Looking for the best travel nursing agency? Want the best travel nurse salary? If you’re thinking about nursing as a career, you might be excited by the lure of a high paying 13-week travel nurse assignment. You can visit exotic locations and enjoy time off in places you would like to vacation. On the other hand, a staff RN or hospital-related nursing professions are also quite attractive.
Here’s the salary breakdown for various nursing professions, pros, cons, and tips to help you decide which area you might want to specialize in.
Salaries for RNs
Maybe you are thinking about becoming a RN. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average annual salary for RN is $68,450.
To earn your degree as a RN, you must attend a 2-year associate’s degree program or a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in nursing. When you complete the nursing diploma program you will then need to take and pass the NCLEX-RN examination to receive your license in registered nursing.
Average Salary for RNs by Industry
If you did a search for “What’s the most RNs can make?”, “What’s the highest RN salary?” or “What’s the most money an RN can make?” Depending on the area or industry you go into, these are the annual mean wages (AMW) based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Specialty RNs make $77,290.
- General medicine professions and hospital RNs make $75,820.
- Outpatient care facility RNs make $75,680.
- Substance abuse and psychiatric RNs make $71,290.
- Home health care service RNs make $70,230.
- Private doctor’s office RNs make $66,890.
- Nursing care facility RNs make $65,710.
- Want to make $288,000 in nursing? See the highest salaries RN’s can make below.
States Paying RNs the Highest Salaries
If you searched for “travel nurse salary in California”, “nursing salary 2018”, or “travel nurse salary by state”, you might want to know which state has the highest pay for RN’s. It’s California.
Here is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by state based on average mean wages:
- California pays RNs an AMW of $102,700 with the highest salaries in San Francisco, South San Francisco, and Redwood, City, CA at $139,700.
- Boston, Cambridge, Newton MA RNs make $97,130.
- Hawaii RNs make $96,990.
- Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Glendale, CA RNs make $95,650.
- New York and New Jersey RNs make $90,840.
- District of Columbia RNs make $90,110.
- Massachusetts RNs make $89,330.
- Oregon RNs make $88,770.
- Texas RNs make $72,070.
- New York RNs make $83,450.
- Florida RNs make $64,890.
- Pennsylvania RNs make $69,820.
Note: When selecting an area, consider the cost of living and crime rate. While Hawaii and Florida are beautiful locations, California can be expensive to live in.
Salaries for Advanced Practice RNs
One field that offers higher salaries is advanced practical (AP) nursing. To work in this particular area, you would need to have a master’s degree in a specialty area.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average annual salary for advanced practice nurses is $160,270. The average salary is $107,640 for certified nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, family nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.
Want the Highest Salary RN Anesthetists Can Make?
If you’re interested in which nursing professions make the most money. Here are a few salary details from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- In Northeast Iowa (non-metropolitan areas) nurse anesthetists make an AMW of $288,780.
- In San Francisco, CA (metropolitan division) nurse anesthetists make an AMW of $243,390.
- In Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, FL nurse anesthetists make an AMW of $193,190.
- In Montana, nurse anesthetists make an AMW of $252,460 followed by Wyoming with $250,460.
Note: When considering these areas, factor in extreme weather that may impact where you live and how you commute to work. Florida and Iowa receive their fair share of storms. Montana and Iowa can have severe winters affecting commutes. California is expensive to live in and prone to earthquakes.
Want the Highest Salary RN Practitioners Can Make?
If you want to know the highest salary RN practitioners (NPs) make based on annual mean wages, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states:
- Palm Bay, Titusville, and Melbourne, FL NPs make $164,180.
- Redwood City, San Francisco, and South San Francisco NPs make $151,660.
- Spokane and Spokane Valley, WA NPs make $150,040.
- Alexandria, LA NPs make $144,010.
- Salem, Peabody, and Beverly, MA NPs make $142,730.
- Big Thicket, TX (non-metropolitan) NPs make $143,670.
- Alaska (non-metropolitan) NPs make $137,330.
- Central Louisiana (non-metropolitan) NPs make $131,950.
- Southeast Alaska (non-metropolitan) NPs make $131,110.
- New Mexico (West and North, non-metropolitan) NPs make $129,020.
Salaries for Licensed Practical Nurses
If you’re considering a career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average annual salary for licensed practical nurses is $44,090.
To earn your degree as a licensed practical nurse, you must attend a 1-year program at a vocational school, a hospital or community college. Salaries for LPNs can vary depending on the specialty of nursing that you go into after graduation. Other considerations include your years of experience.
Recruiting Bonuses and Packages
Nursing recruitment perks can include starting bonuses, relocation help, tuition reimbursement, daycare, and help with housing. Bonuses can range anywhere from about $1,000 up to $20,000.
Travel Nurse Salary Incentives
Interested in a 13-week assignment with high pay? If you did a search for “How much money do travel RN’s make?”
Travel RNs can fill critical roles and can command higher salaries. Benefits include that hospitals may recruit for travel RN’s by offering lucrative starting salaries and hiring bonuses. Downsides include not knowing the staff, hospital layout or location. Traveler’s salaries include:
- Agency travel RNs can earn over $100,000.
- Glass Door states average salaries are $78,120 with the range from $52,000 to $93,000.
- PayScale sets the range from $43,207 to $106,926 based on hourly rates up to $49.88 and overtime up to $69.05 per hour.
How can you boost your travel nurse salary?
There are several ways to continually increase and maximize your travel nurse salary. The first place to start is by earning relevant certifications for your specialty. Then you need to be geographically flexible and prepared to act on an excellent assignment as when presented to you. You should be looking for assignments that provide new and challenging experiences at teaching and magnet hospitals whenever possible. Last, make sure you complete your assignment and leave a positive impact on the facility. References matter!
Are you interested in learning more? Contact one of our recruiters or explore our recruiter fee job page displaying Location and Pay details.
Looking for the Best Nursing Agency?
Stability Healthcare can help you find the great assignments in the best hospitals nationwide. Stability Healthcare is the top nursing staffing agency in California and one of the fastest growing in the United States. They offer great compensation packages including high pay assignments, referral bonuses, and great benefits. Search for nursing jobs by job types like ER, OR, or L&D jobs. You can also search for nursing jobs by state or search by nursing salary. To start an exciting career in a field you enjoy, contact Stability Healthcare today!