It would certainly be nice for everybody who is considering a new career, if there were statistics that specifically answered all of the variables in our minds.
In other words, imagine the results that would come up if we entered into our search engines exactly what we wanted to know:
“How much does a traveling nurse make with 5 years of experience, specializing in neo-natal care, working at a not-for profit hospital in Montana, during snowy months?”
So far, it is doubtful that there is any software that can produce a specific traveling nurse salary that would be reliable enough to sit down and lay out a budget.
What we have instead is so many different, patchy circumstances that cause us to need a number of steps to get the specific information we would like to have.
While we can only speak in generalities, there are some tips that you can consider for driving up your potential income as a traveling nurse, as we will explore now.
Standing Out In Your Field
Find out the most common specialties that make traveling nurses a hot commodity, and then consider going one step further with your education to qualify for the niche.
Some very well paid nurses have commented on being impressed by a traveling nurse that arrives on the scene.
One local registered nurse commented that, “Even though she was new to our specific environment, it was obvious that she really knew what she was doing, and certainly made a significant contribution.”
The first step in pursuing a career as a traveling nurse, or any nurse, for that matter, is to find out where the need is great and choose an area to specialize in to enhance your opportunities.
Put yourself in the position of those being sought, then you can choose from the best of your offers.
Many feel that new graduates can best utilize the position of a traveling nurse position, as they may not yet be tied down to their own families or a home mortgage. One local nurse knew of a college couple that was newly married, and had both gone into the career.
There is a risk that the two may not end up in the same city, but there is also a chance that they can, or at least be nearby. The reason that benefits are great to those that do not have mortgages is because the stipend for living expenses given to traveling nurses is generally a generous amount that does not depend on his or her actual costs.
If the stipend was $2,000 a month, for instance, and one keeps his or her monthly expenses to $1,500, that means about another $125 a week can be tacked on to the traveling nurse salary.
Keep Tacking On The Earnings
Besides a common hourly rate of $30 to $50, (based on the expertise, years of experience, location, etc.) traveling nurses may get sign on bonuses, of $1,000, and another one when they have fulfilled their contract, and since they can run around 13 weeks, that may be several thousand extra dollars a year added to the income.
Popular opinion is that traveling nurses make very similar hourly wages to their stationary counterparts, but there are perks and benefits that lead to the belief that it can be a much more lucrative job, especially for those eager for travel.
Anyone can argue about the glass being half full or half empty, but your personal desires and attitudes will determine how the experience is for you. Overall, traveling nurses are holding onto the reputation of being well paid and greatly appreciated and compensated for their flexibility.