How Much Do Travel Nurses Make? Travel Nurse Testimonial

Caleb Skyles, RN, BSN, CCRN speaks about how much money travel nurses make.

When it comes to travel nursing, I get asked two questions all the time:

  1. Will I have consistent work?
  2. How much *more* money will I make?

Will I have consistent work? 

Travel nurses travel around to different hospitals throughout the country working contracts of various lengths (usually 8 to 13 weeks). These jobs are not permanent – but can be extended. For example, I once worked 5 consecutive contracts (a little over a year) at the same location because it was such a great job and I was a good fit for what they were looking for at the time.

I personally found it very easy to work back-to-back contracts and because I always communicated my needs (the desire to work full-time & plan my vacations) with my recruiter I never found myself without a contract. 

How much money to travel nurses make?

​Well, I’ll be honest – it really just depends on you and how much you want to work. The older we get the more we start to value time with our friends and families so we may work less.

For me personally – I’d like to retire at a super young age so I’m all about them dollar bills and I basically work consecutive contracts back-to-back with a few weeks off a year. Part of the reason I chose travel nursing over staff nursing is because I make more per week and can easily take 4 or 6 weeks off a year versus the average 2 to 3 weeks most nurses get.

On average travel nurses make around $100K a year (working full-time hours) and taking off a bunch of time each year, which is a lot more per year than a staff nurse. What could you do with all that extra money? For me I know that’s a down payment on a house. Saving has never been easier.

Curious how much more you could make per week as a travel nurse in your specific specialty? Check out this handy salary comparison chart I made. This compares the yearly income of a staff nurse to a travel nurse assuming the travel nurse takes off 2-weeks unpaid off a year. (I personally recommend taking off way more) 

This should give you a great idea about the amount of money you could make if you were a workaholic like me. 

Staff Nurse Salary Vs. Travel Nurse Salary: A comparison of what nurses in the same specialty make


Staff Annual Salary Source:

Travel Nurse Annual Income:

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