Travel Nurse Pay: A New Traveler’s Guide to Understanding Pay

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By TNAA- Travel Nurse Across America

January 20, 2022



A New Traveler’s Guide to Understanding Travel Nurse Pay

TNAA Healthcare provided this article.

Lots of RNs use the fresh start of the new year as motivation to jump into a travel nurse career. Life as a travel nurse is exciting, but it also requires a lot of research to make sure you understand everything that goes with the profession. How do you move from place to place every three months? What is a tax home? What factors go into travel nurse pay? Whether you’ve already done your research or you’re just beginning, here’s some information about travel nurse pay that you might not have already known.

Who Sets Travel Nurse Bill Rates?

Travel nurse bill rates are set by healthcare facilities based on market demand, and that is constantly fluctuating. You’ll see fluctuations in travel nurse pay based on which areas of the country are being hardest hit with illness or nurse shortages, which specialties are in highest demand at a particular time, and so much more. Right now, pay rates for several specialties are up, but at some point, they’ll level off. For instance, once elective surgeries were back on hospital agendas, more OR nurses were needed. As COVID-19 cases ramp up again, ICU and ER nurses top the list of facility needs.

What Factors Go Into a Travel Nurse’s Pay Rate?

We’ve already talked about how market demand affects travel nurse bill rates. Market demand also impacts travel nurse pay rates. You might also see some pay differences for the same assignment from agency to agency based on other factors. Your pay rate depends on the benefits your agency offers and that you use (like housing per diems, paid sick leave, health insurance, etc.), the support your agency gives (like guaranteeing your pay if a hospital calls off your shift or help finding housing), and much more. The important thing to do is to identify what your needs are and find the contracts that fit your lifestyle the best. To understand the full compensation package and the help available for each assignment, your best bet is to talk with an experienced recruiter who can explain the details.

Where Do I Go For Issues With My Pay?

If you have any issues with your travel nurse pay, you’ll want to go straight to your agency. Your nurse manager likely doesn’t know or have a say in your compensation package. However, as your advocate, your travel nurse agency can review your timecard, discuss discrepancies with the hospital, and work out any issues.

When it comes to travel nurse pay, there are many factors to consider beyond the number listed with an assignment. There are benefits, taxes, and the list keeps going. Take the time to do your homework to understand what is going into your full compensation package and what you are actually bringing home.

We hope you found this article on understanding travel nurse pay helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below.

Are you considering travel nursing and need to find a travel nurse assignment? Click here to view our job board. Do you need housing for an upcoming assignment? Click here to search our housing page.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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