If you are an aspiring nurse, you know that the field is demanding. You need to be willing to go wherever your patients need you and be ready to respond at a moment’s notice. It can be scary, but there are also some amazing benefits of being a travel nurse. There is the opportunity to see new places, make new friends, and (of course) make some cash. Traveling as a registered nurse not only allows you to see different parts of the country while continuing your career in healthcare, but it also comes with some pretty sweet perks: great pay, flexible hours, and housing assistance if needed. However, one question we often get asked is “Why do travel nurses make so much?”
Why Do Travel Nurses Make So Much?
Travel nursing is a great way to earn extra cash for the holidays. If you are not familiar with travel nursing, it’s the practice of hiring nurses to fill in vacant positions at hospitals that are short-staffed. Nurses travel from hospital to hospital and city to city, working at one facility for a period of time before moving on to another. Travel nurses can make as much as $100 per hour after factoring in overtime pay and bonuses. Here are ten reasons why travel nurses make so much:
- The work is physically challenging. Nurses often work 12-hour shifts, so they can earn more money than if they were working 8-hour shifts during the same period of time. They also have more chances to earn overtime pay because they are paid 1 ½ time their hourly rate for each hour worked over 40 hours per week. If their employer pays them by the hour and not by salary, then they also have more opportunities for earning bonuses because there is no limit on how many hours a nurse can work in one week or month.
- Traveling allows them to see different parts of the country or world while making good money at the same time. It’s also a great way to see if they like living in a different part of the country. Many travel nurses are just visiting and decide to stay after they see that they like what the area has to offer.
- Nurses can work at a hospital that specializes in their field of expertise. If they are in a cardiac unit, then they can work in a place where all of their co-workers have experience working with cardiac patients.
- They have opportunities to advance in their career by taking classes or by completing courses online. Travel nurses can earn extra money by working overtime and taking advantage of bonuses, so it’s possible for them to make up for any extra money spent on education expenses.
- Traveling nurses have access to top-notch hospitals with excellent equipment and highly trained staff. They also get to work alongside other highly trained professionals from all over the country who are there for the same reasons as them – because they want better jobs, better pay, and more opportunities for advancement. Working in these facilities also gives them an opportunity to network with other professionals who may help them further their careers when they return home from traveling or when they go back out on assignment at another facility.
- Traveling helps them get a break from the daily routine of their lives back home. It gives them a chance to see other parts of the country or world, and it gives them an opportunity to meet people who have different life experiences than they do.
- Many travel nurses are able to save money because they don’t have to pay rent, utilities, or other monthly bills that they would normally incur if they lived in the city where they are working. They are also able to save money on food because many hospitals offer free meals for employees and their families. If you have any doubts about this, just ask your local hospital if you can take a tour of one of their employee cafeterias and see if you can get a free meal while you’re there.
- Travel nurses earn more money in less time because the facility where they work is paying for all of the expenses associated with traveling from place to place. This includes airfare, car rental fees (if applicable), hotel accommodations, transportation costs, and even meals when needed or desired. For example, if someone has an 8-hour shift at one hospital and then has an 8-hour shift at another hospital after driving two hours each way between facilities – they essentially worked 16 hours in a day and only had to work 8. This is the equivalent of working 2 full-time jobs in a single day, yet they are only paid for one.
- Travel nurses have the opportunity to see different parts of the country or world that they may not have seen otherwise. They also have a chance to experience new cultures and interact with people from all over the world who live in the cities where they are assigned.
- Many travel nurses go home from traveling with more money in their pockets than when they left because most facilities pay them bonuses for completing certain tasks or reaching certain milestones during their contract term. For example, if you complete your contract without missing any days of work, you might earn $500-$1000 as a bonus when you return home. If you complete your contract early (which is very common with travelers), you can earn extra money by staying an extra week or two and working overtime at your next assignment so that the facility can fill your vacant position with another traveler who needs work right away. You could also get an extra $500-$1000 as a bonus for this!
What Does A Travel Nurse Make?
When it comes to transportation, there are two types of nurses: generalists and specialists. Generalists are traveling nurses who are not specialized in any specific field, while specialists are nurses who work in a specific area, such as pediatrics. When you’re starting out, your salary will depend on your experience and where you work. For instance, the average salary of a traveling nurse in California is $51,484, while the average salary in New York is $59,860. This average salary can go up or down depending on factors such as your shift type, education level, experience, and certifications.
How Does A Traveling Nurse Make So Much?
1. Traveling Nurses Are Paid Per Diem
Traveling nurses are paid per diem, which means they are paid for the days worked. Per diems can range from $400 to $1000 dollars a day depending on the state, type of hospital, and level of experience.
2. Traveling Nurses Are Paid for Overtime
Overtime is also included in traveling nurse pay. Some states require that overtime be paid after 40 hours or so, other states do not have any laws in place regarding overtime pay for traveling nurses. You can be sure that if you work more than your scheduled shift, you will be paid time and a half for your time beyond 40 hours worked in a week or 80 hours worked in two weeks (if applicable).
3. Traveling Nurses Are Paid an Annual Bonus
Traveling nurses typically receive an annual bonus at the end of each year ranging from 8% to 20% of their base pay. This bonus is based on how well they perform at the facility and how many patients they care for during their assignment (they are not required to care for any specific number of patients but they must complete all of their assignments and complete them well).
4. Traveling Nurses Receive a Housing Stipend
Traveling nurses receive a housing stipend which is typically around $10-$15 dollars per hour (for example, if you make $45 an hour, you will receive a housing stipend of $525 to $630 per month) that can be used towards your travel expenses (gasoline, food, lodging, etc) during your assignment.
5. Traveling Nurses Are Paid for Their Time Off
Traveling nurses are paid for their time off during each assignment. Each facility will have a different policy regarding time off but most facilities will pay traveling nurses for time off during the week. For example, if you are scheduled to work 40 hours in one week and the facility allows 2 days off during that week; the facility would pay you for those two days at your regular rate of pay (per diem). So if you are paid $400 per day ($800 per week), they would pay you $800 for those two days even though you did not work. This is different from an hourly wage because, on an hourly wage, you would only get paid for the hours you worked.
If you are serious about pursuing a career in nursing, becoming a traveling nurse could be a great option. You get to see different parts of the country, make money, and work with a wide variety of patients in different areas. At the end of the year, you might make more than a typical nurse who stays at one hospital the entire time. Keep in mind that becoming a traveling nurse isn’t easy. You have to have certain qualifications and certifications, and you have to be able to work quickly and efficiently. If you are serious about making a career out of traveling, then it might be a good idea to start looking into travel nursing agencies.