Travel nursing salary is one of the most important factors you will consider when thinking about applying for a travel nurse position.
Traveling nurse salary is sometimes more than that of full-time, permanent staff. Travel nurses also receive medical benefits, paid housing and reimbursement for travel costs.
Calculating the annual income of a travel nurse is tricky. Each contract offers different base pay, reimbursements, and non-taxable items. One job might offer a high hourly wage but lower allowances.
For instance, in Arizona you tend to make a higher base pay somewhere in the realm of $23-$24/hr but your housing stipend is only $1000/month.
In California, your base pay may be $18-$20/hr but your housing stipend may be $2000/month for example, depending on facility, and you get overtime pay for anything over eight hours. If you are strategic enough you can take advantage of each financial situation with each contract.
Too get a complete picture of travel nurse salary, you have to get a lot of pieces of information from your recruiter, then “blend” all types of pay together to see your true hourly rate. Here’s an example:
|$250/wk for meals X 13 weeks:||$3,250|
|$2,000 per month lodging X 3 months:||$6,000|
|$500 travel reimbursement (one time):||$500|
|Divided by total hours worked||/468 hours|
|Non-taxable stipend pay per hour:||= $20.83|
|Add base pay:||+$20|
|Total blended rate:||$40.83 per hour|
Sample Travel Nurse Compensation Breakdown
From my own personal experience I can promise you that a travel nurse’s salary is quite competitive to a staff nurse’s salary. Some of the benefits of being a traveler is that you can take advantage of tax free reimbursements by finding your own housing, accept crisis pay contracts or assignments that guarantee four shifts a week and take extension bonuses that are offered at the end of your contracts.
As long as you manage your money and your time well, you will do very well as a travel nurse.
Typically, the travel nursing agency pays for the nurse’s housing and living arrangements as part of the compensation package. Many health facilities and hospitals have off-campus living quarters where temporary or visiting staff can live free of charge.
Travel nurses usually receive health and wellness benefits. Medical, dental, and vision insurance are often covered. Some employers will even provide matching bonuses to retirement savings funds.
Finally, some travel nurses will be offered sizable monetary bonuses at the end of an assignment. Some are even offered an extended contract or a full-time position.
When you add up all aspects of travel nurse salary, you discover that traveling RNs are among the highest paid nurses in the medical field.
Nurses who think they are ready to explore their earning potential as a traveler should check today’s opportunities.
Find excellent positions that match your experience and start earning more.