Travel nurses are an elite group. They’re willing to leave their homes, friends, and often families behind for a unique, on-the-road lifestyle.
But have you ever wondered who is most likely to become a travel nurse, how much they make, or who employs them?
If you want to find out what’s really going on in the world of travel nursing, this article is for you. We’ve compiled the latest statistics and figures to bring you up to date on the business of travel nursing.
Table of Contents
- Travel Nursing Statistics By Category
- Family Status
- Contract Duration
- Trusted Nurse Staffing: Helping Travel Nurses Find Top Assignments
Travel Nursing Statistics by Category
#1: Travel Nurses Can Make Up to $175 an Hour
According to the 2023 NSI (Nursing Solutions, Inc.) National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report, travel nurses make an average hourly rate of $127 an hour and in some cases may receive as much as $175 an hour.
#2: Intensive Care Travel Nurses Earn the Highest Wage
According to Indeed.com, here are the top nine highest-paying travel nursing specialties:
- Intensive care — $142,136 per year
- Emergency room — $131,764 per year
- Operating room — $127,184 per year
- Labor and delivery — $125,707 per year
- Oncology — $122,707 per year
- General nurse — $112,721 per year
- Hospice — $80,741 per year
- Home Health — $74,686 per year
- Pediatrics — $69,122 per year
#3: Travel Nurses Earn the Most Money in Hawaii
Currently, the state where travel nurses have the highest earning potential is Hawaii. According to Zippia, a travel nurse visiting the Aloha state makes an average salary of $124,372 a year.
#4: Travel Nurses Earn the Least Money in Iowa
According to the same source, in general, travel nurses in Iowa make the lowest salaries coming in at an average of around $64,000 per year.
#5: Most Travel Nurses Are Women
Women dominate the travel nursing profession. The National Nursing Workforce Survey reveals that a whopping 84.1% of traveling nurses are female. 15.9% of nurses on the road are men.
#6: More Men Are Going Into Nursing
According to Zippia, the number of men entering the nursing profession is on the rise. In 2008, a mere 7% of all registered nurses were male.
By the year 2021, just over 13% of registered nurses were men.
#7: Slightly More Men Are Choosing Travel Nursing Over Staff Nursing
In the U.S. 18% of all travel nurses are male, according to data from Zippia. This compares to just 13% of male registered nurses working as staff nurses.
#8: The Average Age of Travel Nurses Is 40+ Years
According to Zippia, 59% of all travel nurses are over the age of 40. The representation from other age groups is considerably lower, with 28% between 30–40 years old and 14% under 30.
#9: Most Travel Nurses Are White
While travel nurses are a diverse racial group, according to the National Nursing Workforce Survey, the majority (73%) of the nurses currently on the road are white.
11.8% of travel nurses reported being African American/Black, 7.9% reported being Asian, and 7.9% are Hispanic.
#10: The Number of Minority Travel Nurses Is Increasing
While the majority of travel nurses are primarily white, more minority healthcare workers are entering the field. For example, according to Zippia, in 2010 there were approximately 6.1% Hispanic travel nurses. That number has now risen to over 7.93%.
#11: Over Half of All Travel Nurses Speak Spanish
Travel nurses are a diverse ethnic community, and Zippia reveals that travelers speak a range of different foreign languages.
Spanish speakers rank first, with 65.9% of all travel nurses speaking the language. Spanish is followed by French(4.9%), Swedish (3.3%), and Chinese (3.3%).
#12: Most Travel Nurses Are Single
Statistics from the National Nursing Workforce Survey show that the lifestyle of a travel nurse seems to be most popular among nurses who haven’t tied the knot.
70% of nurses on the road are single, as compared to 30% who are married.
Contrast these numbers to staff registered nurses who have permanent nursing contracts. 29% of these nurses are single, while 71% are married.
#13: Most Travel Nurses Hold a Bachelor’s Degree
The field of travel nursing doesn’t necessarily require years of endless study, and often travel nurses can hit the road with short-term contracts and a minimum of education based on their nursing experience.
According to Zippia, 47% of all traveling nurses hold a bachelor’s degree. 38% have obtained an associate’s degree, 7% have achieved their master’s, and 5% have a diploma.
#14: Travel Nurses With Advanced Degrees Earn More
As you might expect, traveling nurses with a doctorate generally make the highest income and average roughly $92,800 a year according to Zippia.
A traveling nurse with a master’s degree generally will take home $99,122 a year, while nurses with a bachelor’s degree typically earn around $86,312 yearly. So, while obtaining a higher degree brings with it additional pay, the increase can often be fairly minimal.
#15: Private Companies Employ Most Travel Nurses
The National Nursing Workforce Survey reveals that most on-the-road nurses are employed by private companies and agencies. And of those nurses:
- 56% work for companies that employ from 1,000 to 10,000 workers
- 16% are hired by companies with over 10,000 employees
- 15% are employed by companies with 500 to 1,000 employees
- 76% work for private companies
- 11% are hired by public companies
- 10% work as educators
#16: Most Travel Nurses Work in the Healthcare Industry
Zippia reports that 76% of all traveling nurses are hired by the healthcare sector.
8% of travel nurses work in the professional industry, 3% work for the education sector, and 2% are employed by either Fortune 500 companies or nonprofits.
#17: Travel Nurses Prefer To Be on the Go
Most travel nurses work 13-week contracts and are free to move from one role to another with each new contract.
Zippia found that 54% of travel nurses stay in the same position for less than a year, with 25% remaining in the same role for between 1–2 years. Long-term data shows that only 3% of travel nurses remain in one position for over 11 years.
#18: You Can Become a Travel Nurse With Just One Year of Experience
In general, a registered nurse can join the ranks of travel nurses after only 12 and 18 months of specialized hospital-based experience. This of course can vary, depending on the requirements of your chosen hiring agency or company.
#19: Travel Nurses Get Paid More During a Crisis
On average, the current weekly pay for a travel nurse averages around $2,293. But in times of crisis, that amount can skyrocket.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some travel nurses were making up to $5,000 per week.
#20: Travel Nurses Don’t Have To Travel Alone
If you want to take a roommate along when you hit the road as a travel nurse, no problem!
A travel nurse is free to travel with their family or significant other, a friend, a pet, or even their best travel nurse buddy.
#21: Travel Nurses Gain Experience at Top Facilities
Many traveling nurses get to experience working at top medical facilities with the most renowned doctors, specialists, and state-of-the-art equipment.
Their varied assignments and experiences look great on a resume and can go a long way in advancing their careers.
#22: Travel Nurses Get Free Job Placement Services
If searching for nursing jobs is not on your list of favorite things to do, you’ll be glad to find out that travel nursing agencies actually do the work for you. And their services are totally free of charge. It’s all just a part of signing on with the agency.
Your travel nurse recruiter will take a look at your personal and professional goals and match you with the best travel nursing assignments across the country.
Trusted Nurse Staffing: Helping Travel Nurses Find Top Assignments
Is it time for you to join the travel nursing community?
Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to get you started — and to support you throughout your travel nursing journey.
We’re the premier provider of travel nursing positions across the U.S. and have positions for nurses, allied health professionals, and therapists in top facilities.
Why choose Trusted Nurse Staffing?
We offer the top professional advantages in the travel nursing industry, such as:
- Sign-on bonuses
- Stipends for travel, housing, and meals
- High rates of pay
- Flexible contracts
- Full or part-time work
- Referral and completion bonuses
- Dental, health, and vision benefits
- 24/7 access to your recruiter
- And more
Buffalo Business First named us the “Best Place to Work” for three years running. You can count on our reputation to guide and support you through every assignment to ensure that you’re confident, comfortable, and fully compliant.
Use our Pronto app to create your profile and find available jobs now.