Skip to content

How Much Does a Travel Nurse Make?

A travel nurse arrives for duty at a new location

A job as a traveling nurse can be exciting, as it offers a unique opportunity to travel and visit other states and countries. It can also lead to higher-paying positions as a practical nurse (PN). Those who graduate from the Practical Nursing program at Prism Career Institute, with campuses in Philadelphia, PA, and Cherry Hill and Egg Harbor Township, NJ, may be able to continue their education to get their license to work as a registered nurse and their desire toward becoming a travel nurse. Here, we talk about what a travel nurse is, what a traveling nurse’s salary is, the different jobs for travel nurses, and why you should consider becoming one.

What Is a Travel Nurse?

Travel nurses are certified registered nurses (RNs) who provide temporary medical assistance in a healthcare facility. To become certified, nurses must enroll in programs at an accredited nursing school. Those interested in a career as a travel nurse can begin their journey by taking courses to become a practical nurse (PN), like at Prism Career Institute. Following their program completion, students must enroll in a registered nursing school, receive additional schooling, and pass a national licensing exam to become a registered nurse.

Travel nurses may rotate between just a couple of locations or many. Working as a travel nurse can take you to a variety of locations across the country. Some nurses can even take positions in other countries. How long a travel nurse spends in one location can range anywhere from four to 26 weeks.

Travel nurses are usually employed by a traveling nurse agency instead of a specific facility. Travel nurses help medical facilities cover responsibilities if they experience a short-term leave of absence. This can happen because of regular fluctuations in the healthcare job market or more specific reasons like covering for nurses on maternity leave. Travel nurses are essential for ensuring medical facilities smoothly run even while experiencing shortages in staffing. This is what makes them so in demand in the healthcare industry.

How Much Does a Travel Nurse Make?

In terms of income, travel registered nurses have the potential to earn more than traditional nurses who work in one facility. They are one of the higher-paid nursing positions in the medical industry. This is because of the unique level of flexibility and skill required of travel nurses. They must know and understand a variety of practices and procedures in many different medical fields. They must also deal with moving from place to place often.

Travel nurses may receive a stipend from their travel nurse agency, giving them the funds to cover moving and housing expenses. Pay for travel nurses can vary depending on the location in which you are traveling.

Occupations for Travel Nurses

Within the healthcare industry, travel nurses can hold a variety of positions. In a hospital setting, they can usually find job opportunities in:

  • Operating rooms
  • Intensive Care Units (ICUs)
  • Progressive Care Units (PCUs)
  • Medical surgeries
  • Emergency rooms

They can also find jobs in other healthcare environments, such as:

  • Clinics
  • Hospice care
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehab centers

Those who become traveling nurses can also move up in their positions. For example, they can work exclusively with certain specialties, like psychiatry, anesthesia, or critical care. They can also switch their specialty, allowing them to gain experience in a variety of medical fields. Some specialties may require additional certifications and licensing be completed to qualify. Be sure to discuss the qualifications needed for each job with your travel nurse agency.

Why Become a Travel Nurse?

Travel nursing can be a great career choice. It can provide higher-paying job opportunities than traditional nursing careers. Becoming a travel nurse can also let you travel the country while making a sustainable income.

Because contracts are temporary, registered nurses can explore many different states and cities in a short time. Registered travel nurses can travel to any state, even exploring places like Hawaii, Colorado, or California. Travel nurses can also choose to travel within their own state, which still allows them to gain different experiences in the medical industry.

Travel nurses looking to travel from state to state must obtain licensure for the state they are moving to. This also applies if travel nurses move to a different country. While PNs can also travel state-by-state, they must qualify for licensure in each jurisdiction they intend to travel to. Travel nursing agencies can assist employees in getting the necessary licenses for their state.

Because travel nursing involves many healthcare environments, it can be a great job for students to explore their options before settling on a permanent role. It can also allow students to connect within the healthcare industry and scope out potential job opportunities. In addition, those who pursue a career as a travel nurse can also have amenities paid for, like housing and relocation costs. This means not only can traveling nurses earn higher wages for traveling, but they can also have many monthly expenses and moving costs taken care of.

Start On the Path to Becoming a Traveling Nurse

If you are interested in starting a career as a practical nurse, Prism Career Institute can be a great start in your journey. We offer an outstanding practical nursing program that can be a great place to begin, along with other programs at our Philadelphia, PA and Cherry Hill, NJ, campuses. To learn more about the courses we provide, contact us or apply online today.