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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.

We’ve done the research and collected the information all in one place. In this guide, we’ll answer these questions and more:

  • What factors affect a travel nurse’s salary?
  • What types of travel nurses make the most money?
  • Why do travel nurses make more than staff nurses?
  • What are the advantages of 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 $95,437 per year. The typical range is from $84,882 and $107,251 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 amount is well above the average annual salary in the United States, which is $59,428, showing just how lucrative a career in travel nursing can be.

 

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. Sacramento, CA                                                                                             $2,785 per week
  2. Minneapolis, MN                                                                                             $2,473 per week
  3. Los Angeles, CA                                                                                             $2,379 per week
  4. Torrance, CA                                                                                                  $2,251 per week
  5. Portland, OR                                                                                                  $2,118 per week
  6. Olympia, WA                                                                                                  $2,103 per week
  7. Omaha, NE                                                                                                    $2,089 per week
  8. Charlotte, NC                                                                                                 $2,069 per week
  9. New Orleans, LA                                                                                            $2,066 per week

 

Travel Nurse Salary by State in 2024

One of the most significant perks of travel nursing is the opportunity to visit different cities across the US. If you love the mountains, travel nurse jobs out west may help you fulfill your love of hiking and reaching summits you’ve never attempted before. Or maybe the beach is your scene. Travel nursing jobs on the coast in states like Florida and California abound.

Chances are, though, that in addition to finding the city that will meet your love for adventure, you’re interested in knowing what the average pay for travel nurses is in those locations.

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 $9,205
Alaska $10,115 
Arizona $9,464 
Arkansas $7,676 
California $10,861 
Colorado $9,747
Connecticut $9,081 
Delaware $9,244
Florida $7,589
Georgia $8,575
Hawaii $9,800 
Idaho $10,434
Illinois $8,995 
Indiana $9,664
Iowa $9,064
Kansas $8,457
Kentucky $8,079 
Louisiana $8,315 
Maine $10,547
Maryland $8,961 
Massachusetts $10,179
Michigan $8,076
Minnesota $9,524
Mississippi $8,983
Missouri $8,676
Montana $9,322
Nebraska $8,794
Nevada $9,564
New Hampshire $10,053 
New Jersey $10,077
New Mexico $9,537
New York $11,252 
North Carolina $8,411
North Dakota $9,989 
Ohio $9,276
Oklahoma $8,516
Oregon $9,999
Pennsylvania $10,305
Rhode Island $9,262
South Carolina $8,588
South Dakota $9,441
Tennessee $8,856 
Texas $8,505
Utah $8,833
Vermont $11,058
Virginia $9,144
Washington $10,353
West Virginia $7,959
Wisconsin $9,925
Wyoming $9,836

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, and 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, and travel allowances
  • Customized pay packages
  • Employee-sponsored health insurance
  • Guardian dental and vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Wellness benefits
  • And more

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

  • License, certifications, & CEU reimbursements
  • Loyalty program
  • Referral bonus plan
  • Discount program
  • 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. 

According to nurse.org, the highest travel nurse salaries are usually found within the following areas: 

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $203,090
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse $136,592
  • Pain Management Nurse $124,006
  • General Nurse Practitioner $121,610
  • Certified Nurse Midwife $120,880
  • Health Policy Nurse $120,333
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner $117,870
  • Registered Nurse First Assistant $106,176
  • Nursing Administrator $104,830
  • Family Nurse Practitioner $102,107
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner $96,198
  • Intensive Care Unit Nurse $92,568
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist $87,359
  • Informatics Nurse $83,780
  • Nurse Educator $78,580

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
  • New York
  • Alaska
  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon

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. 

Thirteen 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.

However, if, after 13 weeks you are loving your assignment and the location, you may be able to extend that assignment.

Our team at Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you every step of the way. Whether it’s finding another suitable assignment or helping you negotiate an extension, we’ve got you covered.

 

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 Trusted Nurse Staffing, 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. Then search the Pronto app for assignments in your specialty and your preferred location.

 

travel nurse salary

 

#1 Healthcare Benefits

Your healthcare benefits package through Trusted Nurse Staffing 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 preloaded 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, and 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 to see 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 Trusted Nurse Staffing 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 of 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 Trusted Nurse Staffing, 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 to 52 weeks.

Plus, if it’s a good fit for both you and our client, you have the option of extending 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 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 to find great opportunities and take control of your career.

 

travel nurse salary