Thinking about a career as a travel nurse? If you’ve ever thought about travel nursing, you’re not alone. Travel nursing is exciting. Not only can you visit different hospitals around the United States, but you might be able to travel globally. You can meet lots of new people and the money is great, too!
Because there’s a nursing shortage in some locations, nurses are called upon to help fill shifts. These might be short-term roles but the quality of care that you provide is important. Travel nurses might fill in for maternity leave or to cover if a department is short-staffed. Your training, experience, and expertise make you a valuable asset to any team that you work with.
Here are a few advantages that travel nurses have and reasons why you might want to consider this type of exciting career.
TRAVEL NURSING ADVANTAGES:
As a travel nurse, there are several advantages that you can enjoy. Travel nursing advantages can include higher pay and signing bonuses. Other advantages include relocation assistance and housing. And there are many other advantages which we’ll explore…
You’ll Have High Pay as a Travel Nurse
Because you taking on short-term work assignments, the pay scale is different. Instead of an annual salary or a job opening that includes an hourly rate, the pay scale might be broken down into weekly pay, specialty, job title, and location.
Some nurses will look at the salary structure and select the highest paying opportunities first. They may want to pay student loans off early in their careers or they may want to buy their first home.
Here are a few examples:
- Travel Nurse Labor & Delivery RN, Day Shift, California $3,080 per week
- Travel Nurse Medical Surgical RN, Night Shift, New York $2,194 per week
- Travel Nurse OR RN, Day Shift, Massachusetts, $1,800 per week
- Travel Nurse Pediatric RN, Flex Shift, Louisiana, 13-Week duration
- Travel Nurse PICU RN, Night Shift, California, 8-week duration
Traveling Nurse Salary Structures
From the sample breakdown, you can get an idea of how job listings are set up. This can help if you are thinking about travel nursing as a career and you want to consider a particular specialty like pediatrics or med-surg.
Typical schedules range from four weeks to thirteen weeks in duration. There are thousands of nursing jobs available all over the United States. You can enjoy many advantages in your nursing career and have consistent working opportunities.
A traveling nurse has a lot to consider when they select a position they want to apply for. They may see salaries that are higher than what a full-time nurse might make. That’s because travel nurses are like temps where they are not receiving a full benefits package. They tend to be paid higher because the positions aren’t permanent.
With travel nursing, you might receive paid housing and some medical benefits. You might also receive money as reimbursement for your related travel expenses. This might include reimbursement to cover flights, a hotel, and car expenses.
Travel Nurse Salary Breakdowns
Maybe you did a search online for “How are travel nurses paid?” Because travel nurses are paid based on their contracts, it’s hard to calculate a total salary for a travel nurse. Some job opportunities might pay more than others. They may pay a higher salary and have fewer benefits or vice versa.
An example is a travel nurse in Missouri that makes $24 per hour and receives a separate housing stipend that totals $1,000 per month. This may be completely different if you were to work in California. Your housing stipend might be $2,000 per month, but the pay might be $20 per hour.
When you break down the total compensation it might look like this:
$300/week for meals x 14 weeks $4,200
$2,000/month for housing $6,000
$500 one-time signing bonus $500
Divided by total hours worked /600 hours = $17.83
Add in the base pay $25/hour
Total compensation $42.83 per hour
As you can see, as a traveling RN, you can make a lot of money. The average hourly schedule for travel nurses can go as high as $48 per hour for specialty job opportunities. RNs are among the highest paid professions in the world.
Hour Guarantees and Pay Guarantees
With travel nursing, you might be wondering if nurses have set schedules with each job assignment. You might also want to know what kind of guarantee nurses will have that they’ll be working when they travel.
Because of the high demand for RNs, travel nurses can select assignments that have specific hours each week. This can vary by employer. When you find a particular job opening that you’re interested in, talk to your recruiter about the assignments. While they can vary, the range can go typically from 48 to 60 hours per week depending on the employer.
With the pay guarantee, talk to your recruiter. They can outline the pay guarantee in your travel nursing contract. This helps to ensure you will get paid even if a shift has been canceled.
Sign-On Bonuses, Referral Bonuses, and Completion Bonuses
Travel nurses get all kinds of perks and rewards:
A signing bonus might be added to particular job assignments where they have a nursing shortage. Your signing bonus is not part of your housing allowance. This would be a one-time bonus to take that particular assignment. Signing bonuses can range from about $250 to $6,000 depending on the employer.
Know another travel nurse? You might be eligible for a referral bonus. A referral bonus can range from about $100 to $500.
Another great perk is that some companies offer sizable end-of-assignment bonuses. They may offer this if you performed stellar work and didn’t take any time off. The employer may even extend your contract or contact you in the future about a potential full-time opportunity.
Aside from the higher pay, there are other advantages which we’ll explore next.
You Can Decide Where You Want to Work and Vacation
Another great advantage to working as a travel nurse is you can travel to exciting destinations all over the United States. When you start looking at available job opportunities, there might be a few states that you want to travel to. That’s how most travel nurses start out in their careers.
Here are a few areas that might interest you:
- California: Visit Hollywood, LA, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, San Francisco, Yosemite
- New York: Visit New York City, the Catskills, Long Island, or Niagara Falls
- Florida: Visit Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, or Tampa
- Nevada: Visit Las Vegas or Reno
- Hawaii: Visit Maui, Kauai, Waikiki, or Honolulu
When you select a nursing assignment, consider the location and any nearby tourist destinations that you would like to visit. This can make for an exciting trip – especially if you plan to visit every state!
Now, let’s take a look at other advantages that travel nurses have. And, there’s a lot more!
You Can Receive a Housing Allowance and Relocation Assistance
As a travel nurse, there are a lot of perks. When you sign up with a travel agency, they might pay for your living arrangements. This can be included as part of your total compensation package. But, don’t worry. You don’t have to scramble to find your own housing in a new location you’re not familiar with.
Free Housing or Housing Reimbursement
Most hospitals and health facilities will have some type of housing arrangement for visiting and temporary staff. This is common in teaching hospitals. That means the stress is taken out of housing and the good news is that most housing that’s provided is furnished. This makes it easier on you if you’re only in a particular area for a few weeks.
The housing provided may include covering the cost of utilities. Furnished units usually include modern appliances, too. The locations are usually on hospital grounds or adjacent to the property. They may only be a short distance away. Should you elect to stay with friends or family, you may be eligible for a housing subsidy.
Relocation assistance might also be offered depending on the job assignment, the term of the assignment and the employer. They might cover basic moving expenses, flights, hotels, and rental cars. These are helpful ways to get you settled in to help you have what you need before you start your assignment.
Depending on the travel nursing agency you sign up with, your assistance package might include discounts on cell phone plans, roadside assistance, gym memberships, and rental cars.
You Can Receive Medical Benefits and Other Perks
Travel nurses are eligible to receive various types of health and wellness benefits. These can include medical insurance, dental coverage, and vision insurance. Some employers offer basic life insurance and insurance to cover accidental death or dismemberment coverage.
Depending on the employer, they might match your retirement savings and offer a 401(k) matching program. Travel nurses may contribute a total of $15,500 per year tax-free. If you’re over the age of 50, you can contribute a total of $20,500 per year tax-free.
Now, let’s talk about the people and the patients.
You Can Meet New People and Provide Great Care
A benefit to travel nursing is that you can meet a lot of new people. You might be working in different hospitals and medical facilities all over the United States. Keep in touch with the people you meet. You may get to meet other traveling nurses. And, of course, you’ll work with your fellow nurses, doctors, administrative staff and lab technicians. This can vary depending on the floor you are stationed on.
You might come back to work at that particular location if a full-time opportunity opens up. You might even pick up another assignment at the same location but on a different floor.
An additional advantage to travel nursing is it’s a rewarding career where you can make a difference in the lives of your patients.
You’ll Receive Nursing Support
As a travel nurse, it can be scary to start work in a new city where you don’t know anyone. But, you’re never alone. Most travel nursing agencies offer a 24-hour support line to help if you have any questions about your assignment.
Additionally, staff will help you with your credentials to confirm your licensing requirements are all in place. The travel nursing agency you sign with will also help you set up your direct deposit. They can answer any questions you have about traveling to a new city and what to expect when you start at a new facility.
Ultimately, starting a career as a traveling nurse can be an exciting time. There are so many great states to visit in the U.S. Travel nursing agencies do all they can to equip you with everything you’ll need to start your new assignment! Are you ready to get started?
Start a Career as a Travel Nurse Today…
Are you’re interested in finding out more about travel nursing? Or, do you have questions about this type of career? If you would like to look at the travel nursing opportunities that are available, you can find excellent opportunities with Stability Healthcare.
Ranked as the best travel nursing agency, Stability Healthcare can help you explore the nation’s top travel nurse jobs and opportunities with leading traveling nurse companies. Take the next step in your career. Earn the salary you want and have a flexible schedule so you can travel and meet great people. Contact Stability Healthcare today!