How to Earn More | Travel Nurse Salary

Everything You Need to Know about a Travel Nurse Salary

Travel nursing is most commonly identified as a profession that offers a higher salary than that of a traditional registered nurse. Findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the median annual salary for registered nurses is upwards of $70,000+ per year—while travel nurses can earn more than $100,000. Moreover, the agency predicts that the median wage of nurses will grow by 15% from 2016-2026: a fairly rapid growth projection, particularly when compared to other occupations.

Other forms of compensation typically included for a travel nurse encompass housing stipends, travel reimbursements, and healthcare benefits: all of which are offered by top-rated staffing agencies. While motivations to pursue different career trajectories vary, the earning potential for travel nurses largely depends on geographical location, specialty, and level of education.

What are the top paying states for travel nurses?

Several components can influence where a travel nurse can make the most money. One of the primary factors that can impact a nurse’s salary range is geographic location, dictated by the available supply and demand for nurses in any specified area. While nurses are often initially drawn to the larger, top-paying cities, it can also be beneficial to evaluate the living costs associated with such metropolises. In some cases, the housing market may be inflated: thus potentially cutting into overall earnings. 

Although larger urban areas are frequently correlated with top-tiered salaries, some facilities in less populated areas will extend generous compensation packages when faced with a high demand for travel nurses. The following are the highest paying cities in the U.S. for travel nursing, as reported by employment search engine ZipRecruiter:

  1. San Jose, CA | Annual salary: $104,316
  2. New York City, NY | Annual salary: $101,424
  3. Seattle, WA | Annual salary: $100,389
  4. Boston, MA | Annual salary: $100,271
  5. Washington, D.C. | Annual salary: $98,442
  6. Los Angeles, CA | Annual salary: $97,383
  7. Florida, NY | Annual salary: $97,642
  8. Anchorage, AK | Annual salary: $97,216
  9. Chicago, IL | Annual salary: $94,957
  10. Minneapolis, MN | Annual salary: $94,755

Tax-free wages

Moreover, travel nurses can further benefit from flexibility and compensation delivered in the form of tax-free stipends, which include travel reimbursements, housing aid, and healthcare benefits. Qualifications for non-taxable income require a permanent residence, maintenance of the home’s expenses, and work in a state that is not the nurse’s established tax home. The government works to ensure that travel nurses do not pay taxes twice by limiting tax payments to one state. 

In addition to a tax-free income, travel nurses can deduct travel expenses when filing taxes, with deductions such as transportation expenses, housing costs, meals, and dry-cleaning. 

Living stipends

Some of the most reputable, accommodating staffing agencies will assist travel nurses in finding living arrangements while on assignment. More seasoned travel nurses who are savvy enough to find their own accommodations will receive living stipends, which are applied towards housing arrangements of their choosing. Nurses traveling to areas in which their family or friends reside can stay as guests, reserving the living stipend to add to their overall compensation. 

Do your due diligence

Travel nurses’ compensation packages will be unique to their specific assignments. It can prove helpful to build a relationship with recruiters in order to understand the different assets offered by staffing agencies before committing to an assignment.

While there is a multitude of variables that make up a pay package, it is crucial to not focus on any one set of numbers. When evaluating a prospective opportunity, compare the salary in addition to the benefits offered—and recognize the dollar amount associated with the latter.

Let us be your guide!

The experts at MedPro Healthcare Staffing will help you find assignments in top facilities to further your travel nursing career. When you sign on with MedPro, you’ll be eligible to receive The MedPro Experience®, a personalized employee engagement program that embraces and celebrates you and your career. To learn more about this unique and exciting offering, contact us today at 1-800-866-8108, or apply here!

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