What State Pays the Most for Travel Nurses?

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Many individuals often ask what the highest paying cities are for travel nurses. We get why that is; everyone wants to make the most money. Travel nursing openings allocate different salary ranges for the same job, so researching is important to get the best deal. This article shares information about states that pay the highest for travel nursing in the United States.

Understand that being a travel nurse comes with many benefits, including high pay. Being a travel nurse affords you the resources to buy Bitcoin Cash and invest in other ventures that interest you. However, an essential thing you need to decide is the location that suits you the most in your profession. Below is information about travel nursing, what they do, what affects their pay, and other important things to know.

What Do Travel Nurses Do?

A travel nurse is a professional registered nurse (RN) who works in a short-term role at a clinic, hospital, or other healthcare facility. Travel nurses fill gaps in healthcare facilities where there are nursing shortages, so travel nurse salary is often high. With everything going on, more nurses are thinking about becoming travel nurses to help areas that need their expertise. Travel nurses are not employed by a single hospital but by independent travel nurse agencies.

Since nurse staffing agencies employ travel nurses, they can travel as far as different countries. A travel nurse can also work in a local hospital where the service is urgently needed. Many of those who go into travel nursing do so for the many perks that go with the profession. Some of those perks include exploring new places, making new friends, competitive pay, and experiencing diverse practice environments.

Travel nursing isn’t influenced by education or experience level; a travel nurse with two years of experience can earn the same as one with fifteen years. This makes travel nursing a great fit for new nurses looking to make more money and pay off student loans.

However, travel nurses need to fulfill a few requirements to be considered for travel nurse jobs, including being a registered nurse. A registered travel nurse with a license and two years of experience is valuable to healthcare facilities.

What Factors Can Affect a Travel Nurse’s Salary?

Although travel nurses typically earn high pay, your location, among other things, ultimately determines how high. Apart from the crisis the world is facing right now, other factors that can influence your pay as a travel nurse include:


  • Your Location


Location is one of the major factors that affect the pay of a travel nurse. The pay rates often reflect regional trends and the cost of living in that area. Thus, location is an important factor you should consider when deciding where to render your services as a travel nurse.


  • Agency


Several agencies specializing in healthcare staffing services are available in the US. They are responsible for paying travel nurses’ salaries, and their pay differs from one agency to another. Therefore, your wage will depend on the staffing agency that employed you.

The best travel nurse companies offer perks like company-paid housing and transportation, among other things.


  • Shift Assignments


As a nurse, you must know that night shifts are more prevalent in travel nursing. An upside to that is that many hospitals offer higher pay rates for their night shift assignments.

You can work night shifts if you want to earn more as a travel nurse, but only if it is your thing. Otherwise, you might want to stick to day shifts; your body and patients will thank you for it.


  • Your Specialty


Experience doesn’t always influence your pay as a travel nurse, but specialty determines how much a travel nurse makes. Specialized nurses often get paid more than non-specialty nurses because their skills are highly sought after.

Non-specialty nurses like psychiatric, medical, or surgical travel nurses are paid a lower rate than specialty nurses. Specialty nurses have the credentials that open them to endless opportunities and more lucrative pay.

What States Have the Highest Travel Nurse Pay Rates?

The first step toward becoming a travel nurse is learning how to become a travel nurse. That includes understanding the profession’s requirements, the criteria for becoming one, the pay rates, and the best locations to practice.

If you’ve taken all the steps and are a registered travel nurse, the next thing is choosing where to offer your services. Here are some US states with the highest travel nurse pay rates.


  • New York


New York has an annual wage for nurses rated at $85,610 at $41.16 per hour. The city is replete with large hospitals and smaller facilities which are often short-staffed, creating a demand for healthcare travelers. However, New York isn’t a member of the nurse licensure compact. Nevertheless, nurses who have fulfilled similar requirements in other states may quickly obtain proper licensure.

New York is an exciting destination for travel nursing, with many things to do and places to go. If you get a travel nursing job in NYC, you’ll have other things to do when you’re not working. That includes visiting museums and attraction centers and sports, outdoor, and nightlife activities. Plus, other places around New York like Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo may be worth visiting.


  • Arizona


As a Nurse Compact State, Arizona gives travel nurses from other compact states jobs without applying for licensure. However, the candidate will need to apply for the licensure if they plan to make Arizona their primary licensing state. Arizona’s mean annual wage for nurses is capped at around $77,000, at $37.02 per hour.

Arizona is a fun and interesting place to visit whether you’re there to work or on vacation. The state has several top medical centers, from Phoenix to Sedona, that could use the help of travel nurses. When you’ve taken a break from work, you can visit famous sites like the Grand Canyon, Desert Botanical Gardens, and Petrified Forest.


  • California


California is often a choice destination for travel nurses and one of the highest paying states. California pays its nurses an annual wage of $106,905 at a mean hourly wage of $51.41; Northern California tends to pay more. However, understand that California also has one of the highest living costs in the US. Being a travel nurse in California requires that you’re a registered nurse or licensed professional nurse and possess a California nursing license.

Licensing in California can take time; the fastest way is by visiting the state’s capital Sacramento in person. You’ll go with the required documentation, submit it directly to the Board of Registered Nursing, and complete the biometrics process. Most travel nurses get their licenses when they follow this procedure; California has the highest pay rate on this list. The state has three major hospitals and smaller healthcare facilities looking to hire travel nurses.


  • Hawaii


Hawaii is another high-paying state in the US, with a mean annual wage for travel nurses at $98,080 at $47.16 per hour. However, like California, the cost of living in Hawaii is also high; the best thing is to take a housing stipend.

You’ll enjoy Hawaii more as a travel nurse if you live in less tourist-heavy destinations like Oahu over Kauai or Big Island over Maul. Hawaii is a beautiful place with beautiful sightsee-worthy islands, exquisite waters, and outstanding natural beauty.

To work as a travel nurse in Hawaii, you must be a registered nurse. Meanwhile, if you are a licensed nurse in another state, you may be able to receive a Hawaii nursing license by endorsement. You may also obtain a temporary permit while waiting to complete the licensing process. Hawaii is the place to go for desired and competitive cushy travel nurse assignments, which means it’s hard to land.


  • Massachusetts


Massachusetts may not be the first destination that comes to mind regarding the most appealing places for travel nurses. However, the state ranks high on this list of the best travel nurse states, and it also pays nurses well. Massachusetts offers a competitive mean nursing wage of $92,140 per annum at $44.30 per hour. To land a travel nursing job in Massachusetts, you must be a registered nurse or a licensed professional nurse.

Massachusetts is not included in the nurse licensure compact that allows nurses to practice in states outside their licensing region. Thus, licensed travel nurses who wish to work there must obtain a Massachusetts nursing license; LNPs may get a Massachusetts license by endorsement.

Meanwhile, they must have graduated from an RN or LPN program approved in the US territory. Otherwise, they must have withdrawn from an RN program in good standing and passed the required licensing exam.

Now that you know the states that pay high to travel nurses, you can pick your destination and start applying. However, note that the highest paying travel nursing states often change, if not daily. Don’t rush when choosing your destination; consider other secondary factors like weather, culture, outbreaks, and living costs. Since you’re taking a big career-impactful decision, you want to take your time to make the most beneficial one.

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