Money can be a great motivator for anyone who wants to join the field of travel nursing. However, the concept of average salary for a travel nurse is more complex than just providing a monetary figure. Nursing covers a large spectrum of services and has different levels of education where salaries will depend on the type of education, the experience, and the type of work offered, thus complicating the answer further. Additionally, these figures can change depending on the state, as salaries will fluctuate based on the cost of living.
Some organizations pay lower salaries to nurses that travel because of the lower cost of living incurred by the nurse. Many will use these positions as entry-level opportunities that provide reasonable wages where they can gain field experience. Recent graduates of an RN to BSN degree program can build work and field experience and gradually improve salaries as time goes by. Starting off as a travel nurse can provide a way to show a long trajectory of experience while also offering different competencies including flexibility, cultural awareness, independence, and other personal abilities. When travel nurses decide to change their lifestyle and leave traveling aside, they will not face many difficulties obtaining a well-paying position given their greatly-built resume.
A travel nursing salary will be a result of the demand and the market needs. Most of these job roles will be based on contract work, although some hourly projects are possible. Some companies provide signing and loyalty bonuses, as well as extra incentives for working certain hours and days, such as nights and holidays. In this field, working extra hours is also a possibility.
The type of work conducted by travel nurses is considered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as income that is subject to taxes. A person interested in applying for a position should speak to their recruiter or human resources department to obtain clarity on pay and benefits. Some types of contracting will have a major impact on taxes. For example, if hired as a subcontracted worker, you will be responsible for paying payroll taxes at the full tax rate versus splitting half of the costs with the hiring company when hired as an employee. Also, many traveling nurse positions have specific goals that you need to reach to obtain bonuses. Therefore, be sure to clear all these topics and questions with the company prior to accepting a position.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, a nurse practitioner will earn a median salary of $70,000. The base pay is not the only attractive element of the position. Traveling nurses will typically be scheduled to work short assignments that can range between four to thirteen weeks. Therefore, the base salary will be higher than those that do not travel but have the same job description. Another great advantage is the network that these nurses can build. Each hospital or medical facility that the person visits translates to more professional contacts that can provide needed references or serve as a recommendation. From women's health services to assisting individuals suffering from chronic conditions, a nurse is a critical element in today’s society. These individuals play an important role within the healthcare field, drawing on experience and knowledge for the improvement of all patients.