What Is The Average Travel Nurse Salary In 2023? [Full Guide]

As we venture into 2023, the landscape of healthcare and the demand for traveling nurses continues to evolve. Amidst the ever-changing healthcare landscape, one question persists: What is the average travel nurse salary? Travel nursing offers a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals to combine their passion for nursing with the thrill of exploration and adventure.

In this article, we explore the current landscape of travel nurse salaries in 2023, shedding light on the earning potential and factors that influence compensation in this dynamic field.

Traveling Nurse Salary

Traveling nurses is a new nursing profession that is making a wave in the healthcare industry. They are often used as fill-in staff occupying important and demanding positions in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare agencies where there is a shortage of qualified healthcare practitioners, especially nurses.

Job Descriptions

Traveling nurses work short-term, typically on a contract basis, with employment lasting for a few weeks, months, or one or more years.  Once their working period with an organization elapses, they transition to another job assignment in another healthcare organization.

Interestingly, traveling nurses are not confined to practice in one geographical location but can practice anywhere in the world as long as they have and meet the necessities required criteria.

Traveling nurse salaries cannot be entirely grasped because there are so many grey areas. However, comparing different sources online, the travel nurse pay scale of this healthcare professional is broken below.

Hourly Salary

Like most professions out there, travel nurses are paid by the hour. As such, the average hourly rate for a travel nurse is $56.49.

Monthly Salary

A travel nurse monthly salary has a starting average of $9,790 per month. However, a travel nurse salary monthly may differ depending on bonuses and the hours worked for the month.

Annually Salary

The annual average salary earned by traveling nurses ranges from $78,430 to $170,680.

Note that different factors affect the exact amount a travel nurse can earn, such as bonuses, hours worked, years of experience, and the nature of the assignment, which happens to be the biggest factor that influences travel nurse salary.

Travel Nurses’ Salary Based on the Nature of Assignment

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Another factor to consider regarding the salary of traveling nurses is to consider the Pay Scale of the various types of traveling nurses. The salary here is peculiar to the nature of assignments done by traveling nurses.

Remember, we earlier noted that the nature of the assignment is the major factor that affects the amount paid to these professionals.

Critical Care Travel Nurse

The salary of a critical care travel nurse is estimated at $56.52 (hourly), $9,800 (monthly), and $117,570 (annually)

Home Health Travel Nurse

A home health travel nurse’s salary is estimated at $51.63 (hourly, $8,950 (monthly), and $107,400 (annually).

Pediatric Travel Nurse

Pediatric travel nurses are expected to earn an hourly salary of $50.04 monthly salary of $8,670 and an annual salary of $104,090

Emergency Room (ER) Travel Nurse

ER travel nurse salary is estimated at $54.86 (hourly), $9,510 (monthly) and $114,110 (annually).

Labor and Delivery Travel Nurse

Labor and delivery travel nurse earn an estimated salary of $51.06 (hourly), $8,850 (monthly), and $106,200 (annually).

Travel Nurse Practitioner

Travel nurse practitioners are expected to earn an hourly salary of $79.53, a monthly salary of $13,790, and an annual salary of $165,420.

Hospice Travel Nurse

The salary of a Hospice travel nurse is estimated to be $55.12 (hourly), $9,550 (monthly), and $114,640 (annually).

Operation Room (OR) Travel Nurse

Nurses that work as OR travel nurses are expected to earn an hourly salary of $58.47 monthly salary of $10,130 and an annual salary of $121,610

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Travel Nurse

The salary of an ICU travel nurse is estimated to be $55.12 (hourly), $9,550 (monthly), and $114,640 (annually).

LPN/LVN Travel Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Licensed vocational nurses (LVN) Nurses who work as LPN/LVN travel nurses earn an estimated salary of $35.48 (hourly), $6,150 (monthly), and $73,800 (annually).

Registered Nurse (RN) Travel Nurse

Nurses that work as RN travel nurses are expected to earn an hourly salary of $56.49 monthly salary of $9,790, and an annual salary of $117,490

Note that the salary stated above can be less or higher; also the amount tends to vary based on the aforementioned factors.

Bonuses Enjoyed by Travel Nurse

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Aside from the salary package earned by travel nurses, which is quite impressive, there are bonuses entitled to these professionals. Travel nurses enjoy bonuses such as insurance coverage, travel reimbursement, free food and housing stipend, and sign-on and retention bonuses, among others.

How to Increase Your Salary As A Travel Nurse

As a travel nurse, there are advantages you can exploit to increase your salary. These are:

Work Per Day

If you are fortunate and the organization you work for as travel nurses accept to pay you per day instead of the typical hourly payment, it means you can make more earnings. So, leveraging this option to earn more as a daily payment is often more than an hourly payment.

Pick Up Extra Shifts

If you want to make more money as a travel nurse, you can leverage taking up extra shifts, especially on your day off, or you can work a double shift to increase your earnings.

Select High-Demand Assignment

Earlier, we stated that the nature of the assignment is the biggest factor that influences travel nurse salary. So, if you want to earn more money as a travel nurse, try to take up high-demand assignments, especially the ones that require long hours spent in the work location.

The more difficult the job, the more money, and incentives you will take home.

Get Specialized

Traveling nurses that are specialized earn more money, especially if their specialty is in high demand. Specialty travel nurses such as surgical nurses, fill-in nurse managers, and trauma nurses, among others, are among the highest-paid travel nurse specialty.

Types of Travel Nurses

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Travel nurses are demanded in almost every clinical department existing in the healthcare setting. As such, this gave rise to different types of travel nurses. The types of travel nurses are identified below.

Critical Care Travel Nurse

Critical care travel nurses are versatile, working in different critical units in the healthcare facility, such as emergency rooms, intensive care units, or specialty departments such as pediatrics units, trauma and burn units, and cardiac units, among others.

Home Health Travel Nurse

Home health travel nurses, just as the name implies, typically provide care and treatment to patients in their homes. They carry out a variety of job duties, such as taking vital signs, helping patients with mobility issues, cleaning wounds, administering medication, and drawing blood.

Pediatric Travel Nurse

Pediatric travel nurses are trained to care for pediatrics (children) and as well work alongside physicians and other health care providers. Their responsibilities include providing routine checkups for children of all ages.

Emergency Room (ER) Travel Nurse

Emergency room travel nurse works in the emergency room of the health agency or hospital where they are employed. They are alert and always prepared for quick and immediate action to attend to patients brought on emergency conditions.

Labor and Delivery Travel Nurse

Labor and delivery travel nurses carry out the specific job of tending to pregnant women during and after delivery. They are trained to care for mothers during labor and birth, as well as provide the infant’s initial postpartum care supervised by a nurse-midwife or physician.

Psychiatric Travel Nurse

We all know that handling psychiatric patients can be tasking, and it requires a lot of patience and commitment.

Psychiatric travel nurses ought to be well prepared to deal with uncooperative and perhaps violent patients in a peaceful manner. Also, they need to discharge their responsibilities skillfully and professionally.

Operation Room (OR) Travel Nurse

Operating room travel nurses perform their tasks in the operating room where surgical procedures are performed on patients. They work vis-à-vis skilled surgeons and other OR staff during surgical processes. OR travel nurse can work as a scrub nurse or circular nurse.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Travel Nurse

Intensive care unit travel nurse has large responsibilities, and they are the highest-paid travel nurses because of the plethora of tasks they perform. To succeed as an ICU travel nurse, you must have sufficient knowledge in handling and operating modern medical devices as well. Also, you have to learn how to professionally handle IVs, cardiac arrest, and patients’ anesthesia and medication doses.

Registered Nurse (RN) Travel Nurse

A registered nurse has completed a degree or associate degree course in nursing and has been duly licensed to practice. RN travel nurses carry out basic roles such as assessing and identifying the needs of patients.

They also implement and monitor the patient’s medical plan and treatment, and many more activities conducted according to the policies and standards of the health agency they work for.

Telemetry Travel Nurse

Telemetry nurses who take up the role of travel nurse are known to perform versatile tasks such as reviewing and interpreting data that are measured by advanced medical devices.

Also, they provide care for patients that are critically ill, monitor the condition of patients in telemetry units, and administer medication as well.

Do Travel Nurses Make a Lot of Money?

Nurses earn a lot of money, considering making a minimum of 450 per hour with a monthly salary reaching over $8000, which is quite a handful for such a profession.

What Is The Highest Salary For A Travel Nurse?

The highest salary for Travel Nurses is approximately $130,870 annually. For a nurse to earn this amount, the hourly salary would be $62.92, weekly pay will amount to $2,517, and monthly amount $10,910.

Is It Worth Being A Travel Nurse?

A travel nurse typically carries out the same task as a nurse in a hospital. Depending on the nature of the assignment, however, the pay is quite impressive, which is the major reason many nurses are enrolling to become travel nurses.

Do Travel Nurses Get Free Housing?

Yes! In most cases, travel nurses are offered free housing by the company or health agency that recruited them. On the other hand, travel nurses are paid a housing stipend should the nurse not like it or there is no provision for housing so they can pay for their rent.

Is It Hard To Become A Travel Nurse?

Becoming a travel nurse requires that you already are a certified nurse. Afterward, you have to wait for a minimum of 1-year after completing your studies to enroll as a travel nurse. During your work, you can take up additional studies to specialize in a particular field.

What Are The Cons Of Travel Nursing?

Every profession has its downside. Just as there are many advantages and benefits of working as a travel nurse, also there are cons attached to the profession. These are:

  1. Frequent traveling
  2. Being away from family, friends, and loved ones, if possible, for a long time.
  3. Loneliness
  4. Frequent job searches because travel nurse job is contract base and most time temporary or permanent within a period.
  5. loads of paperwork to deal with, especially if you need multiple state licensing.
  6. the job can be terminated or canceled before the agreed contract date.
  7. The disparity in salary and benefits is based on geographical location and the company that will employ you.

Is Travel Nursing Stressful?

Travel nursing can be stressful, considering the nature of the assignment carried out. Also, the frequent movement from one place to another and the workload in the healthcare facility can be overwhelming as well.

Are Travel Nurses Happy?

Comparing several sources online, it is evident that the majority of travel nurses are happy typically because of the benefits they enjoy from the job.

What State Has The Highest RN Salary?

The state with the highest RN salary is California. An RN’s salary in the state is estimated to be around $124,000 annually, which is the overall highest compared to other states in the country.

How Long Are Traveling Nurses Gone?

The period a traveling nurse can be done depends on the length of the assignment. Typically, most assignments last for 13 weeks (about four months). Some assignments can extend beyond that, going to 26 weeks or more. However, some assignments can be renewed that is if the employer and the nurse are on good terms and have a proper agreement.

Where Do Most Travel Nurses Go?

Most travel nurses will go where they will make more money than their counterparts. From our findings compiling our information, we found out that most travel nurses go to California, Washington D.C., Florida, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, and North Carolina.

Where Do The Happiest Nurses Work?

Home health nurses are considered to be the happiest set of nurses. Why? Because home health nurses are believed to enjoy higher job satisfaction due to autonomy and less vigorous supervision from superiors or management.

It is not a surprise because home health nurses provide care to patients in their homes, where they make all the decisions without being heavily supervised or pressured to be on their toes at all times.

What Type Of Nurse Is Most In Demand?

Although home health nurses are deemed the happiest nurses, registered nurses are the most in-demand set of nurses in the healthcare industry

Are Nurses Rich?

Nurses earn a decent salary like most professional careers. However, not all nurses are on the same level financially as some are paid higher than others depending on their employer, geographic location of the health facility, years of work experience, and nature of the assignment.

On average, a registered nurse’s salary ranges from $70,000 to $100,000 annually.

Can Nurses Make Six Figures?

Nurses can make six figures, but it depends on their specialization, health facility or organization, the geographic location where they work, and years of work experience contribute immensely to this assertion.

Why Is Travel Nursing Paying So Much?

Travel nursing is paid so much because of the nature of the job. Also, because they work short term carrying out a difficult task that comes with compensation and bonuses that comes with the job.

What Benefits Do Travel Nurses Get?

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The benefits that come with the job of traveling nursing are the major reason why most nurses are taking up the job. The benefits enjoyed by these professionals include:

  • Impressive salary
  • Enjoy tax-free money
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Easily land jobs
  • Making new acquaintances
  • Traveling
  • Working with different professionals
  • Work in a variety of healthcare settings
  • Learning new skills and improving experience

Travel Nurse Salary vs. Regular Nurse

During data sourcing, we found out that a travel nurse’s salary is more than a regular nurse’s salary. The minimum a travel nurse can earn per hour is a little below $50, while regular nurses earn from $30 per hour.

Do travel nurses make more than nurse practitioners?

In 2019, the top five states offering the most lucrative travel nursing opportunities for nurse practitioners were as follows:

  • California: Nurses in this state earned an average salary of $133,780.
  • Alaska: Nurse practitioners in Alaska were compensated with an average salary of $122,800.
  • Massachusetts: The average salary for nurse practitioners in Massachusetts reached $122,740.
  • New Jersey: Nurse practitioners in New Jersey enjoyed an average salary of $122,100.
  • New York: The average salary for nurse practitioners in New York stood at $120,970.

Traveling Nurse Salary Per Hour

Traveling nurses’ salary per hour begins at $50. The salary, however, depends on the company and location of work.

A travel nurse is a growing and lucrative profession that you can exploit as a nurse. The demand for a travel nurse is increasing since the pandemic of COVID-19, so leverage the opportunity to make money and enjoy all the benefits attached to becoming a travel nurse.