states provide travel nurses with the highest pay? States like California, Texas, Massachusetts, Washington, and New York offer travel nurses the most significant pay.

  • Travel nurse pay is typically lower in southern states because of their lower cost of living.

  • “Destination spots,” such as Florida and Hawaii, may provide less pay. This isn’t always the case with jobs involving a quick response.

  1. The specialty of the travel nurse impacts pay. The average pay for non-specialist nurses, such as those in the medical/surgical and psychiatric disciplines, is less than for specialized nurses. Additionally, specialized nurses with in-demand credentials and expertise have access to more money.

  2. Shift. In travel nursing, night shift assignments are becoming increasingly common. Flexibility is essential for earning the most significant pay. If the night shift isn’t your cup of tea, risking your happiness, safety, or license is not worth anything. Stick with the day shift if you can give superior patient care during that time. Your patients will appreciate it.

How to Earn the Most as a Travel Nurse

If you want to work as a travel nurse and earn the most money, look for these particular assignments:

  1. Rapid Response and “Crisis” Assignments

Due to their urgent requirements, these jobs offer some of the best rates in the travel nursing sector. They call for nurses to report to work within two weeks. There may not be many options for nurses on these assignments. They are shorter than the standard 13-week assignment, allowing you to start right away in the regions where you are most needed.

  1. Bonuses

Hospital vs. Agency Bonuses

  • Hospital bonuses are often provided as completion bonuses and are paid independently of the bill rate. This indicates that they won’t get paid unless you complete your assignment. These bonuses often cost $250 to $5,000.

  • The bill rate may be reduced due to agency bonuses, which would lower your take-home earnings. This isn’t always terrible, especially if you like receiving a substantial amount of money in one go.

  • To know immediately where your bonus is coming from, ask your recruiter if it’s coming from an agency or a hospital.

Retention Bonus

  • Once a nurse completes many jobs with a particular agency, some of those agencies will provide bonuses to the nurses. These bonuses range in price from $100 to $2,000 or more. Each agency will have specifications for this, frequently referred to as a retention bonus.

Referral Bonus

  • An incentive the agency gives travel nurses who recommend other nurses to work for it is known as a referral bonus. The money typically comes from a separate budget for referral fees, so it shouldn’t impact the travel nurse’s compensation.

  • Typically, referral bonuses for nurses range from $500 to $4,000. Once a recommendation completes an assignment, several leading agencies in the sector award nurses generous referral bonuses.

  1. Strikes

When a labor contract or collective bargaining agreement between a hospital and a union is up for renewal, strikes occur. The union may strike if the two sides cannot reach an amicable agreement.

Patients still require treatment in such a scenario. Therefore, to meet the short-term need, hospitals typically employ travel nurses. Travel nurses who work on strikes earn significantly more money than those who work on typical travel nursing jobs because of the urgency.

Tips and How to Find Travel Nursing Jobs with the Best Pay

We advise collaborating with agencies known for paying highly and specializing in rapid-response and strike nursing. In exchange for their urgent need for highly qualified personnel temporarily, hospitals pay these organizations excellent rates.

Follow the checklist below for great tips for some of our top recruiters:

  • Crisis contacts and pandemic nursing

  • Find your housing.

  • Be Flexible

  • Work with agencies that have a reputation for paying well and being transparent.

  • Ensure your profile is current.

  • Work with a variety of agencies.

  • Keep several state licenses active.

  • Work agency per diem and take on additional shifts

  • Stay in touch with your recruiter.

  • Ask for completion, retention, and sign-on bonuses.

  • Refer your friends to agencies.