Financial Goals: 4 Ways To Achieve Yours as a Travel Nurse

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By RNnetwork

February 21, 2024

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4 Ways Travel Nursing Can Help You Achieve Your Financial Goals More Quickly

RNnetwork provided this article.

Many nurses say one of the primary reasons they start travel nursing is to achieve their financial goals faster than they could in a permanent position. One of the main reasons telemetry/PCU nurse Scott Carpenter started traveling with RNnetwork was because he had a lot of bills he wanted to pay off. “My salary pretty much doubled when I started travel nursing,” Carpenter says. Now, after hitting those financial goals, he’s working on putting money away for retirement.

But it’s not just about higher pay.

Financial Goals

Here are four strategies that travel nurses have used to meet their financial goals more quickly.

1. Pick up extra shifts

When he started nursing, Kyle Chadwick, a trauma/ICU nurse, had a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky Medical Center but still made only about $23 an hour. He says it wasn’t enough to support him, so after a year and a half in a staff position, he started travel nursing to boost his pay.

Chadwick’s advice to make even more money is to take on extra shifts — just like with a full-time permanent position — and then work back-to-back assignments.

“Just like you would as a staff nurse, add in an extra shift here and there and stack your assignments one after another without much time off between them,” he says.

2. Be open to a variety of assignments

Home health nurse Chloe Callicoat turned to travel nursing after 13 years in a permanent position because she wanted to travel and get paid to do it.

“The key to increasing income as a travel nurse is to be willing to fill in anywhere,” she says. For her, that means doing any kind of home health for any patient. Because of this, she says she has doubled her income.

Financial Goals

“It’s a huge difference,” Callicoat says. “I make every week now what I used to make every two weeks.” 

3. Consider RV living instead of renting 

ICU nurse Gabriel Rios started travel nursing at the beginning of the pandemic and says the key to saving more money is to “play the system.” For instance, he says some travel nurses buy a small RV and camp out. “You’re not just throwing money away on a hotel or an apartment.” 

This is a tip that most travel nurses don’t employ, but it might be an option that works for you. Other ways to pocket more money include taking an assignment where you have family and staying with them or working on an assignment where you can rent a room from a friend.

4. Take advantage of all possible reimbursements

In addition to the higher pay, a travel nurse’s total compensation can include non-taxable reimbursements for things like housing, meals, incidental expenses (per diems), and travel to and from assignments, depending on the assignment. These can all help you achieve your financial goals sooner and offer additional ways to save money.

“First, you have to sit down, do the numbers, and see if travel nursing is worth it,” Rios says. “Then you can work out different ways to increase your pay from there,” he says. “That’s how you save more money faster.”

RNnetwork can help you find your next travel nursing job. Call us at 800.866.0407 or view today’s travel nurse job openings.

We hope you enjoyed this article on strategies that travel nurses have used to meet their financial goals more quickly. Do you have any strategies for meeting your financial goals more quickly as a travel nurse? Comment them below.

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