Whether you’re trying to research the current travel pay rates to negotiate a higher salary or are still considering becoming a travel nurse, you’ve got one big question in mind:

“How much do travel nurses get paid?”

You’ve done some quick searches but the numbers seem to be all over the place. Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you make sense of it all.

By the end of this article, you’ll know:

  • What factors affect a travel nurse’s salary
  • What types of travel nurses make the most money
  • Why travel nurses make more than staff nurses
  • What advantages there are to travel nursing

It’s time to educate yourself and maximize your true earning potential.


travel nurse salary


Table of Contents



How Much Can I Make as a Travel Nurse?

According to Salary.com, the average travel nurse salary is currently $93,243 per year. The typical range is from $82,933 and $104,788 a year and can vary widely based on many factors, including:

  • Education
  • Certifications
  • Years of experience
  • Additional skills
  • Geographic location
  • Facility type
  • Specialty
  • And more

This is well above the average annual salary in the United States, so travel nursing can be seen as a lucrative profession.


What Is the Highest Travel Nurse Pay Now?

Indeed.com reports that the current highest travel nurse salary is $3,256 per week.

The average highest-paid cities for travel nurses right now are reported to be:

  1. Los Angeles, CA                                                                             $2,848 per week
  2. New York, NY                                                                                  $2,778 per week
  3. Sacramento, CA                                                                              $2,728 per week
  4. Minneapolis, MN                                                                             $2,561 per week
  5. Reno, NV                                                                                         $2,476 per week
  6. New Orleans, LA                                                                             $2,458 per week
  7. Portland, OR                                                                                   $2,413 per week
  8. Omaha, NE                                                                                     $2,371 per week
  9. Atlanta, GA                                                                                    $2,265 per week


Travel Nurse Salary by State in 2023

We’ve compiled a list of the average travel nurse salary by state to make your planning easier. While it’s not always about money for nurses, it’s certainly a factor to consider.

Keep in mind that these are averages and salaries may be higher or lower depending on your experience, expertise, and the type of travel nursing position you choose.


State Average Monthly Salary
Alabama $8,355
Alaska $9,200
Arizona $9,592
Arkansas $8,036
California $10,484
Colorado $8,488
Connecticut $9,320
Delaware $8,439
Florida $7,870
Georgia $7,687
Hawaii $9,717
Idaho $10,717
Illinois $7,924
Indiana $9,262
Iowa $8,542
Kansas $8,145
Kentucky $8,445
Louisiana $7,359
Maine $9,884
Maryland $8,953
Massachusetts $9,727
Michigan $7,916
Minnesota $9,191
Mississippi $7,990
Missouri $7,836
Montana $9,160
Nebraska $8,423
Nevada $9,660
New Hampshire $10,162
New Jersey $9,436
New Mexico $8,275
New York $10,938
North Carolina $6,962
North Dakota $8,975
Ohio $8,676
Oklahoma $8,049
Oregon $9,176
Pennsylvania $8,998
Rhode Island $9,192
South Carolina $8,309
South Dakota $8,606
Tennessee $9,581
Texas $7,810
Utah $8,516
Vermont $10,016
Virginia $8,726
Washington $9,547
West Virginia $9,218
Wisconsin $8,735
Wyoming $9,560


travel nursing salary


Do Travel Nurses Make More Than Staff Nurses?

Travel nurses may make more money than staff nurses for several reasons.

Hospital staff nurses are usually paid a set salary based on their education and experience. They typically receive incremental pay increases depending on many factors. 

Travel nurse pay, meanwhile, is completely different. 

Typical pay packages are composed of various components including:

  • Hourly pay
  • Non-taxed housing stipends
  • Non-taxed per diems
  • Travel reimbursements 
  • And more

As a travel nurse working for Trusted Nurse Staffing, for example, you’ll unlock benefits that make living and working on the road well worth your time.

You could be taking advantage of:

  • The highest travel nursing salary in the industry
  • A 401(k) plan
  • Flexible contracts: 8, 13, 26 & 52-week assignments
  • Full/part-time work
  • 24/7 access to your recruiter
  • Overtime, double-time, and per diem shifts
  • Weekly paychecks, daily pay, and advances
  • Direct deposit
  • Housing, meal & travel allowances
  • Customized benefits packages
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield health insurance
  • Guardian dental and vision insurance
  • Life insurance; and
  • Accident insurance

This is on top of other forms of compensation such as:

  • License, certifications & CEU reimbursements
  • Loyalty program
  • Referral bonus plan
  • Priority job order bonus
  • Sign-on & completion bonus 

But, as we mentioned earlier, not all travel nurse salaries are the same. 

Non-specialty nurses are typically paid a lower rate than specialized nurses.

Specialized nurses, on the other hand — especially those with highly sought-after skills and credentials — can earn more lucrative pay and are often in the highest demand. 

So, what specialty makes the most?

Read on to learn which type of travel nurse’s salary is the highest.


What Types Of Travel Nurses Make The Most Money? 

The most in-demand (and therefore highest-paying) jobs for travel nurses typically directly relate to those that require highly-specialized training, knowledge, and experience. 

The highest travel nurse salaries are usually found within the following areas: 

If you’re interested in pursuing any of these specialties with a higher travel nurse salary, discuss it with your Trusted Nurse Staffing recruiter or set them as your filters in the Pronto app.


travel nurse salary


3 Additional Factors That Affect a Travel Nurse Salary

Looking to make even more? 

There are several different ways to up your travel nurse salary while on the road, including:

  • Being open to different locations
  • Working over the holidays
  • Working overtime
  • Housing stipends
  • Rapid response assignments and strikes
  • Varying shifts
  • Per diem work; and
  • EMR conversions

Read on for the top three factors that you can change to increase your travel nurse salary.


#1 Location

Your location is the number one factor in how much you’ll make as a travel nurse. 

Some of the highest-paying states include:

  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Oregon
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • New Jersey
  • South Dakota
  • Ohio

You should be aware that the highest-paying assignments may pay more because they are not the most ideal. These assignments may be in a less-than-desirable location or on a hard-to-fill time shift, like a night or variable shift.

As a travel nurse, you’ll generally work three days a week, which leads to a lot of time off to explore each new location. 

So be sure pay isn’t the only reason you’re choosing a location. 

13 weeks can feel daunting and exhausting if it’s not the right fit for you outside of work. 

Luckily, if the idea of calling one of these states a temporary home isn’t ideal, you don’t have to worry. There are still a handful of other ways you can increase your pay.


average travel nurse salary


#2 Shift

We’ll cut to the chase — working the night shift pays more.

While some nurses rock this, not every nurse dreams about working until the sun comes up.

If you are in the latter camp, just remember that no amount of money is worth risking your happiness or your patient’s safety.

Though it’s not always the case, nights, variables (meaning you don’t always work the same shift), and weekends may come with higher pay or shift differentials.

Being flexible with your shift schedule is key if you’re looking to make the most money as a travel nurse.


#3 Crisis Assignments

Heading into a “war zone” will pay more — sometimes considerably more. 

For example, nurses headed to NYC during the COVID-19 crisis were offered up to $100/k for a 13-week assignment. 

Of course, with a crisis assignment also comes some stipulations.

You have to be ready to jump into the unknown, often without time for orientation or a day to settle in, unpack, and explore your new home. Crisis assignments require nurses to arrive at work fast, usually within two weeks. 

Travel nurses may have limited options in terms of location and these crisis assignments are typically shorter than the general 13-week contract.

Most often, the hospital is not actually experiencing a “crisis” situation such as a natural or man-made disaster. But in some cases, they are. 

For example, when Hurricane Harvey hit, some travel nurses were sent to provide support to hospitals treating patients within 48 hours.


8 Perks You Can Look Forward To As A Travel Nurse

With TNS, travel nurses do receive benefits.

While other nurse staffing companies offer stipends and allowances as incentives for their travel nurses, TNS goes above and beyond to take care of our nurses by offering:

  • The highest travel nurse salary in the industry
  • A healthcare benefits package
  • Life and accident insurance programs
  • License, certifications & CEU reimbursements
  • Loyalty program
  • Referral bonus plan
  • Priority job order bonus
  • Sign-on & completion bonus
  • And more

Check out the details below to learn more about how you can take advantage of these benefits. 


#1 Healthcare Benefits

Your healthcare benefits package through TNS would include Blue Cross & Blue Shield health insurance and Guardian dental and vision insurance.

These insurance policies start on the first day of the month after your start date and end on the last day of your assignment month. If you work continuously with Trusted Nurse Staffing and take minimal time off between contracts, you can stay on this insurance plan.

If you plan to take more than 30 days off between contracts, you have the option to enroll in COBRA insurance

Some key features of Trusted Nurse Staffing’s healthcare package include:

  • No out-of-pocket expenses — Pay all your deductibles using the pre-loaded HRA card we’ll issue.
  • Plan options for anyone — Whether you’re single, a single parent, or married with a family, we can cover you.
  • Wellness benefits — You’ll get $250 per year that you can spend at places like your local gym, health food stores, or online markets like Fitbit.

We offer two different versions of the dental and vision plans that let you choose what level of coverage you need and would like to pay for.


#2 Continuing Education

When it comes to certifications, nurses have a variety of options available to: 

  • Enhance their healthcare careers.
  • Increase their salaries.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.

Earning advanced certifications improves your credibility and attests to your competency, which gives you an edge when competing for nursing positions.

It’s also another way you can increase your travel nurse salary.

Trusted Nurse Staffing offers license, certification & CEU reimbursements.

It’s important to note that some staffing companies offer continuing education benefits, but you shouldn’t expect all companies to offer this advancement in their benefits package


#3 Tax-Free Stipends

The tax-free stipends are a nice benefit and incentive for many travel nurses. But before you sign on the dotted line, know that there are stipulations. 

Make sure you check what qualifies as “tax-free” and be aware that stipends need to be for a duplicated expense such as paying for housing in two places. You may receive a housing stipend for rent in the city of your current assignment and to pay your mortgage back home.


#4 Loyalty Rewards

Another benefit of working with TNS is the loyalty rewards program.

Throughout your employment, you will accumulate points when you successfully complete each of your consecutive assignments.

Your bonus points can be redeemed for a special gift, or you can save them to redeem later. 

Of course, the more points you earn, the greater the value of the gift.

You can earn points for more than 300,000 different items. It’s just like Amazon!


#5 Retirement Savings

There is a 401(k) available with Trusted Nurse Staffing.  

However, you shouldn’t expect to be offered a retirement savings plan by every travel nurse company or from every recruiter offering. We not only offer one but will match your retirement contributions at up to 4% after you work with us for one year and 1000 hours.


#6: Short-Term Disability Life Insurance

This policy will pay a portion of your income if you become sick (which can happen very easily while working in healthcare) or are injured. Some of the features of short-term disability life insurance are:

  • It’s portable. This means you own the contract, not us. It follows you wherever you go, even if you choose to leave Trusted Nurse Staffing.
  • Your rate is locked in. The amount you pay will stay the same for the life of the policy, no matter how long you have it.
  • The policy is guaranteed issue. There are no medical, weight, height, blood, or urine questions asked when you apply.

Some common uses of this policy include cancer, pregnancy, injuries, diagnosed mental health issues, severe illness, and more.


#7: Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance covers you for a lifetime, unlike term life insurance. Just like our short-term disability insurance, this policy is portable. 

It also features:

  • A guaranteed rate — The younger you are when you start the policy, the less your premium will be.
  • Guaranteed cash value accumulation — You are assured at least 3.5% if you want to take cash out of your policy for any reason.
  • Dividend eligibility — Earn money on your policy.
  • A terminal illness provision — You can get early access to the policy if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness resulting in death within a year.


#8: Accident Insurance

When accidents happen, it’s nice to be able to offset their financial implications.

Trusted Nurse Staffing’s accident insurance has:

  • Low, medium, and high coverage models for you and your family
  • A lump-sum benefit that can be used in any way you see fit
  • On- and off-job guaranteed issue, meaning the policy pays whether or not you miss work

Common qualifications for accident insurance payouts can include anything from burns to fractures to accidental death or dismemberment.


travel nurses salary


Are There Any Other Advantages To Travel Nursing?

The advantages to travel nursing are abundant.

You could:

  • Visit family in another state
  • Get a change of scenery
  • Experience a vacation spot as your home 

And there are professional advantages as well.

With TNS, you have the option of working in:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Clinics
  • Outpatient facilities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Schools
  • Insurance companies
  • Homecare

Becoming a travel nurse is an excellent opportunity for networking and professional development.

You’ll be exposed to different healthcare environments and meet coworkers and patients you never would have otherwise. 

Trusted Nurse Staffing also offers flexibility in your schedule with assignments ranging from per diem up to 52 weeks.

Plus, if it’s a good fit for both you and our client, you have the option to extend an assignment.


What Is The Best Travel Nurse Company To Work For?

Travel nurse companies and recruiters work with nurses to find the best placement for them with the highest possible salary. Some companies have specific contracts and can offer a better travel nurse salary than others. 

Bottom line? 

Choose a company that you feel confident will advocate on your behalf to negotiate higher wages for you.


Get the Pronto App and Earn the Highest Travel Nurse Salary With Trusted Nurse Staffing

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, travel nurses are not just a number. 

You are an asset and deserve your compensation to reflect that.

We acknowledge the challenges of working on the road, which is why you’ll enjoy the highest travel nurse salary and the best benefits packages in the industry when you become a traveling nurse with Trusted Nurse Staffing.

Get the Pronto app and set the search parameters that will help you find great opportunities and take control of your career.


travel nurse salary