Travel nurse salary per hour in USA

In the quest of choosing a career path, one of the striking questions that often shows up is the reward accruing from the career.


For travel nurses, there is no difference, prospective students and those who wish to switch careers to being travel nurses have been left with the big question of what is the travel nurse’s salary per hour.

If you are among this category of persons that wish to know, kindly note you are not alone on this lane. I recommend you sit tight as we unravel the necessities you need to know about the travel nurse career and the pay.


It would be unfair if I jump into telling you the travel nurse salary per hour without first understanding who a travel nurse is.

A travel nurse is a registered nurse who takes on short-term assignments in various healthcare facilities across different locations. They typically work on a contract basis and move from one assignment to another, often traveling to different cities or even different states or countries.

The primary purpose of travel nursing is to provide temporary staffing support to healthcare facilities that are experiencing nursing shortages or have increased patient needs due to various reasons such as seasonal fluctuations, staff vacations, or special projects. Travel nurses bring their skills and expertise to fill these gaps and ensure continuity of care.

Travel nurses possess the same qualifications and credentials as regular staff nurses. They have completed the necessary education and training to become registered nurses (RNs), typically holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). They must also have obtained the required nursing licenses and certifications to practice in the jurisdictions where they work.


These nurses have the flexibility to choose their assignments based on their preferences, such as the location, duration, and specialty.

Assignments can vary in length, ranging from a few weeks to several months. They may work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or other healthcare settings, providing direct patient care, assisting with procedures, administering medications, and collaborating with healthcare teams.

Benefits of being a travel nurse

See below for some of the top advantages of being a travel nurse;

  1. Travel Opportunities: Travel nursing allows you to explore different cities, states, or even countries. If you enjoy traveling and experiencing new cultures, this profession offers the opportunity to work in various healthcare settings and locations.
  2. Competitive Pay: Travel nurses often receive higher pay rates compared to regular staff nurses. In addition to the base salary, they may receive additional compensation such as housing allowances, travel reimbursements, and bonuses. This increased earning potential is particularly beneficial for those who want to pay off student loans or save money.
  3. Professional Growth and Diverse Experience: Travel nursing exposes you to different healthcare facilities and patient populations, providing a wide range of clinical experiences. You have the opportunity to work with various healthcare professionals, learn different practices, and enhance your skills. This diverse experience can strengthen your resume and make you more marketable in the nursing field.
  4. Benefits and Perks: Many travel nursing agencies offer comprehensive benefits packages, which may include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and continuing education opportunities. These benefits contribute to your overall well-being and professional development.
  5. Job Security: Due to ongoing nursing shortages, the demand for travel nurses remains high. This translates to a steady flow of job opportunities and increased job security in the profession.

Travel nurse salary per hour in the United States of America

The salary of a travel nurse in the USA can vary based on several factors, including the nurse’s experience, specialty, location, and the specific travel nursing agency they work with.

Hourly rates for travel nurses are typically higher compared to regular staff nurses to compensate for the temporary nature of their assignments and the additional benefits they receive.

After thorough research from various recruitment platforms, I was able to deduce that travel nurses in the United States of America can earn an average hourly pay ranging from $30 to $50 per hour.

However, it’s important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary significantly depending on the factors mentioned earlier. Additionally, it’s worth noting that rates can change over time due to market conditions and demand.

Comparison of travel nurse salary vs regular nurse salary

As stated earlier, a travel nurse salary per hour could be higher when compared with a regular staff nurse. However, there might be a significant difference based on some of the factors below.

The salary of a travel nurse can differ from that of a regular staff nurse due to various factors. Here are a few points of comparison:

Base Salary

Regular staff nurses typically earn a consistent base salary that is determined by factors such as their level of experience, education, and location.

This salary is often paid on an annual or hourly basis. On the other hand, travel nurses often receive higher hourly rates to compensate for the temporary nature of their assignments and the additional responsibilities they may take on.

Additional Compensation

In addition to the base salary, travel nurses often receive extra compensation and benefits. These can include housing allowances, travel reimbursements, signing bonuses, health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. These additional perks contribute to the overall compensation package of travel nurses.

Flexibility and Bonuses

Travel nurses have the flexibility to choose their assignments, locations, and durations. This flexibility allows them to take advantage of high-demand assignments or regions with higher pay rates, potentially leading to increased earning potential. Additionally, some travel nursing agencies offer performance-based bonuses or referral bonuses as incentives.

Cost of Living

Salaries for both regular and travel nurses can be influenced by the cost of living in a particular area. Travel nurses may be assigned to locations with a higher cost of living, which can result in higher compensation to accommodate the increased expenses.

My final thought

The salary of a travel nurse in the USA can vary based on factors such as experience, specialty, location, and the specific travel nursing agency.

Travel nurses typically earn higher hourly rates compared to regular staff nurses to compensate for the temporary nature of their assignments and the additional benefits they receive.

It is advisable to consult with travel nursing agencies, to know more about your particular responsibility and pay.

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