As much as we wish it wasn’t important the salary of our jobs is. Travel nursing salaries are no different. Factors that must be considered when applying for travel nursing positions, include but are not limited to, housing, medical benefits, base salary and travel costs. Understanding and calculating travel nursing salaries can get quite complicated, so be sure you understand what is being offered before accepting a contract.
Travel Nursing Salaries – Examples
Every contract can offer different options, for example one job you apply for could offer lower hourly wages however, higher allowances. It makes calculating the annual income quite tricky. Contracts offer different levels of reimbursements, different base pays and different nontaxable items.
Let’s look at a couple different examples (Be aware these are just examples and not necessarily true representations of actual offers):
- In some states, for example Nevada you could make a higher hourly wage of $23-$24 per hour, but perhaps your housing allowance is only $1000 per month. You may also get the opportunity to increase your pay by working more than eight hours, collecting overtime. Also included is a stipend, weekly, for meals of $200.
- While in Massachusetts your base pay could be $19-$20 per hour, but your stipend for housing could be $2000 per month. In this position you may be required to work more than 40 hours per week in order to collect any overtime. This position could also offer a one time sign-on bonus, for $500.
It gets difficult to determine which offer is better because they both offer different types of payment. One has a sign on bonus, but the other one does not. One has a weekly stipend for meals while the other does not.
Travel Nursing Salaries – Breaking It Down
In order to understand what travel nursing salary you’re being offered you will need to get all of the information from your agency. Once you have that information you’ll need to sit down and calculate the numbers and determine what your total rate per hour will be. Let’s take a look at an example:
- $1,500 per month for housing X 3 months = $4,500
- $200 per week for meals X 12 weeks = $2,400
- $700 travel reimbursement (sign-on bonus) = $700
- Total: = $7,600
- Divided by hours worked /450 hours
- Nontaxable pay per hour =$16.89
- Plus Base Salary per hour +$25
- Total Salary =$41.89
This is an example ONLY!
As you can see the total salary is not only competitive, but also helps pay for housing, food and offers a nice sign-on bonus. Keep in mind not included in here is also health benefits, medical, dental and vision.
Staff Nursing versus Travel Nursing Salaries
Travel nursing salaries tend to be more competitive than staff nursing salaries. In most cases hospitals hiring a travel nurse because there is some type of shortage. That shortage gives the travel nurse a bit of an advantage.
There are tax reimbursements that you can take advantage of by finding your own housing. There are also assignments that guarantee at least four shifts in a week.And some assignments have extension bonuses offered at the tail end of your contract.
You can do very well as travel nurse so long as you manage your time and your money.
Included in travel nursing salaries travel nurses will usually be offered medical, vision and dental insurance. Some hospitals will even offer to match retirement savings funds, as a bonus. Another benefit included with some contracts are monetary bonuses, given at the conclusion of an assignment.
Based on the travel nurse’s abilities sometimes extended contract or full-time position are offered.
When you take into consideration all of the factors included in a contract many times travel nursing salaries put travel nurses among the highest-paid within the medical field.
Travel nursing salaries should absolutely be part of your decision before becoming a travel nurse. However that is not the only reason to become a travel nurse. There are some amazing opportunities in the field of travel nursing. Travel nurses gain different kinds of experiences increasing their skill sets. They also get to see parts of the world that perhaps they may not have otherwise.
If your personal situation allows you to travel you should really consider becoming a travel nurse. Travel nursing salaries, as we saw in the examples, are extremely competitive. There are many excellent opportunities that match your current experience levels.