Ask A Travel Nurse: What’s up with the horrid Pay?

Ask A Travel Nurse: What’s up with the horrid Pay?


travel nurse horrid payGypsy,

I’ve just received an offer for a travel position.  I’m a new traveler and I really don’t understand the offer. The pay offered is $30/hour and the company will pay for housing. The second offer is for $22/hr and they give me a weekly $645 tax free stipend. These are both horrid pay rates!!  Is this normal?


Thank you for reading The Gypsy Nurse. You have taken the first step on your journey to become A Gypsy Nurse.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…DO NOT TRAVEL JUST FOR THE MONEY!!

Travel nursing ‘myths’ about pay are highly inflated. The market tanked (2008) and travel nursing is yet to catch up from a financial standpoint. The offer that you have presented sounds about right (without doing the calculations myself) for the area. Travelers RARELY receive a shift differential so this is a moot point.

With either one of these scenario’s, your approximate take home (Approximate because I do not know your personal tax situation and any other benefits that you are being offered.) would be around $800-1000 weekly after you account for housing costs.  In my experience, this is about the norm.  You could probably put a little more in your pocket each week by finding your own housing.  I would think that you could find your own housing for less than what the company is accounting for.

You should also remember that you do not have to accept the first offer that the company gives to you.  There is always room to negotiate.  The thing to understand and remember in negotiating is that one way or another it all comes out of the ‘Bill Rate’.

I would recommend that you check out and use the Travelers Calculator via to assist you in comparing offers for pay.  Don’t forget to get everything written into the contract as well.  If the company ‘promised’ something, it doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t written into the contract.

I love hearing the opinions of my readers.  Your opinion could be the perfect solution for someone.  Please share your thoughts below in the comments.  Do you have a question for me?  Fill out the Ask A Travel Nurse form and submit your questions.

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Active in the Travel Nursing industry for the past 14 years. Involved with the initial conception of the annual Travelers Conference ( I am dedicated to providing a place for nurses interested in travel nursing to come to find all the answers and information needed to begin a successful career as a Travel Nurse. In addition, I am very active in bringing interested nurses together in real life through social media, and organizing and promoting events, meetings, conferences and many other activities for Travel Nurses and Travel Medical Professionals. Dedicated to providing the next generation of nurses a base of information on the career choice of Travel Nursing by providing Career Services speaking engagements to Nursing Colleges and Student Nursing Associations.