How Much Do Travel Nurses Make

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph April 13, 2023
Updated 2023/04/13 at 6:51 PM
How Much Do Travel Nurses Make

Are you a nurse or intend to study nursing? Then you might as well consider being a travel nurse.

A travel nurse is one of the most if not the most lucrative and flexible careers in the nursing profession. It does not only come with a fact paycheck but time flexibility.

You pick your assignments when you work as a travel nurse. This indicates that you are in charge of your pay and perks. According to our analysis of nearly 45,000 nurse practitioner travel job boards, travel nurses typically make between $2,207 and $3000 per week.

Yet, there are a number of variables that will affect travel nurse pay. When comparing compensation packages, factors like the location of your assignment, the number of hours you work, and your benefits all come into play.

There is a nursing shortage in the US. Yet, there is not a uniform lack of nurses across the nation. States with bigger shortfalls include by 2030, for instance, California will require about 70,000 nurses.

One of the reasons is that they have one of the biggest hourly wage levels for travel nurses, in addition to their needs.

Travel nursing can be a fulfilling and interesting career path for nurses who value independence and want to help where it is most needed. These nurses accept positions in places where there is a shortage of trained workers rather than settling down at one hospital.

However, travel nurses frequently earn higher compensation than typical nurses because of the nature of the work, which necessitates adaptability, independent thinking, and a readiness to take on new responsibilities with little notice.

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make:

While nursing career registered nurses (APRN) salaries frequently exceed the yearly average of $150,250, travel nurses who already are nurse practitioners (RNs) can earn as much as or more than the typical RN income of $80,000.

Although they are less prevalent, travel nurse opportunities are also available for registered nurse assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Crises assignments frequently pay over the typical nursing salary, and additional benefits like housing stipends may also increase your earnings.

Travel Nurse Salaries Are Frequently Above Average.

Although travel nurse salaries are not officially tracked, the majority of job listings indicate compensation on par with or higher than those for resident nurses who have equivalent training and credentials.

According to Parth Bhakta, president, and chief executive officer of the travel nursing business Nursefly, there are a number of variables that affect a travel nurse’s potential earnings overall. Rapid-response posts typically pay the highest salaries.

They are frequently jobs that fill an unexpected demand, such as providing medical assistance following a natural disaster.

You may receive higher base pay in addition to additional advantages if you can be flexible with location and turnaround. This is particularly the case for roles that are challenging to fill due to their site, the qualifications necessary, or both.

Other Financial Benefits For Travel Nurses:

As was already noted, bonuses plus living expenses are frequently included in travel nurse salary packages. Earnings for travel nurses are sometimes expressed as a combined rate, which includes basic pay, medical benefits, plus stipends or other living expenditure allowances.

A typical package would include a combined rate of $50 per hour, with a sizable chunk coming from tax-free salaries and benefits for housing, transportation, food, and utilities.

Housing Stipend Or Accommodations:

Housing is a component of almost all travel nursing pay packages, whether it’s free lodging in hostels or off-campus homes, a rent stipend, or both.

There may also be a daily stipend for food, utilities, and other essentials. This is frequently referred to as a MI&E stipend (meals, incidentals, and expenses).

Nonetheless, it may be more cost-effective to find your own housing once it comes to housing.

 As a travel nurse, once you land a job, work closely with the staffing company to determine what housing options and travel expenses are offered to you.

Depending on the contract, the staffing agency may provide housing and travel reimbursements; however, nurses will nearly always earn more money if they locate their own lodging.

Travel Charges:

Typically, placement agencies will pay for travel costs like flights, either by making travel arrangements on the nurse’s behalf or by offering a stipend. Also, they might pay for car mileage.

While the majority of travel nurse firms provide housing help, it is frequently more profitable for nurses to locate their own lodging.


Many agencies provide travel nurses sizable bonuses for joining them, finishing a posting, or consenting to a prolongation of an assignment as a way to sweeten their pay package.

Jobs with these incentives typically come with the greatest hiring needs and a dearth of local suitable workers. Also, nurses may receive bonuses for recommending other potential candidates to the organization or for achieving specific tenure milestones.

Tax-Free Compensation For Travel Nurses:

Tax-free benefits make up a sizeable component of a travel nurse’s remuneration package. For instance, you won’t owe taxes on your housing, travel, and health benefits at the completion of the year.

Yet, these benefits shouldn’t take the place of taxable income. The tax code forbids what the IRS refers to as “wage recharacterization,” and this practice.

Dishonest agencies occasionally provide base pay that is less than the minimum wage set by the state and then make up the difference with tax-free benefits to bring the daily blended wage in line with typical nursing earnings.

The taxable income part is significantly less than the typical wage for a licensed nurse, and tax-free remuneration is intended to lessen the costs of temporary employment beyond your tax home. The IRS, however, views this as a warning flag.

Agencies must provide an adequate base pay for the job at issue, which is the taxable income you get in the form of a salary or direct deposit, in order to prevent a difficult and expensive audit.

Notwithstanding the allure of tax-free remuneration, nurses should steer clear of posts with extremely low base pay since, should their employer’s employer be found by the IRS to have engaged in wage recharacterization, the nurses themselves may be entitled to a tax examination.

Growth Opportunities For Travel Nurses:

For the foreseeable future, there will be a significant demand for nursing positions across the nation.

The rise in chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, prolonged life expectancies, and a sizeable section of the workforce reaching retirement age are all contributing factors to the expected 6.2% growth in demand for RNs through 2031, according to the BLS’ Professional Employment Statistics for RNs.

Ways To Increase The Pay Of Travel Nurses:

Work Per Day and Take on More Shifts:

Traveling nurses are frequently paid by the hour, but certain organizations may give you the choice of daily payment, which might be more lucrative. If you are paid per diem, you may also decide to take on extra shifts on your days off or work two shifts even though you’re salaried hourly.

Keep Several Nursing Licenses:

Having multiple nursing licenses gives you access to a much wider range of job opportunities. This implies that you can be offered the option to select assignments with better remuneration.

Become More Specialized:

Travel nurses with more specialized careers typically make more money than their less-specialized counterparts, particularly if they decide to work as a surgical nurse, a temporary nurse manager, a scientist, or a trauma nurse. Another career option is to work as a travel healthcare professional.

Take Up More Responsibilities:

Take on high-demand jobs, which may involve working long hours or spending time in neglected places. These jobs are more difficult to fill with travel nurses, thus many of them pay more to entice candidates.

Recommend A Traveler:

When you recommend a travel nurse, certain travel nursing firms will give you the chance to receive an extra bonus. You might receive a portion of the referral incentive at the time the nurse joins and the remaining sum after their initial assignment is finished.

What Makes A Travel Nurse Stands Out:

How Much Do Travel Nurses Make

The Capacity To Develop And Learn New Talents:

The best travel nurse is knowledgeable and skilled as well as eager to explore new places and try new things.

The finest nurses travel to advance their careers and learn new things, but travelers have a variety of motives. In travel nursing, those who are eager to learn new things and develop new abilities can succeed.

As a traveler, you must be open-minded and eager to learn because every hospital operates in a different way, and you must be prepared to adopt new practices.

A Positive Outlook:

Not just in the field of travel nursing, but for the nursing profession as a whole, a positive outlook is essential. Nurses will find increased success and satisfaction if they are friendly and optimistic.

As a travel nurse, having a cheerful attitude always makes things better, even when there is a problem.

Flexible Thinking And An Open Mind:

Travel nurses who are willing to be flexible with their work expectations and availability can step in to support a unit and become valuable members of the team.

On the contrary hand, it is considerably more difficult to place nurses who are rigid about their routines and the days they cannot or are unwilling to work.

It’s crucial to be able to move between units as needed and to be adaptable to the ups and downs of hospital operations.

Adaptability To Change:

Recruiters seek nurses who push themselves beyond their comfort zones and exhibit perseverance. You’ll be entering these hospitals, receiving single or multiple two days of orientation, and you’ll need to be ready to, so to speak, “roll with the punches.”

It will be more challenging to succeed in travel nursing if you are highly rigid, disciplined, or accustomed to doing things one way.


A great technique to persuade people to choose a profession in nursing is travel nursing. Very few jobs allow workers to see the entirety of what there is to see around the nation at the expense of their employers. It is anticipated that travel nursing would keep on growing as more nurses learn about the advantages of this type of nursing, which can include not just the compensation but also the benefits to their personal and professional lives.

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