Travel Nurse Salary
What is a Travel Nurse Salary?
A travel nurse salary is the average annual wage for a traveling nurse. It is calculated by taking into account all the factors that contribute to a nurse’s earnings, such as their experience level and location.
How Much Does a Travel Nurse Make?
The average travel nurse salary is $68,000, which is actually higher than the average RN salary ($68,950). Of course, this number can vary widely depending on your experience level, specialty, company, and location.
The salary range for travel nurses is $44,000-$100,000, which is a pretty big gap. The lower end of the spectrum is more common among travel nurses who are just starting out or who have limited experience.
On the other hand, the upper end of the spectrum is more likely to be earned by travel nurses who are highly skilled and have been in the field for a long time.
The travel nurse salary can also vary depending on the shift you work. Some facilities pay more for night shifts than they do for day shifts.
Benefits of Becoming a Travel Nurse
- Higher Pay - As previously mentioned, travel nurses tend to earn more than their stationary counterparts. This is because agencies have to pay for your housing and travel expenses, which are not factored in to the typical RN salary.
- Greater Opportunities - Because travel nursing positions are short-term contracts, you have the opportunity to work in many different locations.
You may even have the chance to work in different fields, depending on what types of assignments are available in certain regions.
- Experience - You have the chance to gain valuable experience in a variety of specialties. This is great if you’re looking to switch fields or advance your current career.
- New Friends
- You have the opportunity to meet new people while traveling and make lifelong friends along the way. You may even meet your next significant other!
- New Experiences
- Travel nursing provides you with the opportunity to visit new and exciting locations.
You have the chance to see and experience things that you may never have otherwise.
You also have the chance to visit places that you’ve always wanted to go.
Downsides to Travel Nursing
- No Committed Work Schedule
- The biggest downside to becoming a travel nurse is the lack of stability.
Although you may be able to choose your assignments, you don’t know when you’ll be working at all.
This can be especially stressful if you have a family.
- Poor Work-Life Balance
- Another disadvantage to the travel nursing lifestyle is the poor work-life balance.
Since you don’t have any set hours, you have to be prepared to work around your family’s schedule.
And you have to be prepared to work more hours than you would if you were employed at one facility.
- Poor Work Conditions
- Some facilities that employ travel nurses do not offer the same level of care that other facilities do.
They may employ travel nurses in order to cut costs. This can be a big issue if you’re in a specialty that requires strict guidelines and protocols.
- No Benefits - Another big downside to the travel nursing lifestyle is that you don’t receive any benefits.
You do not get paid time off, health insurance, or retirement benefits. There are rare occasions in which some agencies may provide benefits, but they are not guaranteed.
- No Pension - Aside from no benefits, you also don’t have access to a pension. This can be problematic if you’re planning on retiring early.
How to Become a Travel Nurse
- Get Experience - In order to become a travel nurse, you first need to gain experience in your specific field. This can be done by working at a stationary job or by participating in a clinical rotation.
You can also work as a travel tech or travel medical assistant, which can help you gain the skills and experience you need to make the transition.
- Get Certified - Once you have experience in your field, you’ll have to get certified. Different specialties require different certifications, so you’ll have to do your research to see what’s required.
Two certifications that are almost always required for travel nurses are the BLS (Basic Life Support) and ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support).
- Join an Agency - Once you have the experience and certifications necessary to become a travel nurse, you have to find an agency.
This is where you’ll find the best jobs and have the most control over your schedule. You can use travel nurse websites to find agencies in your area, or you can search for agencies on websites like Indeed and Monster.
Travel nursing is a great way to earn extra cash while experiencing new places. It can also help you gain experience in a new field or advance in your current career.
But it’s not for the faint of heart. Becoming a travel nurse requires a lot of hard work, long hours, and a strong sense of self-discipline. If you’re willing to make the sacrifice, though, it can be a very rewarding and lucrative career.