Although most nurses get hired on staff full time, there are the other kinds of nurses who are hired on a contract basis across the country and world. These are the travel nurses, and a question often asked of them is do they make more money than regular nurses? The short answer is yes.
Because travel nurses get to decide which city they work in, they can often find better deals in another area than they would locally. For example, a more rural nurse could make about $45,000 a year. However, if they got travel nurse job in a more metropolitan area, such as San Francisco, the average salary could go up to and past the $70,000 mark.
As with many nursing positions, the more education you have the better. For example, an average travel nurse makes a salary of $55,000 a year when all 50 states are figured in according to Simply Hired. However, the same site lists the average salary for travel registered nurse as $61,000. Because travel nurses go where they are needed rather than wait for demand in their hometowns to increase, there is more potential for better pay.
And these are just the measurable benefits of salary increase. There are also tons of other benefits to becoming a travel nurse. Employers who really need nurses can also pay for living expenses, moving, sign up bonuses, and more which can literally add thousands to base salary. Other benefits of becoming a travel nurse can include a tax advantage called Per Diem. This is when the traveling nurse maintains a home but is not able to live there because of work duties. Because travel nurses can often have expenses outside of what an employer pays, these expenses often come with tax breaks.
The downside to becoming a travel nurse is that there is loads of traveling, which can be hard on families. There are also limitations when a nursing license is earned in one state but the nurse wants to work in another. However, each of the 50 states has their own rules for accepting nurses from the other 49 states and there is also the Nurse Licensure Compact which enables multistate licensure for nurses, so be sure and speak to a travel nurse expert before embarking on a new career.