Travel nurses make great salaries — no doubt about it.. You may have heard some travel nurses talking about their bonuses, and it got you thinking …
- Do travel nurses get sign-on bonuses?
- Do travel nurses get yearly bonuses?
- What does a travel nurse’s bonus pay look like?
If you’re not excited about the idea of digging through the internet for the next few hours trying to find answers to all your questions, keep reading. This guide will answer the main questions you have about travel nurse bonuses.
Grab a glass of your favorite wine, sit back, and start scrolling to learn all about bonuses in the travel nursing world.
Table of Contents
- Do Travel Nurses Get Bonuses?
- 4 Common Types of Travel Nurse Bonuses
- Become a Valued Travel Nurse With Trusted Nurse Staffing
Do Travel Nurses Get Bonuses?
Mention travel nursing, and you are sure to hear someone comment on the amazing wages travel nurses earn. It’s well-known that travel nursing has become an incredibly lucrative job.
But did you know in addition to the per diem and stipends, travel nurses earn bonuses? It’s true. From the travel nursing sign-on bonus to completion bonuses and beyond, bonus pay for travel nurses is real.
How Travel Nurse Bonuses Can Affect Pay
As a travel nurse, bonuses can greatly increase your take-home pay.
If you know how to leverage your bonuses and maximize the reward, you can expect to make good money during your time as a travel nurse.
As you count up your potential bonuses, don’t forget about taxes. Bonuses are almost always considered taxable income, and they will affect your AGI number, which could influence your tax bracket. Do your research based on your local and state taxes so that you won’t have any surprises when April rolls around.
4 Common Types of Travel Nurse Bonuses
There are many different bonuses for travel nurses. Here are the top four.
#1: Sign-On Bonuses
If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a job listing advertising a massive sign-on bonus and wondering what exactly that means, you’re not alone. Travel nursing sign-on bonuses are exciting and can certainly draw a crowd, but understanding the ins and outs of them is important.
A sign-on bonus is an amount of money — sometimes company stock or another asset — that you receive when you join a new company.
In many cases, the bonus comes in with your first paycheck; however, if it is a larger sum, you might receive the bonus in increments over several checks. Sometimes you become eligible for the bonus only after you’ve worked for a set amount of time — often a few months.
Every company has its own policy, and every sign-on bonus is slightly different. Some companies may require you to pay the bonus back if you leave before a specified time.
One thing to remember is that sign-on bonuses are considered taxable income, so you need to be ready to lose around 20%-30% of that bonus to Uncle Sam.
Always read over the fine print and don’t hesitate to ask questions before signing on. Sign-on bonuses are great, but you don’t want any unpleasant surprises.
Why Do Hospitals Offer Sign-On Bonuses?
Why do travel nurses get sign-on bonuses? There are several potential reasons. For instance:
- The hospital is experiencing a staff shortage. This could be due to:
- Recent policy changes
- Changes in management
- Pandemic-fueled burnout
- The hospital is opening a new wing or floor.
- The hospital simply wants to attract more applicants.
Bonuses are a great way to make some extra money but remember not to let yourself get starry-eyed and miss red flags. In many cases, a bonus is being offered as just another recruitment tool that won’t create any kind of issues.
In some cases, however, a sign-on bonus can create an unofficial contract that gets sticky if you attempt to terminate your assignment early. Always make sure you ask questions and stick with your gut.
What Is The Average Sign-On Bonus for Travel Nurses?
Sign-on bonuses vary from hospital to hospital and assignment to assignment.
During the pandemic, average sign-on bonuses for travel nurses ranged from several hundred all the way up to $40,000 at one hospital. These numbers have gone down as the pandemic lets up, but there are still many lucrative sign-on bonuses to be had.
Keep in mind, however, that as the world slowly morphs into a post-pandemic society, sign-on bonuses can be expected to decrease.
No matter how high the advertised sign-on bonuses may be, never bank on a bonus as being a certain amount or an additional steady source of income.
Travel nursing sign-on bonuses are not always predictable, and the payment schedules can vary from employer to employer. It is important that you view it as what it is: a bonus, not a predictable income stream.
#2: Completion Bonuses
Completion bonuses are contingent on the successful completion of an assignment.
To qualify, you typically have to work a full assignment and finish out your contract. Completion bonuses can be a nice boost in between assignments.
It is important to keep in mind that the full bonus may not come through with your last paycheck. Sometimes it can take a couple of weeks for the bonus to fully process and be in your bank account. Again, always check with a potential employer to find out how the process works and what you should expect.
Why Do Hospitals Offer Completion Bonuses?
When it comes to staffing, hospitals have one main concern: retention.
It is much easier to have a travel nurse complete their assignment instead of attempting to find a replacement when they ditch early. Completion bonuses offer a “reward at the finish line” for travel nurses, and the hope is it will motivate them to fulfill their whole contract.
Especially in healthcare, employee retention is important. When you have new people constantly in and out, care quality may decline and in some instances, this decline could cost patients their lives.
Many hospitals are willing to pay big bucks to retain nurses and support a high level of patient care.
What Is the Average Completion Bonus for Travel Nurses?
While the average is typically somewhere between $1,000 and $5,000, it can vary greatly based on which hospital you are working for and its budget.
During times of high demand, completion bonuses tend to run higher.
As always, it’s a good idea to ask your contact at the hospital about completion bonuses, so you know what to expect.
#3: Agency-Based Referral Bonuses
Depending on the agency you choose to work with, you might be able to earn referral bonuses.
Referral bonuses are given to nurses who refer other successful hires.
Trusted Nurse Staffing is proud to offer an incredible referral bonus program. If you refer someone, after they complete their first assignment, you get $500. And you can refer multiple people, which means you can earn additional $500 bonuses.
Why Do Travel Nurse Agencies Offer Referral Bonuses?
The travel nursing industry is driven by talented, motivated nurses. Agencies are always looking for highly-qualified, experienced nurses to join their teams.
The best recruiter is a happy nurse who loves their job. When you work for a great company that loves you back, you can’t help but share with those you know and love.
At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we believe you will love your job and the support you receive so much you’ll want to share the opportunity with your friends and family. When you help us connect with quality candidates, we want to thank you for your effort.
What Is the Average Referral Bonus for Travel Nurses?
While each agency is different, the industry average is around $500.
Always check with any potential agency to find out what the bonus is and how you earn it. Some questions you might want to consider asking include:
- Does the amount drop with each new referral?
- Does the number go up?
- When do you get the bonus?
- How many times can you refer someone?
#4: Agency-Based Loyalty Bonuses
Although not offered by every agency, loyalty bonuses are a great way to up your pay and earn rewards for being a loyal travel nurse.
These programs vary from agency to agency but typically involve some type of cash bonus or points-based rewards program that allows you to save up your points to redeem for things like gift cards or other rewards.
At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we offer a points-based loyalty rewards program. Released in 2021, our loyalty program allows you to accumulate points for each successfully completed assignment.
Point accrual typically runs like this for each 13-week assignment:
- 100 points upon the completion of your first assignment
- 200 points for the second
- 300 for the third
- 400 for the fourth
- 500 for the fifth and each subsequent assignment
If 13-week assignments aren’t your thing, we still offer rewards for shorter assignments:
- 75 points for an eight-week assignment
- 50 points for a six-week assignment
Why Do Travel Nurse Agencies Offer Loyalty Bonuses?
Travel nurses work hard. They spend time away from family and friends.
They have to adapt to new facilities with each new assignment.
It is a rewarding but often tough job.
Why do agencies like Trusted Nurse Staffing offer loyalty bonuses? Because they value their nurses. Because they want to reward their nurses for their hard work, and they want to encourage their nurses to stay and keep working with them.
Here at Trusted Nurse Staffing, you are more than a number – you’re even more than a nurse. You are a human being with skills, talents, and dreams. We are honored to have you as part of our team, and we want to show our appreciation for your loyalty.
Our loyalty program is based on points accrued for each assignment on a progressing scale. The more assignments you take, the more points you earn. Points can be redeemed through award.co for just about anything purchased from a verified Amazon seller.
The quick version? As a nurse with Trusted Nurse Staffing, you get spending money for Amazon. It might be a good time to build that wish list.
What Are the Average Loyalty Bonuses for Travel Nurses?
Unlike some bonuses, there really isn’t an industry standard for loyalty bonuses and programs. Many companies don’t offer anything. Some offer cash bonuses.
This is a great question to ask any agency you are considering. Loyalty programs may seem like only a small part of an agency’s benefits, but the bonuses add up quickly.
Become a Valued Travel Nurse With Trusted Nurse Staffing
If the idea of getting paid to travel and make an impact in people’s lives excites you, travel nursing could be for you.
Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to support you as you begin your career as a travel nurse. With the highest pay rates in the industry and a passion for caring for our nurses, Trusted Nurse Staffing is the agency you want to have your back.
We are proud to offer our nurses incredible benefits, a few of which include:
- Housing, travel, and meal stipends (in most cases, these are tax-free!)
- Weekly paychecks
- Sign-on and completion bonuses
- Health insurance and disability insurance
- 401(k) with a 4% match
- Loyalty rewards
- Referral bonuses
- 24/7 access to a dedicated Trusted Partner
If you want to work with a company that values and supports you, Trusted Nurse Staffing could be your ideal agency.
Fill out a profile today and start bringing in those travel nurse bonuses.