Medical ICU (MICU) salary

Brooklynn Johnson
November 28, 2023
Reading time:
5 min

Medical ICU (MICU) travel nurses administer care and treatment to patients in the intensive care unit. They work with a wide patient population and provide expert care for a variety of critical medical conditions. One of the many benefits of taking a MICU travel nurse job is having the potential to increase your pay while exploring new cities. Nomad Health created this guide to answer the most common questions about MICU travel nursing pay, including information about average pay, benefits, and travel stipends.

Average MICU travel nurse pay

Medical ICU travel nurse pay can vary depending on compensable factors such as your experience, certifications, and location where you take a travel job. The average weekly total compensation for MICU travel nurses at Nomad Health is about $2,297, including a travel stipend. Depending on your experience, medical ICU travel nurses at Nomad may earn a total compensation of up to $3,422 per week.*

*Based on Nomad Health compensation data for travel MICU nurses as of October 31, 2023.

MICU travel nurse pay range

Medical ICU travel nurse pay ranges can change frequently depending on the facility's demand for MICU nurses. When a facility is short-staffed with MICU nurses, the pay range may increase for that particular specialty. Depending on the facility's needs and your experience, the total compensation for medical ICU travel nurses at Nomad is between $1,584 and $3,422 per week including a travel stipend.*

*Based on Nomad Health compensation data for travel MICU nurses as of October 31, 2023.

Average pay rate for MICU travel nurses

The average pay rate for medical ICU travel nurses depends on compensable factors such as experience and facility demand for MICU travel nurses. At Nomad, the average pay rate for medical ICU travel nurses is approximately $62 per hour, although this number could be higher or lower for some travel nurses.*

*Based on Nomad Health compensation data for travel MICU nurses as of October 31, 2023.

What is the highest MICU travel nurse compensation?

As of October 31, 2023, the highest total compensation for medical ICU travel nurses at Nomad is approximately $85 per hour or $3,422 per week, including a travel stipend. Keep in mind that compensation for travel nurses fluctuates based on the needs of facilities, so the highest total compensation for MICU travel nurses may be higher or lower. To see the highest total compensation for medical ICU travel nurses today, browse our MICU travel nurse job board and sort by highest pay.

Factors that influence MICU travel nurse pay

Medical ICU travel nurse pay is influenced by several compensable factors, which include but are not limited to:

MICU travel nurse experience

Facilities are always looking for highly skilled medical ICU travel nurses with experience under their belt who can hit the ground running as soon as they start. The more relevant experience you have as a MICU travel nurse, the more willing a facility may be to pay you a higher salary for your skills.

Facility demand for MICU travel nurses

When facilities experience medical ICU staff nurse shortages, they often rely on MICU travel nurses to fill those gaps. Depending on the severity of the shortage, medical ICU travel nurses may be able to earn higher pay with the facility.

Travel job location

The cost of living in each city and state can directly influence how much facilities can pay travel medical ICU nurses. For example, a medical ICU travel nurse on assignment in a rural area may earn less than a travel assignment in a big city where the cost of living is higher.


For MICU travel nurses, achieving the highest level of education available to your specific profession may help open more doors to advanced job opportunities and higher pay.

Variable pay rates

Medical ICU travel nurse pay is constantly fluctuating based on factors like facility needs, and seasonality. At times, hourly pay for travelers may be higher or lower than staff workers. Knowing when medical ICU travel nurses are most likely to be in demand can help ensure you get the highest total compensation available.


Taxes are an important factor for consideration when it comes to medical ICU travel nurse total compensation. In certain circumstances, MICU travel nurses without a registered tax home could be responsible for paying taxes on all earned income. Maintaining a permanent tax home could potentially provide tax advantages for travel stipends. We ask that you consult with your tax consultant to understand your specific tax circumstances.

Travel stipends

Travel stipends, also known as per diems, can be a big part of your total pay as a medical ICU travel nurse. If you qualify, these travel stipends can help pay for any duplicate lodging and meal expenses that come with living away from your tax home. Travel stipends may also be eligible for tax-preferred treatment. Please consult with your tax consultant to better understand your specific circumstances.

Overtime pay

It’s important for medical ICU travel nurses to be clear in their contract about hourly rates and how much they will be compensated for overtime hours, which can differ from base pay rate and/or applicable law.

Completion bonus

Depending on the facility, your medical travel nurse job might come with a completion bonus. A completion bonus is a set amount of money a facility will pay you if you complete the full medical ICU travel assignment. Facilities that have a hard time retaining MICU travel nurses and staff nurses tend to offer completion bonuses more often.


Benefits are considered an extension of MICU travel nurse total compensation. Medical ICU travel nurses who work with Nomad enjoy a full range of benefits including health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, and participation in Nomad’s 401(k) plan. Nomad also partially reimburses medical ICU travel nurses for certifications, licensure, and scrubs.

Frequently asked questions about MICU travel nurse pay

The amount that a travel medical ICU nurse makes per hour can vary depending on each facility, individual experience, and industry demand. At Nomad Health, the hourly wage ranges from about $44 to $85. Your actual hourly wage may be higher or lower than this range. While searching for jobs on Nomad’s website, you’ll be able to see each job’s pay rate.
Yes; medical ICU travel nursing is an exciting career with lots of opportunities to grow and specialize depending on your interests. By taking travel jobs, you’re potentially able to access different facility types and patient populations, which is an incredibly valuable experience. The potential to increase your pay by taking high-paying assignments is also a perk of MICU travel nursing.
There are a lot of factors that may impact pay for both MICU travel and staff nurses, including location, facility, education, certifications, experience, and industry demand, to name a few. At Nomad, you can search and sort MICU travel jobs by pay to find jobs that match your financial goals and compare them to staff MICU nurse roles in the states you’re applying to.
I am with Nomad and LOVE them...they really love feedback and are open to hearing what nurses need and want.
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Author profile

Brooklynn Johnson
Brooklynn Johnson is a healthcare writer & editor for Nomad Health. Brooklyn graduated from Western Washington University in 2015 with a BA in Digital Journalism. Since then, she’s written for a number of award-winning publications, and loves working on human-interest pieces. She’s been working with Nomad Health since 2022.
Published: Nov. 28, 2023
Modified: Nov. 28, 2023