Career Development September 29, 2022

By Cassandra Damascus

How Much Does a Travel Nurse Make?

When healthcare facilities need experienced nurses to fill nurse-to-patient ratios, they relay on travel nurses to fill in the void and get the job done. Travel nurses accept short-term assignments – typically thirteen weeks, to ensure high-quality patient care regardless of whether the healthcare facility is having staffing shortages. Due to the flexible nature of the job and the experience the nurse brings to the table, travel nurses are typically paid more than permanent staff nurses.

Average Travel Nurse Salary

As of September 2022, the average travel nurse salary is $1,998 per week. (Indeed) There is potential for nurses to earn even more based on their location and specialty.

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Highest Paying Travel Nursing Specialties

Speaking of specialties, the higher the demand of a nurse specialty, the higher the salary. The top five specialties for travel nurses include:

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) is the most sought-after nurse specialty because CVICU nurses are responsible for caring for patients after heart transplants and open-heart surgeries. CVICU nurses can generally earn $2,223 to $4,406 per week.

Labor and Delivery (L&D) nurses are also in high demand. These nurses are invaluable and work in the maternity wards. An L&D travel nurse generally earns anywhere from $2,342 to $6,231 per week.

Emergency Room (ER) nurses treat patients who are in critical condition and suffering from trauma or a condition that requires emergency attention. ER nurses can earn up to $1,900 to $4,284 per week.

Progressive Care Unit (PCU) is a high demand nurse specialty. PCU nurses are quick to think on their feet as they monitor the vital signs of patients. PCU nurses can earn up to $1,914 to $4,333 a week.

Telemetry (TELE) travel nurses monitor patients’ vital signs and assist doctors with various procedures. TELE travel nurses perform the same duties as nurses in permanent positions but earn $1,967 to $4,191 per week depending on the assignment.

Highest Paying Travel Nurses Locations

The highest paying travel nurse locations are typically always in California and New York, with other cities, such as Orlando, FL. and Atlanta, GA. joining. The highest paying cities in the U.S. for travel nurses are New York, New York; San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; Omaha, Nebraska; and Fort Myers, Florida. (Indeed)

As of September 2022, the states with the highest demand for travel nurses are California, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Find out why travel nurses are flocking to Pennsylvania this fall.

Traveling Nurse Competition and Benefits

Travel nurses are always in demand, but the competition is found chasing the highest salary. Fortunately, salary can be supplemented with benefits, and the benefits of working with American Mobile are exponential.

American Mobile offers premium health benefits with access to health insurance, life insurance, vision insurance, and disability insurance for nurses and their families. Even better, some benefits begin on the first day a travel nurse starts their assignment. Additionally, American Mobile offers 401k matching, free CEUs, licensure assistance, 24/7 clinical support, and the largest network of healthcare facilities to ensure nurses can work in a variety of healthcare settings.

How to Increase your Travel Nurse Pay

Travel nurses can increase their pay, and it doesn’t even require negotiations. American Mobile recruiter, Levi L., shared, “If you want to maximize how much you make there are different strategies such as finding low housing cost so that you can take home more money, take housing we provide, or take the housing subsidy. Also, take a look at tax rates. Some states don’t have state income tax, while in California nurses receive time and half (overtime pay) if they work over eight hours.

Another option would be considering various certifications. For example, some ER nurse positions pay more for nurses who have a TNCC certification.”

“The best option is to tell your recruiter your financial or compensation goals. While you can easily find the highest wages using AMN Passport, you don’t always want to base your final decision on the wage to meet your compensation goals.

That’s what the recruiter is here for – to maximize your compensation and optimize your experience.”

If you’re interested in earning top dollar as a travel nurse, complete our quick-start application or browse current positions.

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