Many people wonder how a travel nurse salary compares to that of other nurses. The short answer is: Travel nurses tend to make more money. The difference in pay, of course, depends on the agency or company a travel nurse works for. Here’s a closer look at a travel nurse’s salary and how it compares to that of other types of nurses.
Why do travel nurses make more money?
There are several reasons why travel nurses make more money than other nurses. The biggest influence on the higher pay is the demand for those working in this occupation. With a higher demand for nurses who can travel on a temporary or permanent basis comes higher salary potentials. According to CNBC, the global coronavirus pandemic is driving travel nurse salaries to record highs.
How does a travel nurse salary work?
Travel nurses usually receive pay on top of their base salary; this is often included in a “total pay package.” A total pay package includes the base hourly wage and any extra compensation for lodging, food, and transportation expenses related to the job. It’s important to note that the extra pay is not considered income, therefore it does not have taxes withheld.
Here is an example of a monthly total pay package for a travel nurse:
|Base monthly pay (taxable) $3,500|
|Housing stipend $1,500|
|Meals stipend $900|
|Mileage stipend $600|
|One-time sign-on bonus $3,000|
Here is an example of a pay package for a non-traveling nurse:
|Base monthly pay (taxable): $3,500|
|Continuing education stipend: $600|
|One-time sign-on bonus: $2,000|
Discover your true salary range
Receive a free salary estimate in minutes. Then get matched with nursing jobs to pay it.
Do travel nurses have to travel far?
You don’t necessarily have to travel far from home to be a travel nurse. The salary of a travel nurse who doesn’t travel across state lines is often just as high as one who does go further distances.
As a traveling nurse, the more flexible you are with distance, the more job opportunities that will be available to you. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean a higher salary.
A travel nurse’s salary almost always includes compensation for lodging and travel expenses and is typically dependent on the required skills for the job and less so on the distance of the job from where you live. This is why it’s not uncommon for a travel nurse to make just as much money working 100 miles from home as they would if they were to work 300 miles from home.
If you want to become a travel nurse primarily because they make more money, then you should familiarize yourself with the locations that pay the highest nurse salaries.
- New York
- New Jersey
When considering whether to become a travel nurse, it’s important to consider all relevant factors. You’re likely to bring home more money on a travel nurse salary versus other areas of nursing. But, you’ll have to endure more travel than a typical nurse and many of your positions will be temporary.