The travel nursing industry is getting a lot of press these days and therefore is growing considerably. With headlines touting impressive travel nurse salaries, and pictures of idyllic wonders of nature it’s no surprise. But for registered nurses who are thinking to take the plunge and jump from a staff job to travel nursing, a thorough investigation is necessary.
Bountiful, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/17/2021 --How Much Do Travel Nurses Make and How Hard Do They Work?
The travel nursing industry is getting a lot of press these days and therefore is growing considerably. With headlines touting impressive travel nurse salaries, and pictures of idyllic wonders of nature it's no surprise. But for registered nurses who are thinking to take the plunge and jump from a staff job to travel nursing, a thorough investigation is necessary.
When one does a simple Google search for "How much do travel nurses make?" a quick glance over the top results on the page will show that the numbers vary widely, and yet almost always show an impressive weekly or hourly pay rate. Consequently, nurses looking at travel RN jobs can get hung up on how much RNs make and bypass good opportunities because they don't have all the information. There are some pretty frustrating myths rolling around about travel nursing that foster a mentality that travel nursing is all about the money.
Read on to learn about these myths so that one will know exactly what they are getting into when they choose a travel nurse career.
Low Pay Means It's Not Going to Be Worth It
This one is unfortunately all too common, moreover, it's absolutely false. The hourly rate offered up in a travel nursing contract is contingent on several factors. One big factor is the cost of living for the city or town that ones contract is in. Not every city or town in the country has a sky-high cost of living such as good old New York City, and thank heavens for that! When they figure out their living expenses and housing reimbursement in a low cost of living state and compare it to their living expenses and housing in a high cost of living state they might sometimes find that there isn't as big of a difference in their take-home pay between the two as one originally thought.
This table shows the eight states with the lowest cost of living and the eighth highest cost of living:
Before one says no to a contract that is offering what one feels like is a low pay rate, broaden their perspective and look for the non-financial gains.
What is the job? Will it offer one experience in a new unit or specialty? Maybe it will help build or broaden ones nursing career. Where is the job? Do a little digging about the town or city and see what one finds. Maybe the community offers professionals sports games or outdoor recreation opportunities that one enjoys, maybe the food or the music in the area is unique. There's more to be gained in a travel nurse career than the money.
High Pay Means It'll Be Brutal
Not necessarily. Yes, some crisis response contracts offer high pay and can be emotionally and physically daunting in return. However, that isn't always the case. As previously mentioned, cost of living also factors in for the pay scale. Also, sometimes locations that have had a hard time attracting travel nurses consequently offer higher compensation to lure nurses in. One will need more information about the contract than just the hourly rate.
Sometimes rural travel nursing assignments fit this criterion, and I can tell a person looking into traveling nursing that if they want to broaden their perspective and knowledge as a nurse, a rural assignment is a must. If they are considering a rural contract, we've written an article for them, "Do They Have What it Takes for Rural Travel Nursing Jobs?"
One Can Get Rich
Maybe. Although that depends on their definition of rich, about how careful one can be with their finances, including the stipends and reimbursements, and many contracts one works over the course of a year. Elite Specialty Staffing offers a generous housing stipend. One might find one option more financially favorable than the other.
One thing to be especially mindful of is their taxes. While it's technically possible to do their own taxes, we strongly recommend one to hire a professional. Even better if one finds a tax professional who has experience with travel nurses. Be careful with taxes. Albeit caution with one's taxes won't make one rich, it will help maximize the benefits that come with the occupation and avoid costly tax fees or penalties (shudder).
These Travel Nursing Contracts Limit My Income
When one asks the question of how much nurses make, their limiting themselves information from the outset. Travel nursing contracts set one's pay for the duration of the contract. Nevertheless, while the hourly rate (or alternatively the weekly rate) is set, some may include sign-on bonuses or completion bonuses.
One can also inquire if overtime pay or shift differentials for nights or holidays are available. Additionally, there are other ways to earn when a traveling nurse teams up with Elite Specialty Staffing. Our impressive benefits package includes the potential to earn a full-time hourly bonus, a referral bonus, and travel reimbursement.
Don't Make Assumptions
The saying goes about making assumptions. Worse, these assumptions are to one's disadvantage because they will close doors of opportunity. Approach each location contract with an open mind, and look for opportunity.
Sometimes these opportunities will be in the form of building up professional experience and networking contacts. Sometimes, they'll be about the relationships one builds in making new friends. One will definitely have opportunities to see the beauty of our great nation, and while not every location contract can be in a paradise frequently seen and romanticized in movies (aka Hawaii-everyone wants Hawaii) One will be surprised to find that the unique wonder and beauty of each place is there waiting for them if only one has taken the time to look for it.
About Elite Specialty Staffing
We've grown into a full RN/BSN-based professional nursing agency with locations in Idaho, Oregon and Utah and we operate nationally.
We specialize in both per diem and travel nursing contracts for experienced ED, ICU, OB, OR/PACU, NICU, and MS nurses.
Since 2004, we've built up a significant pool of highly competent, flexible and reliable travel nurses. Our stability and growth over the years is a demonstration of the clinical competence and positive demeanor our nurses bring to every clinical setting.