8 Factors That Influence Travel Nurse Job Satisfaction 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

Whether you’re a new nurse or an experienced veteran, you’ve likely heard all about the many perks of travel nursing. 

Looking in from the outside, it looks like travel nurses are happy in their roles, reporting better compensation and higher job satisfaction than their permanent counterparts. 

But are travel nurses really as happy as they seem?

Read on to learn about the 8 factors that contribute to travel nurse job satisfaction, including the trusted travel nursing agency that can make all the difference in whether you love this fascinating career.


travel nurse job satisfaction


Table of Contents



Is Travel Nursing a Good Experience?

Generally, yes! 

The overall level of job satisfaction among travel nurses will depend on a number of variables. 

Most travel nurses are drawn to the profession by the higher compensation, better benefits, and greater flexibility that come with their on-the-road job. However, there are several other factors to look forward to if you’re considering making the switch from your permanent position. 

If you’re thinking of joining the ranks of travel nursing, you’ll want to choose the best of the best travel nursing agency. Trusted Nurse Staffing’s professional team has the experience it takes to help you land the position of your dreams. Check out our Pronto job search today!


job satisfaction traveling nurse


8 Factors That Increase Travel Nurse Job Satisfaction

So, what are variables that might increase a travel nurse’s job satisfaction?

The top considerations include things, such as: 

  • Compensation
  • Great benefits 
  • Job location, including geographical location and the facility
  • Job flexibility 
  • Sense of adventure
  • Work-life balance
  • Additional career opportunities
  • Ability to learn new skills
  • Less stress over workplace politics
  • Working with the right travel nurse recruiting agency

Below, we’ll explain what makes each of these factors rank so highly for satisfaction criteria.


#1: Higher Compensation

ZipRecruiter reports that travel nurses earn $101,132 in annual income on average, higher than the $92,525 average salary for registered nurses. However, your salary as a travel nurse may vary depending on your facility, education, experience, or state

Currently, the ten states with the highest salaries for travel nurses include:

  1. New York 
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. New Hampshire
  4. New Jersey 
  5. Wyoming 
  6. Washington
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Alaska
  10. Oregon

Not only are travel nurses happy earning higher pay, but they typically also receive additional compensation, reimbursements, and tax benefits, including:

  • Non-taxable pay: The “tax-advantaged plan” allows some travel nurse contracts to include non-taxable per-diems, stipends, and reimbursements for lodging, travel, and meals. 
  • Bonuses: Travel nurses may be offered completion bonuses, referral bonuses, sign-on bonuses, extension bonuses, or bonuses for accepting undesirable or high-demand assignments. 
  • Overtime pay: Besides your contracted hourly rate, some travel nurse companies offer overtime pay. The rate of overtime pay can be negotiated but is generally time and a half of your base salary
  • Insurance: Agencies typically offer health, vision, and dental insurance to travel nurses. 


#2: Amazing Benefits

An incredible benefits package can go a long way in increasing job satisfaction for travel nurses. 

If you’re looking to maximize your benefits, Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to help. We go above and beyond other travel nursing agencies by leading the industry with benefits that include:

  • Competitive compensation that includes: 
    • A 401(k) with a 4% match after 1,000 hours and 1 year of employment
    • Weekly paychecks
    • Direct deposit
    • Overtime and double time availability
    • Customizable pay packages
  • Leading health & wellness benefits, including:
    • Employer-sponsored health insurance
    • HRA to fully cover deductibles
    • Guardian Dental and Vision insurance
    • Wellness benefits
  • Flexible work options, such as:
    • Multiple contract options
    • Full-time, part-time, and per diem availability
    • Housing, meal, and travel stipends
    • Rental car options
  • Additional insurance benefits comprised of:
    • Portable permanent whole life insurance
    • License, certification, & CEU reimbursement
    • Portable short-term and long-term disability insurance

And you’re sure to love our newest benefit, student loan assistance. This is available to active nurses after they have been with TNS for 30 days. 

Ready to start your dream job? Use Pronto to search for the best contracts available, and subscribe to be the first to know about new travel nursing opportunities



#3: Sense of Adventure

Travel nursing is perhaps one of the greatest options for those looking to satisfy their sense of adventure. 

When you choose this amazing profession, you have the unique opportunity to meet new people and see the state, country — or even the world. 

Not only do nurses get the chance to choose a new city for each contract, but they also get to live in — and fully experience — their chosen city for a full 13-week period, sometimes more. Travel nurses can use their free time to explore the city, try the best restaurants, visit nearby attractions, and become fully immersed in the local culture.

And if you’re a nurse who hasn’t yet put down roots, travel is an added benefit. As you experience new places, you can weigh their pros and cons and consider where you might like to eventually land once you decide it’s time for your traveling days to come to an end. 


#4: Freedom and Flexibility

If you’re searching for a flexible career, travel nursing may be the perfect choice. With an average contract length of 13 weeks, travel nursing enables you to experience a wide variety of new cities, people, and work environments over a relatively short time period. 

And the best part? 

You get to choose which contracts you take on and the length of time off between those contracts — plus you can negotiate the terms of each one to fit your specific needs. 

Freedom and flexibility in a role not only improve travel nurse job satisfaction but have been shown to affect performance and mental health as well. 

According to a 2022 study conducted by Atlassian, only 14% of workers in flexible roles reported experiencing burnout, as compared to 36% who had no option for flexibility in their roles. The same study found that positions with greater flexibility resulted in improved morale in organizational culture, while also promoting a greater level of innovation. 


#5: Work-Life Balance

Achieving proper work-life balance can go a long way toward improving travel nurse job satisfaction, maintaining good mental health, and preventing burnout. In fact, work-life balance is a key factor when it comes to a career choice for most of the population. 

One of the benefits of travel nursing is the ability to negotiate your schedule during your contract. If you are looking for more free time, you may be able to negotiate for a 3-day work week, leaving the rest of your time for relaxing, taking care of personal obligations, or exploring your new city. 

Travel nurses are also able to choose how much time off is needed in between contracts. If you anticipate needing a couple of days, a couple of weeks, or a couple of months off before moving to your next assignment, you are free to do so. This aspect is especially beneficial around the holiday season. Most workers may only receive one or two days off around the winter holidays, but when you are a travel nurse, you can take as much time off as you need to spend quality time with your loved ones. 


#6: Opportunity To Learn New Things

Since they work in such a wide variety of settings, travel nurses are always learning something new and having the opportunity to grow in their professional skills in areas such as:

  • The latest techniques
  • Different EHRs (electronic health records)
  • New policies

These new ventures are the perfect addition to your resume, and if you ever choose to stop travel nursing, you’ll have an invaluable set of skills to draw on for your future employment endeavors.


#7: Career Opportunities

Travel nurses are constantly jumping into new facilities and interacting with new people, which means they’re also constantly growing their professional networks. 

When the time comes to retire your travel suitcase, and you decide to seek a permanent position, you’ll have plenty of contacts to refer to for the latest job openings.

Besides the benefit to your future nursing endeavors, it never hurts to have a diverse array of people in your corner who can vouch for your capabilities as you forge ahead in your career.


#8: The Ability To Focus on Patients, Not Politics

Registered nurses and other permanent staff at a healthcare facility may discover themselves wrapped up in the “politics” of the workplace. They may find the constant change in policy and procedures to be frustrating, ultimately affecting their overall happiness and job satisfaction. 

As a travel nurse, you’re used to acclimating to ever-changing facilities, procedures, policies, and staff. A new change within the facility you’re contracted with will likely not influence your job in the same way it will the permanent nursing staff. This lack of on-the-job stress can greatly improve your ability to keep the main thing the main thing and focus on the well-being of your patients.


traveling nurse job satisfaction


Find a Satisfying Career as a Travel Nurse With the Help of Trusted Nurse Staffing

Whether you’re new to healthcare or are just looking for a change of pace, Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you navigate the world of travel nursing like a pro. 

Our trusted team of recruiters works closely with travel nurses to help them secure the assignments they love and the compensation they deserve. 

Ready to take the next step to becoming a travel nurse? 

Contact Trusted Nurse Staffing, or get started today using Pronto to search for the perfect assignment.